Session 8. SYLFF Program Self-Study Proposal: Consideration of a network-wide self-study
January 19, (Friday) 4:00 pm 〜 4:50 pm
David Leyton-Brown (convenor) began by commenting that most participants will know about self-study; it is either good, or tedious and a waste of time. Self-study is the most important part of evaluation; it is not an investigation to see that you have met defined standards. It is about making things better. Any program, even the best can be improved.
There are three key elements in any self-study:
(a) Analysis, rather than description. Self-study is not just describing what is done (the number of fellows, etc. which is needed), but to analyze and reflect on the outcomes. It is the thinking about the data that is important; it is the study of the data. If you answer questions mechanically, it is not a useful study; it is the implications of the answers that are important.
(b) Participatory. Self-study must not be something you, as program administrator, send off. It involves all the members of a steering committee, all the fellows, or whatever. It involves interaction, reflection, and interaction.
(c) Objectives. You begin with overall goals such as described in the SYLFF vision and mission. Each of you has a particularly defined set of values. You will have particular goals yourselves. You begin by considering what you want to accomplish, and then examine how well you have achieved these objectives.
These are the kinds of questions you must consider.
: (refer to Appendix 8-1) Do we need self-study? Yes, and soon. After 20 years, SYLFF is an adult and has not undergone a systematic, network-wide review. The strategy is how to make the SYLFF Program better; the SYLFF vision translates into the enhancement of human security, its mission to nurture and network leaders. The goals are accountability, information sharing and transparency, continuous improvement and best practices, and optimization of strategy and programs.
The self-study approach is practitioner-focused by the key stakeholders: the foundation, SYLFF institutions, and SYLFF fellows. Questions such as the following should be addressed:
(a) Foundation. Has the endowment fund effectively used? What are the best portfolio investments? What is the right balance of investments?
(b) Academic institutions. What are the best practices vis-a-vis selection, support, and graduate education with respect to social responsibility? What about the core of the SYLFF Program, the key contact person(s) and the SYLFF Steering Committees?
(c) SYLFF fellows. How to enhance leadership and development of SYLFF fellows? What about the products and processes of the SNP, FMP, JIP, regional forums and NAPSA development? What role has the SYLFF Fellows Council played?
Emphasize the strength that distinguishes SYLFF from other similar programs, and reinforce the fact that SYLFF is a multi-faceted program with a wide variety of institutions. Use a self-study approach towards the three groups of stakeholders. Focus on key questions to develop a matrix that shows how the core and follow-up programs relate to each other. Evaluation of financial management will perhaps be the most challenging with all the different rules and regulations.
Suggestions on process;
(a) Appoint a steering committee for the self-study with, representation from The Tokyo Foundation, SYLFF Steering Committees and SFC
(b) Incorporate existing SYLFF reports and data
(c) Utilize electronic and Web-based tools wherever feasible
(d) Allow adequate time to develop self-study documents, including pilot testing and the development of meaningful performance measures
(e) Ask the self-study steering committee to assist in drafting the summary report on self-study and recommendations in cooperation with the Scholarship Division
(f) Use future regional forums and SPAMs to discuss the outcome of the self-study, including program scope, quality and impact.
(g) Communicate self-study outcomes to advocate for further development and leveraging of SYLFF programs
: (refer to Appendix 8-2) If there is no communication, life is uncertain and hence there is no development. We know the donor and program administrator, and about the administration of funds. But what about the students? What are the correct bonds for an effective scholarship network?
He then went on to pose a series of questions regarding guidelines for how funds are dispatched and fellows selected, the number of fellowship recipients per year, and the FMP vis-à-vis the fellowship program. Other questions, regarding how each SYLFF-endowed institution administers the fund when there are so many students seeking and needing financial assistance, were also put forward.
The most important feature of the proposed self-study will be the feedback to the donor, back through the foundation to the donor. The local administrators, the entire university/institution structure and hierarchy needs to be considered. We must frequently review the guidelines. A questions that is frequently asked is, why are students in the life, basic and applied sciences not included? Should master's or Ph.D. students be supported?
: (see Appendix 8-3) Ellen thanked the convenor and the two presenters for their inputs, which covered much of what she had planned to address. This is not an investigation, she stressed, in which there are rights and wrongs. Based on the today's inputs, the Scholarship Division will reconsider and rework its self-study proposal.
There are certain matters, however, that are non-negotiable. One case in point is the focus on the social sciences, humanities and the performing arts, a matter decided by the founder of the SYLFF Program. Other fields are important, but are not part of the SYLFF Program.
The Scholarship Division recognizes that 69 institutions and consortia will have different rules and practices. The intent is to engage you and your colleagues in reflecting upon, and analyzing the real core of the SYLFF Program, i.e. the management of the SYLFF fund and administration of the fellowship program which falls within the purview of the respective SYLFF Steering Committees.
She then went on to explain page 2 of the 3-page handout that was included in all participants' meeting files. The handout was prepared as a proposal for a network-wide self-study. Participants were encouraged to read and review it, and to put forward any questions.
Q: (Nigel Long) I will need to go through my university's ethics committee before committing to the self-study.
Session 9. Wrap-up session
January 19 (Friday) 4:50 pm 〜 5:00 pm
: It is also time to look to the future. The International Advisory Committee (IAC) met just before this conference and had a full agenda, including the consideration of plans for the next decade, which is easier to handle than 20 years.
If you were to ask, how can something global be developed when there are only 45 countries involved. We would need to invite a few new members but how to select them? You could ask, where is Russia, Ukraine, Iran, and Cuba? Yes, we do want to expand the SYLFF network and maintain the current momentum. The foundation has been in constant evolution under Ellen's excellent leadership. We must also go further in exploring information technology, and into areas of tension but we must at all times maintain the quality of the SYLFF Program.
Where does quality begin? Basic guidelines are in excellent hands. We must increase the [Scholarship Division] staff since they are extraordinarily overworked. The staff are a major factor in enhancing the program in the next decade. The IAC's ideas will be incorporated in a plan to be submitted to the Nippon and Tokyo Foundations in a few months.
There have been many references to the Fulbright Program. All programs want to select the best and the brightest but no program has the kind of follow-up programs that the SYLFF Program has. None of the other scholarship programs provide opportunities to practice leadership. SYLFF allows administrators to take active part in the program.
Finally, she quoted the 20th anniversary message by Mr. Sasakawa, "The future of SYLFF lies on our shoulders. I look forward to watching the continued growth of this network as it generates ever more positive change in the world." This says it all.
: The 18 page-long summary of the questionnaire you completed related to the globalization of higher education and its implications for the SYLFF network will be "cleaned up" and included in the proceedings of the meeting. Convenors and presenters' slides will also be incorporated into the proceedings.
The Scholarship Division continues to try as best as possible to share information and feedback with all SYLFF Program stakeholders. If you feel that we are not doing a good job of it, please let us know. If we do not hear from you, we will assume that all is well.
She ended by thanking all of the convenors, presenters and participants.
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The farewell dinner was held at the State Museum of Art. Hedwig Thomsen and Eriko Ishikawa served as mistresses of ceremonies for the program which included a toast by Ersin Onulduran, follow-up report by Leo Garcia on the voluntary donation by 2005 SPAM participants in Manila to the GK777 project, and thank you speech by Ellen Mashiko during which she read the following poem written by IAC member M.K Tadjudin:
It is time to reclaim ourselves
So collectively we can reclaim our power of love and change.
It is time for all of us,
Women and girls, men and boys who love us,
And whom we love,
To subvert the patriarch in our minds,
In our homes,
In our churches, our temples, and our mosques,
In our workplaces, in all our institutions,
In our country, in our world,
And become one family, brothers and sisters