Updated in November, 2019
On October 10, the first Sakura Science Club (SSC) Alumni Meeting in Malaysia was held at Park Royal Kuala Lumpur’s Orchid Grand Ballroom with a turnout of 95 club members, guests and press. After welcome speeches by Mr. Okimura Kazuki (JST Principal Fellow and founder of Sakura Science Plan exchange program) and Ambassador of Japan to Malaysia H.E. Dr. Makio Miyagawa, Mr. Mohammad Sanusi bin Abdul Karim (Undersecretary of the International Relations Division Ministry of Education) and Mr. Mohd Azlan Bin Idris (Senior Assistant Secretary International Division Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change) gave congratulatory remarks.
Following the greetings, 11 regional SSC coordinators Mr. Arif Zulfadli Bin Nain, Ms. Mok Kar Mun, Ms. Nur Diyan Mohd Ridzuan, Dr. Che Azurahanim Che Abdullah, Dr. Lau Woei Jye, Ms. Mornizawati Binti Abdullah, Dr. Gan Hong Seng, Mr. Muhamad Haziq Bin Shahrom Ravin Daram, Ms. Nur Arina Binti Johari, Dr. Nurzal Effiyana Binti Ghazali, and Ms. Nur Shakila Binti Muzammir, were introduced on stage for future alumni activities in Malaysia.
Next, selected members made presentations on how Sakura Science affected their endeavors: Ms. Norzela Nordin (Graduate Student, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris), Mr. Arif Zulfadli Bin Nain (Engineer, Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd), Ms. Mok Kar Mun (Analytical Scientist, Biocon Sdn Bhd), Ms. Nur Diyan Mohd Ridzuan (Graduate Student, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS), and Dr. Hong-Seng Gan (Researcher, Universiti Kuala Lumpur).
After the presentations, members enjoyed some time for re-uniting and meeting new friends. One member said that “the next meeting could feature some poster sessions to showcase achievements of SSP participants,” while another suggested “to establish a task force to promote active participation among alumni through social media platforms.”
Updated in May, 2019
On March 21, the first SSC Alumni Meeting in Vietnam was held at Lotte Hotel Hanoi with a turnout of 95 club members and 26 guests. After welcome speeches by the founder of Sakura Science Plan (SSP), Mr. Kazuki Okimura (JST Principal Fellow), and Ambassador of Japan to Vietnam H.E. Mr. Kunio Umeda, Mr. Pham Chi Cuong (Ministry of Education and Training: Deputy Director of International Relations Dept.) and Ms. Le Thi Viet Lam (MOST-Deputy Director of International Relations Dept.) had delivered congratulatory remarks on how Sakura Science is impacting lives of Vietnamese youths.
After 9 Vietnam Alumni Association coordinators were introduced, Dr. Nghiem Vu Khai (Member of National Assembly, Vice President of the Vietnam Union of Science and Technology Associations) toasted to the success of Sakura Science. After a light meal, three speakers representing the Alumni in Vietnam had made their presentations on how SSP influenced their lives and research.
In the latter part of the gathering, professors from Osaka University, Nagasaki University, Ritsumeikan University and Yamaguchi University introduced highlights about their institutions. Ms. Yoshiko Okada, Chief Representative of JASSO Vietnam Office, supplemented basic facts about studying in Japan.
From our survey conducted right after the meeting, approximately 93% of respondents (teachers, undergraduate/graduate students, researchers and others) replied that they were satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the meeting because it fulfilled their wish “to meet other SSP participants” and “to learn more about studying in Japan.” Out of 72 respondents, 38 replied that they already had a specific Japanese university in mind. Individual members suggested “setting up a group through social networks so that members can exchange information,” “writing proposals together with young scientists to look for joint Japanese-Vietnam funding,” and “to conduct an offline meeting for SSC Vietnam as soon as possible to make annual plans.”
This meeting could not have materialized without tremendous support from all the team members, particularly the Embassy of Japan in Vietnam. Once again, the Secretariat would like to extend our deep thanks to all supporters and members of Sakura Science Club in Vietnam. We are One!
Updated in April, 2019
On February 21, 2019, the first Sakura Science Club Alumni Meeting was held at Renuka City Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka. 68 members managed to participate in the meeting co-hosted by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). After welcome speeches by Mr. Kazuki Okimura (Principal Fellow, JST) and Prof. Ananda Jayawardane (Director General, National Science Foundation), H.E. Mr. Akira Sugiyama (Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka) and Mrs. Noor Rizna Anees (Director General, Department of Development Finance, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media) greeted the audience with congratulatory remarks. Also, Ms. Ai Maeda from the Embassy of Japan introduced some basic facts about studying in Japan.
During a casual and lively cocktail lunch, four members had delivered their presentations on how Sakura Science had impacted their research and life. To note, five alumni coordinators have been selected on this day to voluntarily support future activities of the SSC Sri Lanka Alumni Association.
In the web-survey conducted right after the event, most people answered that they were very much satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the Alumni Meeting despite limited time. Other than reuniting with other SSC members, more than 70% replied that the main reason for attending was because they wanted to learn more about studying in Japan. More than two dozen of participants had specific Japanese universities in mind.
To improve future alumni meetings, our team would like to reflect all the valuable input directed to us through the survey. Once again, we thank all organizers and members in Sri Lanka for your warm cooperation which led this meeting to success! It was so nice to see all of you reuniting again!