News Archive
Dec 26, 2016 - Peace Boat's Special Global University Programme August 2016
Programme Coordinator Ami Terachi (left) and the students after the departure from Yokohama.
The third Special Global University Programme on "Re-Defining Security: Is Common Human Security Possible in Asia?" took place as part of Peace Boat's 92nd Global Voyage between August 15 - August 29, 2016.

Launched in 2014, Peace Boat's Special Global University Programme is an intensive peace education programme that gathers students and young professionals from across Asia to discuss a range of global issues that includes peace, human rights, and the environment. This year, 12 students explored the concepts of human security using concrete examples from Asia, such as migration issues, pandemics, conflicts, natural disasters, and poverty.

Students came from five countries, namely China, Japan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. As a positive outcome of Peace Boat's efforts to strengthen strategic partnerships with universities across the region, Peace Boat received five students each from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies (TUFS) and Kyunghee University (South Korea). Both universities accredited the studentsf participation in the Global University Programme.

Students engaging in the Future Scenario Workshop.
Two navigators led the seminars onboard: Kim Kyungmook (Professor, Waseda University, Japan) and Oshidari Kenro (Former United Nations World Food Programme [WFP] Regional Director for Asia). In the seminars, the two navigators combined various creative teaching methodologies, emphasising the importance of considering the perspectives of "those affected," and "those in the field." Thus, in one seminar for instance, each student was assigned the role as an NGO worker, staff at an international organization, and government representative, and negotiated the crisis management plan. In another, students worked in groups to come up with headlines for news reports for the next 30 years.

Various guest lecturers were invited to complement the workshops: atomic-bomb survivors shared their experience of surviving the bombs and the long-term effects they have suffered through; Takahashi Kazuo discussed with the students the current conflicts in the Middle East; Ishikawa Kiyoshi provided his perspective on what it means to work on poverty issues, using his experience in Southeast Asia as a case. Lynda-Ann Blanchard of the University of Sydney also supported students' learning by providing key theories and concepts as necessary. Students enjoyed and benefited from the kind of exercises rarely experienced in formal school settings.

Learning about the traditional culture of Ami, one of the indigenous groups of Taiwan.
In three ports of call - Tokyo, Keelung (Taiwan), and Singapore - students took part in exposure programmes and further deepened their understanding of the issues. In Tokyo, students visited the district where many day labourers and homeless people are based, and learned about certain structures that make poverty and economic disparity less visible in society. In Keelung, they visited an indigenous community and learned about how urbanisation has impacted their life and how they preserve their traditional cultures and ways of living. In Singapore, students visited a local NGO to understand the issues affecting migrant workers. Students interacted with migrant workers as well as members of an organization supporting them. They also visited the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), an intergovernmental organization, to hear about interregional approach towards sustainable development.

Presentation in front of the 1,000 passengers onboard
In addition to the seminars and exposure programmes, students also engaged in what was called an Onboard Challenge. Students split into groups to propose action plans so that the ship environment is more conducive to diversity. Each group applied the perspectives they learned throughout the programme to come up with concrete proposals which can bring about small but concrete and positive change to peoplefs experiences onboard. Students also learned various practical skills, such as communication skills and presentation skills. The navigators guided the students to be able to implement the great ideas they have.

Workshop on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Asiaa-Europe Foundation (ASEF) in Singapore
Throughout the programme, students could be witnessed becoming increasing aware of their potential. After participating in the programme, one student said, "I was thinking it was almost impossible to prevent acts of terrorism, since they are closely related to one's belief. But I now think there definitely are ways to tackle them for instance through education, communication, legal measures and so forth." Another said: "something [I know for] sure is that now I have some friends who are also struggling and will be struggling with their own fighting [to make the world a better place]. This makes me feel I am not alone." Whatever path they choose to pursue in the future, Peace Boat hopes that this experience has given them the confidence to affect real change in the world.

Please read more in the Programme Report (also available in Japanese here).

Watch the video made by Seung Jee Choe, one of the participants of the programme..

Documents for download
Peace Boat 92nd Special GU Asia Programme Report