UK-Japan Higher Education Forum held on December 8, 2022
On December 8, 2022, the Japan Association of National Universities, in collaboration with Universities UK, organized the “UK-Japan Higher Education Forum,” an online forum for Vice-Presidents, PVCs, and practitioners from universities in both countries.
Fifty-three participants from 30 universities in Japan and 52 from 31 universities in the UK took part in the Forum, where active discussions were held on the themes of ‘Research policy including research integrity’ and ‘Research collaboration and opportunities.’
In his opening remarks, Dr. USHIKI Tatsuo, Chairperson of the JANU International Exchange Committee (President of Niigata University), expressed his deep appreciation to the participants and speakers. He also reviewed the history of exchanges between the two organizations to date and, in light of the JANU statement on research integrity, expressed his hope that this forum would provide a meaningful opportunity to foster a common understanding of the issues.
In Session 1, Professor SASAKI Takahiko, Associate Executive Vice President (for Research Integrity), Tohoku University, gave a presentation entitled ‘Initiatives of Tohoku University to ensure research integrity’, in which he explained the efforts being made to develop a system to ensure research integrity at Tohoku University. The UK universities are also currently required to take similar measures, and questions were raised by UK universities, indicating a high level of interest.
Professor Eric Brunner, Professor of Social and Biological Epidemiology, Institute of Epidemiology & Health, University College London (UCL), also presented the Osaka University-UCL collaboration’s achievements in the field of prevention, treatment, and care for dementia, as well as measures for successful collaboration.
In Session 2, Professor FUKUMORI Yoshihiro, Vice Director, Nano Life Science Institute (NanoLSI), Kanazawa University, presented the achievements of cooperation of NanoLSI with researchers and institutions in the UK, which was established under the WPI program, as well as the brain circulation through its unique outreach program.
Professor Konstantinos Kontis, FAIAA, FRAeS, FIMechE, CEng, Mechan Chair of Engineering, Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Dean for Global Engagement – East Asia & China (External Relations), University of Glasgow also presented interdisciplinary collaborations between the UK and Japan were introduced, with examples such as the collaboration between Kyushu University and the University of Glasgow, and the Royal Society and JSPS’s collaboration with the Osaka Institute of Technology.
In addition, as a speaker from the relevant organizations, Mr. HARA Masashi, Director for International Cooperation, International Science and Technology Affairs Division, Science and Technology Policy Bureau, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, explained the overall picture of science and technology innovation collaboration between Japan and the UK, including the situation of exchange and the support by the MEXT, JSPS, JST, and AMED.
Mr. Matt Knowles, Director of British Council Japan, gave an update on the 10th anniversary of the RENKEI and introduced the current state of mobility in Japan and the UK. He also mentioned that visa issuance in the UK has recovered close to the pre-pandemic level and that the collaboration between the two countries is not large in quantity but is of very high quality.
Ms. Marie-Louise Taylor, Counsellor, Science and Innovation, SIN Office, British Embassy Tokyo, Japan, introduced the initiatives of SIN Japan. She also stated that the quality of exchanges between Japan and the UK is high but that there is room for growth, and introduced a framework for R&D collaboration, including the use of the UK- Japan Joint Committee Meetings.
Breakout discussions were also held in the latter half of each session and during the virtual networking session to deepen the discussions further.
In his closing remarks, Professor IDA Ryuichi, Senior Managing Director of JANU and former President of Shiga University, thanked all the presenters and participants for their contributions. He noted that the Forum enabled sharing of examples of successful and fruitful Japan-UK research cooperation and frameworks of promotional support.
Furthermore, it was stated that we should have the spirit and the vision for international research cooperation based on the long years of experiences between Japan and the UK. He said this Forum would be a turning point to a more efficient, effective, and fruitful international research collaboration between the two countries.
It is expected that international exchange with the UK will become even more active in the future, and JANU, in cooperation with UUK and others, will continue to make efforts to expand exchange.
– Presentation slides by Japanese universities
・Professor SASAKI Takahiko, Associate Executive Vice President (for Research Integrity), Tohoku University
・Professor FUKUMORI Yoshihiro, Vice Director, Nano Life Science Institute (NanoLSI), Kanazawa University