On Friday, September 29, Ritsumeikan held a press conference at Osaka Ibaraki Campus (OIC) regarding the conclusion of a cooperative agreement with Adobe KK, the Japanese subsidiary of Adobe Inc. ("Adobe").

This agreement is based on a mutual understanding to jointly develop and implement a curriculum necessary to foster human resources who will be responsible for creating new value in order to realize the Ritsumeikan's Academy’s R2030 Vision, which states that Ritsumeikan will become "a next-generation research university that creates new value" and "a university that creates innovation and produces emerging talent.” This venture will combine the diversity of Ritsumeikan, where nearly 50,000 students study, with the cutting-edge technology and creativity of Adobe, a world leader in innovation.

As a first step, Adobe and Ritsumeikan will jointly develop an original program for QULTIVA, Ritsumeikan's program for solving social issues and developing human resources. They will also hold seminars on topics including AI and other leading technologies and social issues, offer courses to develop digital skills, and provide educational materials. This will be an Academy-wide effort. In addition to programs for students at the university level, various opportunities will be provided to affiliated primary, junior high, and senior high school students, faculty, and staff with the goal of helping them acquire the digital skills and AI literacy they will need to thrive in society.

During the press conference, Ritsumeikan mentioned its intention to work with Adobe to become the first school in Japan certified as an Adobe Creative Campus, that is, a university that promotes innovative and creative education using Adobe's digital creative tools like Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Express. By becoming a certified school, Ritsumeikan will be able to exchange information and collaborate with other certified educational institutions around the world as well as share content and best practices with them.

After the press conference, a mock lecture was held using Adobe Firefly, Adobe’s generative AI tool that was officially released in September 2023. A total of 19 students from Ritsumeikan Moriyama High School, the College of Image Arts and Sciences, and the College of Business Administration at Ritsumeikan University participated in the mock lecture, where they were tasked with creating an illustration of themselves 10 years from now using Adobe Express, a design application with Adobe Firefly built in. The students created unique works in a short period of time by making use of the cutting-edge AI technology, and it proved to be an invaluable experience for them, as they were able to greatly expand upon their own ideas and potential for expression with the digital tools. One participating student said, “I had a hard time prompting the AI and giving it instructions to create the exact illustration I had in my mind. Another student commented, “Even if you can’t draw, you can create illustrations intuitively with the AI, so I felt my horizons expanding.”

Comment from Chancellor Yoshio Nakatani

We are very pleased to begin human resource development initiatives in collaboration with Adobe KK.
From the primary school up through the graduate school level, Ritsumeikan has approximately 50,000 students, and we also have international students from over 100 countries and regions. By combining this diverse environment with Adobe’s world-leading innovations in the field of digital creation, we aim to develop a unique program that is unlike any other. On an Academy-wide level, we will nurture digital and creative activities, the ability to think creatively, and the ability to transmit and express ideas to develop human resources who will be able to succeed in the world without the fear of failure.

Comment from Claire Darley, SVP of Digital Media, WW Field Sales & Customer Support, President of Adobe KK

We are very pleased to launch this program with Ritsumeikan to develop human resources who can create new value.
To date, we at Adobe have seen children's abilities blossom through the use of digital creative tools in numerous educational settings. Now, digital tools, which are further evolving due to AI, are unleashing the human imagination and fast becoming our best friends for enhancing our creativity. Going forward, Ritsumeikan will contribute to the development of the next generation of human resources that we envision by leveraging Adobe's global knowledge and expertise.


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