University Summit in Kyushu 2007
Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, 27-28 October
Session 2 : The University as a Resource for Prosperous Local Communities

Prof. Dr. Takashi OKAYASU
Faculty of Agriculture, Kyshu University


Education and research activity utilizing local resources of
environment and agriculture: a case study in Kyushu University


A university would be a resource if it produces a new knowledge and technology that can be utilized by a society. And if it has a good connection to a local community where the university belongs, the value will be increased in the area.

Itoshima Peninsula where the new campus of Kyushu University is located, was occupied by mostly agricultural lands but now is rapidly urbanizing because of the increase of local population. The communities, farmers and the government expect a leading role of the university to make a proper development of the local area. In particular, the Faculty of Agriculture has a potential value for serving as practical adviser. On the other hand, in terms of educational view point, Itoshima area may give a good chance of practical training of university students.

A team organized by young researches of the Faculty of Agriculture planned new projects that will promote both education in university and local activities of community utilizing local resources of environment and agriculture. The team made a baseline survey of the area and held a forum open to the community. Through these activities the researchers of Kyushu University came to realize various problems and expectations of farmers to them. As a next step of the project they are now planning an educational program aiming to establish (1) a sense of food-agriculture-environment, (2) capacity of formulation and solution of problems concerning rural development, and (3) communication
and management abilities and leadership through group trainings.

In this presentation, as a case study of the potential value of local resource and the university, the project conducted by the Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University is shown and discusses revitalization of the local community.