Session 3. SYLFF Update: Review of SYLFF-related programs and activities
January 17 (Wednesday) 9:40 am - 10:30 am
Ellen Mashiko and Isamu Maruyama of The Tokyo Foundation's Scholarship Division presented during this session and responded to queries from the participants (see Appendix 3).
Ellen Mashiko: Once again, thank you all for joining us here in Copenhagen and great appreciation to the University of Copenhagen for hosting this biennial meeting of SYLFF Program administrators.
Before proceeding any further, kindly join me in remembering two long-time colleagues − Constantine Evangelides of the University of Athens and Gary Saxonhouse of the University of Michigan whom many of you will recall were with us during our last meeting at Ateneo de Manila University. Constantine, or Costas as he liked to be called, passed away on December 18, 2005 from a heart attack at the Athens airport where he was awaiting the return of one of his daughters. Gary passed away on November 30, 2006 in Seattle where he was being treated for leukemia. Please stand and join me in a moment of silence in their memory.
Sixty-five (65) SYLFF institutions are represented here today, including Lanzhou University whose SYLFF endowment has been restored. Ten (10) universities have sent additional representatives at their own expense. Thirty (30) of the 78 participants, 3 SYLFF Fellows Council representatives and 6 International Advisory Committee members will serve as convenors, presenters and discussants over the next three days. I anticipate that everyone will actively engage in discussion during and outside sessions.
Now it's time for us to roll-up our sleeves and tackle our agenda that includes:
● Sessions 3, 4 and 5 which focus on SYLFF-specific programs and activities,
● Session 6 during which John Anderson shall introduce the University of Copenhagen and brief us on tomorrow's field trip,
● Session 7 that will focus on the grand challenges of globalization for higher education and explore implications for the SYLFF network,
● Session 8 that will consider a SYLFF network-wide self-study, and finally
● Session 9 during which we will take a brief look ahead
Isamu and I shall now jointly update you on SYLFF programs and activities.
<Slide #2> Overall Schema of the SYLFF Program
This schema, which is familiar to most of you, is included in the 20th anniversary publication to give newcomers to SYLFF an overview of the program. It is an attempt to visualize the:
● Inter-connectedness of the various stakeholders in the SYLFF Program − the donor of endowments − The Nippon Foundation; endowment program administrator, and planner and funding source of follow-up programs and activities − The Tokyo Foundation − and its International Advisory Committee; the managers of SYLFF endowments and administrators of SYLFF fellowship programs − the 69 SYLFF-endowed universities and consortia; and the world-wide SYLFF Fellows Council and 24 SYLFF institution-based associations of SYLFF fellows.
● Follow-up programs and activities which support collaboration among the SYLFF stakeholders.
Now it's Isamu's turn to begin discussion of SYLFF follow-up programs. Note, however, that we will not be covering the SYLFF Fellows Council and Fellows Mobility Program as these will be covered during Sessions 4 and 5.
<Slide #3> SYLFF Network Program (SNP)
Isamu Maruyama: The SYLFF Network Program (SNP) is intended to facilitate SYLFF fellows' networking and collaboration. The SNP consists of two parts. One is a program to provide support to institution-based SYLFF fellows' associations. The other part is the SYLFF Fellows Council. The Council works with the Scholarship Division in promoting local associations and world-wide network of SYLFF fellows.
As of now 24 institution-based associations of SYLFF fellows (we call them "local associations") have been established and supported under the SNP, comprising: 9 in Europe, 5 in Asia, 3 in North America, 3 in Latin America, 2 in Africa, and 2 in Oceania. The list of these associations are included in your meeting file, under index "Session 3", pages 2 and 3.
Under the SNP, each local association is eligible to receive an annual support from the Scholarship Division for up to 3 years. The amount of support is USD1,000 for the first year, up to USD2,000 for the second year, and up to USD3,000 for the third year.
In addition to the three-year support, the Scholarship Division had decided to award "minimum maintenance" grants to local associations that have completed three years of activities under the SNP. The amount of each annual grant is up to $500 and will be provided to local associations upon application. Also, it will be possible to renew this maintenance grant annually. The minimum maintenance grants are intended to sustain local associations' main functions as facilitators and hubs of SYLFF fellows' networking.
<Slide #4> SYLFF Regional Forums
The first SYLFF Regional Forums were convened in 2003 and are convened every other year. This year in 2007 we are organizing the third round of Regional Forums in three regions.
● North/South America Regional Forum, June 11-15, to be hosted by The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University (U.S.). As you all know, Fletcher received the first SYLFF endowment in 1987.
● Africa/Europe Regional Forum, June 24-28, to be hosted by Ruhr University Bochum (Germany).
● Asia/Pacific Regional Forum, November 19-23, to be hosted by Jadavpur University (India).
The Scholarship Division has already called for nominations of two fellows from each SYLFF institution in the North/South America and Africa/Europe regions.
The call for nominations for the Asia/Pacific Regional Forum will be sent out to SYLFF institutions in the region at the end of March.
The theme of these regional forums is "Human Rights and Creative Leadership".
The program of a regional forum includes a keynote speeches by one of the SYLFF Prize recipients, a training workshop to be led by the SYLFF Fellows Council − the workshop is to encourage local SYLFF fellows associations and promote SYLFF fellows' networking − , oral and poster presentations by participants on the theme, as well as community service program or study tours, depending on what is available at each site.
<Slide #5> Joint Initiatives Program (JIP)
The main features of this program are as follows;
● JIP is intended for a team consisting of at least two team leaders who are graduated SYLFF fellows; the majority of team members including team leaders must be graduated SYLFF fellows
● JIP supports team projects in two categories: research and social action.
● The amount of JIP award is either $5,000, 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 depending upon JIP teams' proposed budgets
JIP was launched in 2005 and the first program year, 2006-07, is still on-going. Allow me to share basic information about the current program year.
● 25 applications were received.
● JIP selection was conducted in two stages. (1) All proposals were reviewed and ranked by five experts in various fields. A member of the SYLFF Fellows Council joined in this review as ex-officio. Proposals were short-listed. (2) The 12 short-listed proposals were reviewed by the International Advisory Committee (IAC) of the Scholarship Division.
<Slide #6> Six (6) teams were selected for funding. This slide shows the areas of research or social action. On the right is the number of joint research and social action projects.
<Slide #7> Also, selection for the next program year 2007-08 has just been completed by the International Advisory Committee. Fifteen (15) applications were received. After the first review process, 10 short-listed proposals were put forward to the IAC for their final review. The outcome of the selection will be announced by the end of February.
I will now turn the floor over to Ellen.
<Slide #8> Program Development Award (PDA)
Ellen Mashiko: This program is designed to give full-time staff, with or without faculty rank, and with designated responsibility for the proposed activity, the opportunity to initiate and/or activate student exchange programs, at the graduate level, with other SYLFF institutions. The focus on student exchange includes activity such as the development of courses, programs and joint/dual degrees at the master's and doctoral levels within the parameters of the social sciences, humanities and performing arts.
Approximately 10 awards of up to US$10,000 each are annually available to cover the costs of transportation, accommodation and meals. Applications are received and processed on a rolling basis (as recommended by SYLFF administrators during the previous meeting).
As shown on this chart, although the number of applications and awardees is increasing, the numbers are still small. We continue to wonder if one of the reasons for the small number of applicants is that SYLFF institutions have sufficient funding from their own or other sources.
<Slide #9> We've prepared this chart to give you a more concrete idea of the home countries, destinations and length of time spent at another SYLFF institution. I see some members of the audience who have themselves used this program or have direct experience in facilitating the PDA. We'd like to hear from you too during the discussion.
<Slides #10, 11> SYLFF Prize
Yesterday, we heard two of the three SYLFF Prize recipients − Egla and Goran − who received the first SYLFF Prizes in 2004. They were selected from among 19 nominees.
Last year, we put out a call for SYLFF Prize nominees and received 16 nominations. On January 13th, the International Advisory Committee made its selection of SYLFF fellows for the SYLFF Prize in 2007. Much to my regret I am unable to announce the names of the SYLFF fellows that the IAC has put forward as their recommendations which must be formally approved by the foundation.
Let me now turn the floor over to Isamu.
<Slide #12> SYLFF Network Database
Isamu Maruyama: The SYLFF Network Database, which is intended to assist SYLFF fellows with their networking and collaboration through the Internet, is a great resource for fellows.
The main feature of the SYLFF Network Database is its "search-and-find" function by which a registered fellow is able to search for information concerning other registered SYLFF fellows, based upon a number of categories including SYLFF institution, country of residence, academic background and interests, current occupation and professional interests. Among the JIP applications received for 2007-08, there are several cases in which SYLFF fellows found their co-leaders and team members through the Network Database. You will find an interesting article by Yan-Di Chang, SYLFF fellow at Columbia University, about her experience of making use of the database in the most recent issue (No. 17) of The SYLFF Newsletter.
Please help us to develop the database by informing us of the names and contact information of newly selected fellows. Upon receiving new fellows' information, the Scholarship Division sends an ID number and password to each of them so that he/she can access the database and register.
Q: (Jerry Sheehan) Could you give us examples of JIP projects?
A: (Ellen Mashiko) During program year 2006/2007, a team of University of Indonesia fellows conducted a joint social action project which involved waste management in a suburban community. Over the past year they have been working with community members; their mid-year report indicates that the project is a success. They engaged community members in recycling, re-using and selling waste. The community environment has improved and community members are being taught how they can sustain waste management (beyond the period of JIP).
Q: (Jerry Sheehan) What about examples of research projects (under JIP)?
A: (Ellen Mashiko) In program year 2006/2007 a team is researching how people prepare for disasters. Field work is being conducted at several sites; the team plans on writing an article to be submitted to a relevant journal. Another team's project is examining Common History, Different Narratives: Survival Strategies of Latvia, Poland and Czech Republic Inhabitants in the Stalinist Period.
Q: (David Newman) Would it be possible to think of programs to bring students from tension areas together as mentioned yesterday (during Session 2)? This would be very appropriate for my own region (Israel, Palestine)?
A: (Ellen Mashiko) The existing SYLFF Fellows Mobility Program (FMP) is one possibility as are the regional forums. The PDA can also be used to launch new initiatives and for partner SYLFF institutions to seek and obtain funding from other sources.
A: (Wayne Patterson) Let me share the experience of Howard University. The SYLFF network, in fact, a meeting like this one, was the launch pad for a project involving the U.S. and The Netherlands; we sought and obtained sizeable funding from the US Department of Education and EU. Another example is a program between the University of Sao Paulo and Howard University (and which involves two other non-SYLFF universities) that provides opportunities for minority students enrolled in our institutions to study at our partner institutions again with large funding from sources other than SYLFF. This project was another initiative that began at a program administrators' meeting such as this one.
A: (Joyashree Roy) Adding to what Wayne has said, we've discovered that there is considerable interest among Howard students to do India-specific studies. We are trying to provide mentor support to those wanting to do research in India. They come to our university for a month. Howard pays the costs, including transportation, living expenses, accommodation and local expenses, and mentor support. What is their gain? Look at the SYLFF newsletters, in each a SYLFF visiting fellow writes what they learned from spending time at Jadavpur University. This exchange was launched with the help of PDA grants.
I'd like to make some suggestions. It might encourage more participation if we could add one or two things. For example, at my university, when I talk to my finance administrator, he asks how financial management is done by other universities. This is not a typical student development program, but in the end it will benefit students. Also, it would be helpful to learn how the whole selection process is carried out. Through student exchange programs we are all finding that we share many things but we do not know how to go about credit transfer. Therefore, more administrative information − by talking to persons in all layers of university administration − will also be helpful. It would also be beneficial if fellows associations are involved in the discussion of student exchange programs under PDA, so that the associations may be able to give their input from the students' (beneficiaries') perspectives.
Q: (Ersin Onulduran): Is there a long-term strategy to increase the number of universities and countries in the SYLFF network?
A: (Ellen Mashiko) The Scholarship Division's International Advisory Committee is in the midst of preparing a strategic plan; there is no magic number; we know that there are gaps in our "map". We will share information with you when it becomes available. Yesterday, Mr. Sasakawa said in his speech that we should focus on building collaboration but this does not necessarily exclude the establishment of new endowments.
Q: (Carlos Azzoni) There are all sorts of needs for knowing other members in the SYLFF family. Perhaps we should set aside time to share best practices and for universities to meet about possible linkages. I have learned a lot during this meeting, and by listening to ether colleagues over the years.
Q: (Ersin Onulduran) Have increases to existing endowments been considered so that SYLFF fellowships remain meaningful?
A: (Ellen Mashiko) Yes, supplementing existing endowments has been discussed.
Q: (Geoffrey Kamau) About the Joint Initiatives Program, what are the guidelines for administering this program at the local level? How this could be done at local level? I found students who abused the program. There must be proper guidelines as to how money is distributed at the local level.
A: (Ellen Mashiko) I believe you are referring to the Joint Research/Exchange Program (JREX) which has been terminated. Under JREX, we did have a case of irregularity. JREX was designed for currently enrolled students; JIP focuses on graduated fellows. Since JIP applicants/recipients are no longer enrolled in SYLFF institutions, they cannot be treated as students.
Q: (Joyashree Roy) One more question regarding JIP. Fellows would like to engage in good research projects, but they need to build into their budget compensation for their time to conduct research. We need to find a mechanism to allow them to do this.
A: (Ellen Mashiko) The first year of JIP will end March 31, 2007; the second year will begin on April 1, 2007. Like all other SYLFF follow-up programs, JIP will be assessed and the outcomes will be shared with everyone.
Q: (Mohd Amin Jalaludin) It is good to have SYLFF exchange programs to send possible future leaders abroad. Surely all universities have their own ways of doing credit transfers so it will be useful to share this information.
A: (Ellen Mashiko) The session on the SYLFF Fellows Mobility Program may address the issue of credit transfer. We can also provide links to the many existing databases that relate to credit transfer.