緊急ニュース新型コロナウイルス感染症に関する対応について(5月8日以降の本校の対応含む)

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豊田工業高等専門学校 第11代校長(2022年4月1日就任)工学博士 山田陽滋

 高等専門学校は、昭和38年に創設されて今年で60周年を迎えました。そのときどきで時代に先んじ、目指す技術者教育の目標も進化させてきました。今日、「中高一貫」制度に始まり、「小中連携」や「高大連携」等、従来のいわゆる「学校」の種類の枠組みを超えた教育システムの取り組みが活発化する中で、もともと高校から大学2年までが合体した形で生まれた高等専門学校は、ますます注目を浴びる存在になっています。高専は大学と同じ高等教育機関であり、通常の高校のように学習指導要領はもっていません。これは、専門の学芸を教授する教育機関として、「研究」すなわち答えの未だ見つかっていない課題を教育に取り込む技術者専門教育機関であることにほかなりません。制度上も、平成6年度創設された本科卒業後2年の進学課程である専攻科を加えれば、まさに「高大一貫」の教育。これを既に長年行ってきていることになるのです。

 この歴史の中で造り上げられた基盤の上に立つ豊田工業高等専門学校も、いよいよ来年の令和5年、60周年を迎えるまでになっています。その特徴は一言で言えば、自主性と国際性を備えた学生の実践教育です。豊田高専の学生には、地域社会の課題にまっすぐに対峙し、技術をもってこれを解決できるように、地域住民と協力して彼らの問題意識に真摯に耳を傾け、共感力を養いながら実践的に問題に取り組む経験が与えられます。また、豊田高専は様々な国への留学を可能にするAFS日本協会やYFU日本国際交流財団、さらに海外の複数の大学との学術交流協定を締結しています。学生には留学機会や国外学生との遠隔交流の場が与えられ、語学力だけでなく、異文化や自分と異なる考えを受容して相互の問題の共有やそれらを解決すべく努力を行うチャンスが多様に提供されています。以上のような環境下で、地域社会密着型のそれぞれの課題について、解決できるまで取り組むのは学生たち一人ひとりであり、彼らには自ずと高い自主性が要求されます。また、留学体験者は毎年40人超、5学年の1000人の学生の中で延べ200人超が留学を経験しています。

 昨今は、オリンピックで十代の若者が金メダルを取ることに驚かなくなりました。高校1年生の年齢から専門的に工学技術を学びたいという思いで高専に入学してくる学生たちも、彼ら若い選手たちと同じマインドを持ち、早くから高い目標、すなわち一流のものづくりエンジニアを目指すメンタリティをもっています。だからこそ、社会に出てからも、即戦力として期待に応えられる存在になるのです。ROBOCONは高専を代表する有名なイベントであり、いまやこれに類する高専生向けのイベントがDCON(Deep Learning Contest)をはじめメジャーなものだけでも全部で7コンテストが毎年のように開催されています。豊田高専の学生たちもこれらに果敢に挑戦し数多く受賞をしています。しかも、これらですら彼らのアウトプットの一部に過ぎません。キャンパスでは日常的に、学生たちの奮闘する様子が見聞きできます。特に私は夕方が好きです。彼らが互いの挑戦を称え合い成功を喜ぶ情熱的な歓喜、あるいは失敗をも笑いで一蹴できるエネルギッシュな叫びが校舎に響き渡っているからです。それは、誰かに命じられて体を動かしているものでは決してなく、学生一人ひとりが自分で進む道を決めて主体的に取り組んでいる結果現れてくる光景であって、実に頼もしく映ります。

 今後は、昨今の文明の急激な発展の代償として、大規模災害や世界的な感染症拡大、社会の少子高齢化やインターネットがもたらす人々の社会的孤立など、ますます問題が複雑化、グローバル化することでしょう。実践教育の一貫として社会的な課題に取り組むトレーニングを積み、国際性も身に付けながらそれぞれの技術に磨きをかけている豊田高専の学生は、将来、これらのグローバルな環境問題や社会問題に率先して飛び込んでいってくれると私たち教職員は強く信じて彼らをそれぞれの道に送り出しています。豊田高専生は本科を卒業後、およそ5割(令和3年度実績52%)が全国有数の大学に進学し、残る5割が大企業を中心に就職していきます。卒業生も、就職先企業における評判は上々ですし、大学に進学して、そのまま大学や高専の教員になった先輩も少なくありません。高潔な志をもち、社会に役立ちたいと日々努力している小中学校の生徒さん、やがてぜひ豊田高専の門戸を叩いてください。そして、保護者の方々、企業の方々におかれましては、ぜひこれからも彼らの活躍に注目していただきたく思います。

 The College of Technology was founded in Showa 38 and celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. At that time, we were ahead of the curve and evolved the goals of engineering education that we are aiming for. Today, as educational system initiatives that go beyond the framework of conventional so-called “schools” such as “integrated junior high and high school” systems are gaining momentum, such as “elementary and junior high school collaboration” and “high school-university collaboration,” technical colleges, which were originally created by combining high school to the second year of university, are attracting more and more attention. Technical colleges are higher education institutions like universities, and do not have a course of study like ordinary high schools. As an educational institution that teaches specialized arts, it is none other than an educational institution specializing in engineering that incorporates “research,” that is, issues for which answers have not yet been found, into education. In terms of the system, if you add the major course, which is a two-year preparatory course after graduating from the main course established in Heisei 6, it is truly a “high school-university integrated education”. We’ve been doing this for years.

 Toyota National College of Technology, which stands on the foundation built over this history, will finally celebrate its 60th anniversary in Reiwa 5 next year. Its characteristic is, in a word, practical education of students with autonomy and internationality. Students at Toyota National College of Technology are given the experience of working with local residents to sincerely listen to their awareness of the issues and develop empathy while practically tackling them so that they can directly confront the issues of the local community and solve them with technology. In addition, Toyota National College of Technology has concluded academic exchange agreements with the AFS Japan Association, the YFU Japan International Exchange Foundation, and several overseas universities, which enable students to study abroad in various countries. Students are given the opportunity to study abroad and interact remotely with international students, and are provided with not only language skills but also various opportunities to accept different cultures and different ideas and share mutual problems and strive to solve them. In the above environment, it is up to each student to work on each community-based issue until they can solve it, and they are naturally required to have a high degree of autonomy. In addition, more than 40 students study abroad every year, and more than 200 out of 1,000 students in five years have studied abroad.

 These days, I’m no longer surprised that teens win gold medals at the Olympics. Students who enter technical colleges with the desire to specialize in engineering technology from the age of their first year of high school have the same mindset as these young athletes and have the mentality to aim for a high goal, that is, to become a first-class manufacturing engineer, from an early stage. That is why, even after entering the workforce, you will be able to meet expectations as an immediate force. ROBOCON is a famous event that represents technical colleges, and now a total of 7 contests are held every year, including DCON (Deep Learning Contest) for similar technical college students. Students of Toyota National College of Technology have also boldly taken on these challenges and received many awards. And even these are just part of their output. On campus, you can see and hear students struggling on a daily basis. Especially I like the evening. The passionate joy of celebrating each other’s challenges and celebrating successes, or the energetic cries of laughter and dismissing failures, echoes through the school building. It is not something that is ordered to move the body by someone, but a scene that appears as a result of each student deciding their own path and working on it proactively, and it seems very reliable.

 In the future, as a compensation for the rapid development of civilization in recent years, problems such as large-scale disasters, the global spread of infectious diseases, the declining birthrate and aging population of society, and the social isolation of people brought about by the Internet will become increasingly complex and globalized. We, the faculty and staff, strongly believe that the students of Toyota National College of Technology, who have been trained to tackle social issues as part of their practical education and are refining their skills while acquiring an international mindset, will take the initiative in tackling these global environmental and social problems in the future, and we send them out to their respective paths. After graduating from the main course, about 50% of Toyota National College of Technology students (52% of the results in the third year of Reiwa) go on to one of the leading universities in Japan, and the remaining 50% go on to find employment, mainly at large companies. Graduates also have a good reputation in the companies where they work, and there are many seniors who went on to university and went on to become teachers at universities and technical colleges. To elementary and junior high school students who have noble aspirations and are striving every day to be useful to society, please knock on the door of Toyota National College of Technology. I would also like parents and companies to continue to pay attention to their activities.

 

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