Skill builder

Temple University, Japan Campus helps organizations keep their staff on top of the game

One thing that the pandemic has made abundantly clear is that businesses and other organizations need to adapt nimbly to change. Over the past two years, countless individuals and teams have had to pick up new skills to help their companies successfully pivot and realize new business plans. 

But for people on the job, fitting this training in while working can be a challenge. Luckily, the Continuing Education program at Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) under­stands that challenge and has a long history of supporting local individuals and organizations by providing language and communica­tion skills training, avenues for personal explora­tion and professional develop­ment opportunities in areas such as project management, digital marketing and more.

With a history in the country that goes back more than 40 years, TUJ is the oldest and largest foreign university in Japan. Along with offering full-time under­graduate and graduate programs, since 1996 TUJ’s Conti­nuing Education Program has helped working professionals connect with like-minded individuals and learn a wide range of subjects. 


“It’s really about developing the mindset of solving problems when you encounter new situations.”

As Dr. Justin Sanders, director of Continuing Education at TUJ, explained, this learning envi­ron­ment has proven to be even more necessary in the wake of the new normal. “Covid really high­lighted the need for organiza­tions to have staff members who are flexible and nimble and agile, and can make adjustments to new and complex situations,” he said. “That’s really hard to train for on the job, but that’s actually the kind of thing that happens in the classroom all the time. It’s not just about receiving the content and saying, ‘OK, now I know how to run ads on Facebook, or now I know what some effective negotiation tactics are.’ It’s really about developing the mindset of solving problems when you encounter new situations, and building the path­ways in your brain to effectively deal with these new scenarios.”

Over its long history in Japan, TUJ has developed strong ties with the business commu­nity, through its vast network of alumni and the many organi­za­tions it provides training programs for, including major Canadian companies and many Canadian professionals working in Japan. Its courses offer an excellent combi­na­tion of professional development, language training and the opportu­nity to follow personal interests. Moreover, being able to meet English-speaking professionals and Japanese bilinguals who attend TUJ’s courses and work­shops is an unrivaled chance to build one’s network. 

Sanders pointed out that TUJ has two approaches when it comes to offering continuing education for organizations. One is to allow them to choose from the hundreds of courses and work­shops at TUJ, which can be adjusted according to the organization’s needs and delivered in-person, virtually or using a blended model. This is often a cost-effective solution for organiza­tions that can’t afford to build their own programs from scratch. 

The other is more purposeful and targeted, and involves a thorough consultation that considers the specific contextual needs of the organization, and the individuals doing the training. This allows TUJ to custom design a training program that will help achieve that organization’s needs. The programs are also designed to generate the same kind of diversity of student input that can be expected from the general courses and workshops. 


But TUJ is also available to help businesses in even more ways. One of them is to harness the university’s many years of experience in Japan to help advise businesses that are in the country—or planning to open an office here—on matters related to intercultural communication and operating successfully in the country. The other lies at the core of TUJ’s Continuing Education program, and ultimately gives organizations the ability to implement their own leadership and development strategies: “We’re experts in training. We can be a partner in helping you develop your own training programs, because we have this deep expertise. We can take what we’ve done over the last 25 years, and start to help others do it more effectively.”

Sanders says that he welcomes any questions from interested Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Japan members who would like to find ways to help their organizations boost staff development, or individuals who want to build their skills: “I really encourage any of the members—if they have a need, or some­thing that they would like to do, I’m very happy to serve in a consultative, connecting role.”  

Tel: 03-5441-9864


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