Date of activity: March 4, 2015
The signing ceremony for a Strategic Partnership between the University of Tokyo and the University of Cambridge was held when Sir Leszek Borysiewicz (Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cambridge) and Dr. Jennifer Barnes (Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International Strategy) were in Tokyo for the IARU Presidents’ Meeting.
The history of friendship between the University of Cambridge, one of the oldest academic institutions in the world which has constantly been one of the world’s leading universities as a well-respected research and teaching institution, and the University of Tokyo (UTokyo), Japan’s leading university which has consistently developed top-level academics and research ever since its establishment, goes back a long way.
As UTokyo’s President Junichi Hamada recounted in his speech at the signing ceremony, the 10th President of the University of Tokyo (Tokyo Imperial University at that time), Dairoku Kikuchi, is the very first Japanese to have graduated from St. John’s College of the University of Cambridge in the late 19th Century. It can be said that he is the one who sowed the seed which has resulted in the two universities coming together to form this mutually positive, special Strategic Partnership based on education and research that has collaborative, cutting-edge research as its foundation.
By realizing this special partnership between the University of Cambridge and the University of Tokyo, the universities are aware, in today’s progressively globalizing society, of our responsibility of finding solutions together to issues such as ethnic conflicts, growing economic disparity, and global warming.
The two universities have had a flourishing relationship in various fields of academia and research thus far. Recent areas of cooperation include computer science, joint research in areas related to Big Data, exchanges between students of the Pharmaceutical Sciences and Engineering departments, mutual exchanges between faculty and students of Clare Hall and the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST), and much more.
As part of the Top Global University Project, UTokyo formed a core team composed of the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, RCAST and the Graduate School of Engineering and coordinated by the university’s central administration bureau, to promote the Strategic Partnerships programs. Their projects have high potential to develop long-term exchanges with the University of Cambridge; we not only encourage them to continue their already existing projects, but also diversify the scope of projects and take on new strategic initiatives at the inter-departmental, university-wide level as well.
This Strategic Partnership is a large-scale project which, for it to progress, requires combined effort of the administration, departments, academic and administrative staff, and the students of both universities.