Date of activity: March 4, 2015
The signing ceremony for a Memorandum of Strategic Partnership Engagement between the University of Tokyo and the Australian National University was held when Professor Ian Young AO (Vice-Chancellor and the President of the Australian National University), Dr Erik Lithander (Pro Vice-Chancellor International & Outreach), and Professor Veronica L. Taylor (Dean of ANU College of Asia and the Pacific) were in Tokyo for the IARU Presidents’ Meeting.
The Australian National University (ANU) is located in the Australian capital of Canberra, and as one of the world’s leading research universities, its outstanding and diverse research has received global recognition. The areas of research include not only maths and sciences-related fields, but also those related to Asia-Pacific regional studies, humanities, and the social sciences.
On the other hand, as another institution in the Asia-Pacific region, the University of Tokyo (UTokyo) has continuously been advancing global-level academics and research as a leading institution ever since its establishment.
The two institutions signed a university-wide academic exchange agreement in March 2009 and a memorandum for exchange among undergraduate students in July 2013. Since then, there have been abundant academic and research exchanges in fields such as geophysics, earth science-related areas, Asia-Pacific studies, public policy, humanities, and social sciences.
In order to strengthen friendships and relations with neighboring countries in the Indian Ocean and the Asia-Pacific region, the Australian government developed the New Colombo Plan. Through this initiative, many Australian undergraduate students have already begun studying abroad in other countries of the region, including Japan. However, we believe that this Strategic Partnership will allow further advancement of exchanges between ANU and UTokyo.
To date, taking into account each of our strengths, energetic academic exchanges are taking place between our universities in fields of science such as earth science, meteorology, and oceanography.
In recent years, the field of collaboration and exchange has widened into other areas such as Asian and Pacific region studies as well as public policy. With this, UTokyo has great expectations that both universities will continue working together, from a university-wide research and academic aspect, towards establishing this mutually beneficial Strategic Partnership.
As part of the Top Global University Project, UTokyo formed a core team composed of the Atmosphere and Oceanic Research Institute, the Earthquake Research Institute, the Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate School of Public Policy coordinated by the university’s central administration bureau, to promote the Strategic Partnership programs. Their projects have high potential to develop long-term exchanges with ANU; we not only encourage these institutions, graduate schools and college to continue their already existing projects, but also widen the scope of projects and take on new strategic initiatives at the university-wide level.
Furthermore, the past few years have witnessed frequent exchanges at the executive level (presidents and vice presidents) between the two universities. There has been much discussion on the future of the relationship and we are happy to say that the time is finally ripe to sign a Strategic Partnership Engagement.