As a part of the studytour, students have to participate in an education programme too. This programme starts 5 weeks before the start of the trip on August 27 and lasts till a couple of months after the trip (half of February). Within these weeks the students have to do a macro-, meso- and micro study. Students will get insight how Japan works on a national level and they will further zoom in towards a case study. On the trip itself students will make a visit reports of the excursions.


The study tour will be supported by the following lectures:

  • A workshop on Japanese culture and business etiquette given by Hisami Kimura (organised by Studium Generale)
  • Introduction to macro and meso study: Why do a macro and/or meso study and which tools to use? by Veronica Junjan.
  • Professor Andre Dorée on his experiences with the civil engineering sector, specifically the procurement of large projects, in the Netherlands and Japan.
  • Lisa Gommer on her experiences with the Japanese educational system.
  • APPM will give a guest lecture about the rise of electric vehicles and transition to these vehicles in Japan and the Netherlands
  • Wagemaker will give a business case about contract management with respect to the recently opened N18 motorway
  • More will follow…


The participants start with a macro study on Japan. The macro study will be done with the help of the PESTLE-analysis. This method is one of several methods to perform a macro study. PESTLE stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Enviromental. 6 groups containing 4 students will each analyse one of the letters The final result will be a report and a presentation. The conclusions of each group will be combined to make a total conclusion.


Parallel to the macro study, students will perform a meso study. During the MESO study groups of 4 students (the same as the ones from the Macro Study) each will assess the innovation and competitiveness in a Civil Engineering sector in Japan using either a SWOT analysis or the Porters Diamond framework. Therewith, the study will focus on the following research question:

What is the innovation drive and competitiveness in the industry in question in Japan?

So, 6 groups containing 4 students will do this and these groups are the same ones from the macro study. The final result will be a report and a presentation.

The six different groups will each focus on a different Civil Engineering sector, being:

  • Construction of buildings (Hans Boes)
  • Construction of roads and railways (Seirgei Miller)
  • Water collection, treatment and supply (Marcela Brugnach)
  • Construction of utility projects & construction of other civil engineering projects (Léon olde Scholtenhuis)
  • Architectural and engineering activities and related technical consultancy (Robin de Graaf)
  • Urban and suburban passenger land transport (John Pritchard)


Lastly, all students will conduct an in-depth micro research to a topic related to the central theme of the study tour, “Civil Engineering in advanced urbanisation”. Within the central theme, there are seven subthemes with their respective supervisor:

  • Coastal protection and flood safety (Koen Reef)
  • Earthquake protection (Gerrit Snellink)
  • Public transport in high density cities (John Pritchard)
  • Construction in high density cities (Hans Boes)
  • Urban water management (Marcela Brugnach)
  • Transport between cities (John Pritchard)
  • Gateways (harbours/airports) (Koen Reef)

The micro study is based on preliminary findings and data gathered during the study tour (mostly excursions). The participants will write a preliminary paper, a visit report and a final paper about their research. There will also be several presentations.


Each study will be assessed. The following distribution will be applied:

  • Macro- and meso study report/paper – 30% (group)
  • Preliminary paper micro study – 30% (group)
  • Visit report(s) – 10% (individual)
  • Final paper micro study – 20% (group)
  • Presentation final result micro study – 10% (group)