27 Aug 2015

External Peer Review Completed

A distinguished panel of international experts met at OIST on July 27, 28, 29 to review progress at the Graduate University. The charge of the panel was to assess whether OIST Graduate University, which began in November 2011, has established, with high quality, all the facets needed to achieve its primary goals, which are to become a world-class education and research university capable also of generating sustainable development for Okinawa.

Dr Akito Arima, Vice Chair of the OIST Board of Governors (BOG), proposed an External Peer Review of OIST at the BOG meeting in October 2014. The BOG subsequently set up an international panel of highly experienced university researchers and managers. The panel members were:

  • Prof. Olaf Kübler (Chair)
    • Former President, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich
    • Former President Director, Society in Science: The Branco Weiss Fellowship, Zürich, Switzerland
  • Prof. Haim Harari
    • Former President, Weizmann Institute of Science
    • Professor Emeritus, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Prof. Karl Deisseroth
    • D. H. Chen Professor, Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and of Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University
    • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Prof. Mitiko Go
    • Former President, Ochanomizu University
    • External Executive Director, Research Organization of Information and Systems
    • Professor Emeritus, Ochanomizu University
  • Prof. Maki Kawai
    • Special Advisor to the President, RIKEN, Japan
    • Professor, Department of Advanced Materials Science, The University of Tokyo
  • Prof. Erwin Neher
    • Former Director, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
    • Professor Emeritus, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
    • Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine 1991

The Panel carried out their task very diligently including a great amount of preparatory reading prior to arriving at OIST. This allowed them to concentrate their time at OIST in meetings with faculty, students, senior managers, researchers and staff from all parts of the University.

In evaluating the University, the Panel cited eight key measures of excellence and concluded: “The Panel is happy to state that progress across all key measures of excellence has been outstanding.”

The Panel’s primary recommendation is:“The Panel endorses the general plan of growth suggested by the management of OIST, aiming at a goal of approximately 100 outstanding research groups, with a proper balance among different fields of research, and a graduate school of a few hundred students, one decade from now, by the mid 2020’s”.

The closing sentence from their executive summary was, “Conducting this evaluation was for the Panel members a rewarding exertion, and indeed inspirational as well.”

OIST thanks the panel members for their judgment and dedication in preparing this important validation of the progress made at the Graduate University.

The summary and body of the 2015 External Peer Review Report is now final and available as a public document on the OIST Publications & Reports page.

By Neil Calder


For press inquiries, please contact media@oist.jp.

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