International Public Policy, Graduate School of Public Policy (Ph.D. in 2021)

Naoko Niimi

I had been interested in the relationship between science, technology, and policy for a long time, and was immediately hooked by the STIG program brochure. This program allows us to learn interactively, in a uniquely interdisciplinary and diverse environment, in classes taught by experts.

In this program, students can freely choose the lectures they would like to take from a wide range of practical topics. The program is open to all graduate students, promoting cross-disciplinary learning. Many classes are taught in English, including the required seminar, and provide plenty of opportunities to work with international classmates. Diverse colleagues make for diverse discussions, which widen our perspective and deepen our knowledge, all while creating connections that will last long past graduation. I was especially engaged by the courses on "Scenario Planning" in no small part thanks to the opportunities for collaboration.

Aside from the students, the professors are no less excellent. Each of them is a leading professional in their respective area and is enthusiastic about teaching. They welcome students from many fields and are always willing to take questions. The field of space policy, for instance, gathers prominent experts, who have contributed to making the University of Tokyo one of the top research institutions in this field. In the lectures on "Space Development and Public Policy" and "Governance of Space Activities", I was able to receive excellent guidance from these renowned professionals and industry leaders.

Finally, there are many interesting opportunities outside of classes. Students have access to a wide variety of events, as well as summer camps and field seminars. As for my experience, I had the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant and participate in one of the STIG studies as a research collaborator.

If you are interested in science policy, or if there is a lecture that interests you, this program presents a unique and valuable opportunity. I give the STIG program my highest recommendation.