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2018 Japan - France Symposium in Higher Education(December 7)

On December 7, 2018, the Japan Association of National Universities (JANU) held the "2018 Japan - France Symposium in Higher Education" jointly with the French Conference of Presidents of Universities (CPU) and the Conference of Deans of French Schools of Engineering (CDEFI).

This symposium is a project held reciprocally every 2 years under the relationship of these 3 university associations, and it was held in Japan (Maison franco-japonais, Tokyo) as one of the "160th Anniversary of Franco-Japanese Relations Memorial Projects" this year. Under the main theme of "The universities' roles and internationalization in the regional development", a discussion was held with the participation of over 60 Japanese and French university presidents and other senior university officials.

At the symposium, after the opening remarks, keynote speeches on the topic of university reform in Japan and France were made respectively by Jean-Luc Nahel, Advisor for International Affairs, CPU, and by Kyosuke Nagata, Vice President of JANU and President of University of Tsukuba. After that, opinions were exchanged including on the status of cooperation and integration of universities in the regions. In the following session, presentations were made respectively based on the Japanese and French concerning the roles of universities from the points of view of "Regional Revitalization" and "Regional Internationalization". Lively discussions were ensued about common challenges and future prospects.

Between sessions, Jean-Christophe Auffray, the Counsellor for Science and Technology, Embassy of France in Tokyo, provided an explanation of initiatives for the "Japan-France Joint Committee on Cooperation in Science and Technology (COMIX 2019)". Finally, closing remarks were made and a successful symposium brought to a close.

After the symposium, JANU, CPU and CDEFI held a follow-up meeting at which, as well as reviewing the symposium, a broad range of opinions were exchanged concerning future cooperation including the next symposium (planned to be held in France in 2020).

In the evening, a reception was hosted by the French ambassador to Japan at the French ambassador's residence, and it provided an opportunity to deepen friendship among Japanese and French university officials in a friendly atmosphere.

From here on, we expect that there will be further lively academic exchanges between Japan and France, and JANU will cooperate with French university associations, etc., and we will promote efforts for an expansion in exchanges between the two sides.




Opening remarks by Kyosuke Nagata,
Vice President of JANU
(President of University of Tsukuba)


Jean-Luc Nahel,
Advisor for International Affairs,
CPU, giving a keynote speech.


Jocelyne Brendle,
Vice President of the International &
Development Commission of CDEF, commenting on a session


Jean-Christophe Auffray,
Scientific Counsellor, the French Embassy
in Japan, making a presentation


Symposium venue


Session discussion


Symposium participants' group photo



Follow-up meeting


Follow-up meeting attendees'
commemorative photo


Laurent Pic, the French Ambassador to Japan,
giving a message of greeting at the reception



Koetsu Yamazaki, President of Kanazawa
University, giving a message of
greeting as representative of
the Japanese side


Reception at the French ambassador's residence