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11 Feb 2009 Japan-UK Higher Education Symposium 

Date: 12-13/02/2009
Co-organizer: British Council

Event Title:
Japan-UK Higher Education Symposium

Japan-UK Higher Education Symposium

On 11-13 February, the first Japan-UK Higher Education Symposium was held, cosponsored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the British Council.

Venued in London, the event celebrated the 150th anniversary of Anglo-Japanese exchange. Aimed at promoting ever-closer partnership between the UK and Japan, the symposium was attended by presidents and chancellors of 16 Japanese and 18 British universities. Including representatives of science-promotion agencies from both countries, altogether about 90 people participated.
The symposium focused on three themes: Contribution of Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) to regional development, Developing approproate curricula for the workplace of the 21st century, and Internationalization of research. Each was examined and discussed in the working sessions.

In the plenary session, Dr. Tsutomu Kimura, president, National Institution for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation (NIAD-UE), delivered a keynote adress on the theme "Japanese Challenges for Higher Education Reform in Recent Years." In it, he spoke about how Japan is emulating the British model in carrying out its process of university reform and introduced the Japanese government's 300,000 International Studens Plan and other initiatives to open the country more widely to the world.
On the British side, Prof. David Eastwood, chief executive, Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), spoke on the subject "Higher Education's Contribution to Knowledge Economy," introducing related programs initiated by the UK givernment and bugetary measures to support them.

In response to the various issues addressed in the sessions, the participants engaged in active discussions that shined clearer light on points of overlap and difference between the higher education systems of the two countries.
The representatives of the Japanese and British universities decided to continue this dialogue toward the implementation of tangible forms on inter-collegiate exchange.

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