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Winter seminar program for international students held in Kyoto (12-22 January 2016)


The winter seminar program, "Winter Seminar on Human Security Development and Energy Science," took place 12-22 January with the participation of 28 undergraduate students from overseas. It was co-organized by Kyoto University's Graduate School of Energy Science and Human Security Development Educational Unit, and funded by the Project to Enhance the Promotion and Support of Internationalization, which is supported by Kyoto University’s Organization for the Promotion of International Relations, and the ASEAN University Network - Kyoto University Student Mobility Program Toward Human Security Development, which is supported by the Japanese government under the "Re-Inventing Japan Project." The winter seminar offered two transferable credits to its participants, who had been selected from a pool of more than 150 applicants from ASEAN and Korea.


The program included eleven lectures: "Introduction to Human Security Development," "Global Energy Situation," "Energy Efficiency," "Energy Technologies," "History of Keage Hydroelectric Power Plant," "Solar Energy," "Power System Engineering," "Energy and Sustainability," "Wind Energy," "Technologies for Reducing CO2 Emissions," and "Electricity Market and Future Grid." These were delivered by teaching staff variously from the Graduate School of Energy Science, the Institute of Advanced Energy, the Graduate School of Engineering, the Graduate School of Economics, and the Human Security Development Educational Unit.


Participants also took part in field trips to several energy-generation facilities – the Himeji No.2 Power Station (Kansai Electric Power, Co. Ltd.), the Mega Solar Power Plant (Japan Wool Textile, Co. Ltd.), both of which are located in Hyogo Prefecture, and the Keage Hydroelectric Power Plant, Lake Biwa Canal and Keage Incline in Kyoto, -- where the students learned about various aspects of both renewable and non-renewable energy technologies, including the basics, utilization in Japan, and potential social, economic, and technical hurdles to widespread adoption.


Throughout the seminar, the students worked in five groups, engaging in regular discussions and preparing two presentations, both of which were delivered in the latter half of the program. For the presentations, the students were given the task of estimating required capacity for some nation with specific features and considering the most ideal and possible solutions to construct the power generation system by 2030. After the first presentations, the groups were given feedback from the teaching staff and prepared to present their refinements on the final day.


When the time came, each group described contributions of renewable energy systems in addition to non-renewable power stations so as to say "best mix" in the said nation while considering "energy security, " "economic efficiency, " "environment safety, " and "safety" in terms of technological and policy studies.


In addition to these activities, the seminar participants experienced cultural activities in Kyoto and Yawata.


The 28 participants hailing from eight different countries represented diverse fields of study, including engineering, chemistry, biotechnology, development, international relations, political science, environmental studies, communication, economics, and law. The seminar provided them with a valuable opportunity to engage in multinational, multidisciplinary discussions on human security, energy and environment, and other topics of interest.