2014 RENKEI annual meeting

On December 18, 2014, Executive Vice President OKAMURA attended the 2014 RENKEI annual meeting held in Liverpool, UK. At this meeting, Osaka University made a joint proposal with universities in the UK regarding two projects:
1. Living in an Aging Society (Leader: GONDO Yasuyuki, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Humanities and Sciences)
2. Renaissance Entrepreneurship in HE for Social Innovation to Develop Future Leaders (Leader: KANEMATSU Yasuo, Professor, Osaka University Office for University-Industry Collaboration)

With approval at the meeting, it was decided that OU would jointly hold workshops and symposiums for nurturing young personnel from 2015 through 2017. Project 1 will be conducted in partnership with The University of Liverpool and University College London (UCL) and Project 2 in partnership with UCL.

RENKEI (Japan-UK Research and Education Network for Knowledge Economy Initiatives) is a partnership for promoting personnel development and social contribution through international industry-university cooperation and was established by 12 universities in England and Japan.

RENKEI Official Website:



University Exchange Agreements with Vietnamese University Signed

Hanoi National University (VNUH) and Osaka University signed a University-to-University Exchange Agreement at the Japan-Vietnam University Project Groundbreaking Ceremony held at  (VNUH) in Vietnam on Saturday, December 20. From Osaka University, Vice President Toshiya HOSHINO and from VNUH, President Phung Xuan Nha, Vice President Nguyen Hoang Hai, and Vice President Nguyen Kim Son attended the signing ceremony honored with the presence of the President of Vietnam Truong Tan Sang and the Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam Vu Duc Dam. In view of the importance of the cooperation between the two universities, it is hoped that mutual exchange in education and research will be further promoted.


Vietnam-Japan 2

2014-15 Osaka University Staff Workshop "Challenges in associated with university globalization"

The workshop for learning basic rules for writing business email in English was held on Thursday, November 20, 2014 and Monday, December 1 with 23 participants attending each day. Following a greeting from the head of the International Affairs Division, under the guidance of YOSHINAKA Masakuni, instructor, ALC Education Inc., participants learned how to write email in English including how to write an inquiry email necessary for day-to-day business. Participants stated that they were pleased with the workshops which provided specific information useful for the situations that arise in their jobs.

Writing Workshop 1

Writing Workshop 2

Japan-UK Education Exchange Workshop sponsored by British Council and Embassy of Japan in the UK

On November 14, 2014, Executive Vice President Yasuyuki OKAMURA attended the Japan-UK Education Exchange Workshop held at The Royal Society, London. This workshop was held under the sponsorship of the British Council and Embassy of Japan in the UK in cooperation with The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. The purpose of the workshop was to follow up on the Japan-UK Conference for Collaboration in Research and Education held at University College London (UCL) in May 2014 and at the same time continue the momentum in the 2nd conference planned in 2015. Attended by university vice presidents and staff in charge of international exchange, the conference was held with the goal of strengthening even more, as a definite strategy, student and faculty exchange between Japanese and English universities.

Vice presidents and faculty staff in charge of international exchange in the two countries: Osaka University and 13 universities from Japan and 13 universities from the UK, discussed concrete measures for further promoting exchange among students and education exchange between the two nations. Regarding challenges to student exchange at the undergraduate level, graduate level, and their solutions, group discussions in 4 groups and a round-table talk were held. Executive Vice President Okamura, together with Prof. Nick Tyler, UCL's Pro-Provost for South and South East Asia, served as a facilitator for Group B (at the graduate level).

Japan-UK Workshop

(From the right) Pro-Provost Nick Tyler and Executive Vice President Okamura

2nd Japan-Mexico University President Conference

Vice President Toshiya HOSHINO attended the 2nd Japan-Mexico University President Conference held at The University of Guanajuato and The Autonomous University of Aguascalientes in Mexico on October 27 and 28. As part of projects to celebrate the "Japan-Mexico Exchange Year" (April 2013 - December 2014), this conference was held in order to strengthen and promote cooperation between universities and senior high schools in both nations.
From Japan, 27 institutes including 24 universities, and from Mexico, 44 universities and some organizations, participated in this event. People related to high education and government organizations and Japanese companies in Mexico participated in the meeting and discussed strengthening cooperation between the universities and industry-university collaboration in the future.
The opening ceremony on October 27 was held with Dr. Meade (Foreign Minister of Mexico), Miguel Marquez (State Governor of Guanajuato), MEGATA Shuichiro (Ambassador to Mexico), MAEKAWA Kihei (Councilor, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) in attendance.
The conference in Aguascalientes City on October 28 was held with Mr. Carlos Lozano de la Torre, Governor of Aguascalientes in attendance. Five panel discussions were held under the themes of innovation, industry-university relationships, cooperation in high education, the development of Japan-Mexico cultural exchange, and nurturing people who can play an active role in the global arena.
Vice President Hoshino attended the session of the "Development of Japan-Mexico cultural exchange" as a member of the panel introducing approaches at Osaka University, embarking as "World Tekijuku". He talked about diversity promoted in Osaka which took a positive stance regarding the assimilation of Mexican and Latin American cultures as shown in the convening of Fiesta Mexicana Osaka 2014. He also pointed out the significance of harmonious diversity that Osaka University aimed for in promoting Japan-Mexico cultural exchange, which the audience responded positively to.
The meeting ended successfully with the joint declaration unanimously approved -- "The role of universities is in science, innovation, and nurturing people who can play an active role in the global arena."

Japan-Mexico 1
Opening ceremony at the University of Guanajuato
Japan-Mexico 2
2nd from the right: Vice President HOSHINO in Panel Discussion
Japan-Mexico 3
From the left: Ambassador MEGATA, Dr. Cabrera, President University of Guanajuato, Vice President HOSHINO

12th Senior Staff Meeting of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU)

The University of Indonesia in Jakarta hosted the 12th Senior Staff Meeting of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities ( APRU ), November 11~13. Senior staff member of APRU, OKAMURA Yasuyuki (OU Executive Vice President) attended this conference with ISHIKAWA Mayumi (Professor, Institute for Academic Initiatives).  Dr. Okamura also took part in the International Policy Advisory Committee (IPAC) prior to the meeting for an exchange of opinions about APRU activities. In the Senior Staff Meeting, he shared information about leadership issues with other members as well as making a presentation about the 19th University Presidents Annual Conference to be held at OU in June 2015.

APRU senior staff meeting 1

photo courtesy of University of Indonesia

APRU senior staff meeting 2

Executive Vice President Okamura delivers his presentation

17th Osaka University- Shanghai Jiao Tong University academic exchange seminar held

The 17th Osaka University-Shanghai Jiao Tong University academic exchange seminar was held from Sunday, November 2 through Tuesday, November 4, 2014. Academic exchange seminars by these two universities have been alternately held since 1995 in accordance with their bilateral academic exchange agreement.
These seminars started with one on welding material engineering. The areas covered by this seminar have expanded to 7 areas: materials, global architecture, information, physics, optics, environmental innovation, and history. This year, a seminar on combustion engineering was newly added and seminars on the 8 fields were held at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 42 people from Osaka University and some 60 from Shanghai Jiao Tong University participated in the seminars. In working sessions, presentations on research results, discussions, opinion exchange, and a tour of facilities were held.
Executive Vice President Okamura visited President Huang Zhen at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Working-level consultations about further promotion of exchange were also conducted. Participants highly appreciated this seminar, saying, "Researchers in different fields from both universities gathered to make presentations on their latest research results and have discussions and information exchange, producing meaningful results. Further development of joint research and student exchange can be expected in the future."

17th seminar

Group photo of a working session

Courtesy Call

Executive Vice President Okamura visits President Huang

20th annual general assembly of Association of East Asian Research Universities (AEARU)

On Friday, October 31, 2014, Executive Vice President OKAMURA attended AEARU's 20th annual general assembly held by Nanjing University, China. He reported on AEARU Student Summer Camp 2014 that was held from August 19 through August 26 at Osaka University and the camp was highly appreciated by Chairperson Chen. Following the general assembly Executive Vice President Okamura exchanged opinions with presidents and vice presidents of the participating universities, sharing their challenges and possibilities.

AEARU meeting 1

Executive Vice President Okamura reports on Camp 2014

President Hirano takes the chair at the University Presidents’ Lunch Meeting in the STS Forum 2014

On October 6, 2014, STS Forum 2014 was held at the Kyoto International Conference Center . After the networking session in which presidents deepened friendships, President Toshio HIRANO and President Dirk van den Berg of Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, co-chaired the University Presidents’ Lunch Meeting. At the meeting, following the greetings from these chairmen, 42 presidents from 21 nations and regions in the world engaged in discussions in groups.

The following four topics were presented for discussion by the chairmen as issues higher education institutes face in the rapid progress of globalization and diversification of the 21st century:

  1. Academic Restructuring Initiatives and University Governance
  2. Mobility and Internationalization in Higher Education
  3. Higher Education’s Role in Enhancing College Access and Affordability
  4. The Necessity of Collaboration to Advance Knowledge and Solve Global Challenges

After lively discussions, representatives of the groups presented the results of their discussions.The lunch meeting was over on a great note with summarizations of the discussions by the chairmen.

STS (Science and Technology in Society) Forum

In order to develop science and technology while balancing its lights and shadows, not only scientists, but also leaders in the world -- politicians, policy makers, economists, and journalists -- gather to exchange opinions regarding science, technology, and society as common issues for all humanity. OMI Koji, former Finance Minister established the STS Forum in 2004 and its annual meetings have been held in October in Kyoto every year since then.

STS Forum 2014-1 STS Forum 2014-2
STS Forum 2014 President Hirano addresses the STS Forum
STS Forum 2014-3

STS Forum 2014-4

Group discussion President van den Berg and President Hirano

University Exchange Agreement signed with King Abdulaziz University

On Wednesday, September 17, 2014, a officials from King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia visited Osaka University. Their visit resulted in the signing of a university-to-university exchange agreement between OU and KAU.

Attended in the ceremony were Yasuyuki OKAMURA (Executive Vice President), Toshiya HOSHINO (Vice President), and Tatsuo ARAI (Professor, Graduate School of Engineering Science) from Osaka University and President Osama S. Tayeb and Vice President Adnan H. Zahed from KAU. The university-to-university exchange agreement was signed in the presence of staff from the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. The ceremony was conducted in a friendly atmosphere and the importance of cooperation between the two universities was recognized. It is hoped that this agreement will promote mutual exchange in research.

Signing Ceremony

Signing Ceremony


President Toshio HIRANO visits San Francisco

From August 29 through August 31, 2014, President Hirano visited San Francisco in order to sign a University-to-University Exchange Agreement with University of California, Berkeley, to participate in the Osaka University International Medical Care Symposium Go Global 3 and to attend the North America Alumni Association get-together in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the founding of the North American Center for Academic Initiatives.

University Exchange Agreement with University of California, Berkeley signed

President Hirano paid a visit to the University of California, Berkeley on Friday, August 29. The visit resulted in the signing of a university exchange agreement with the university.
In attendance were  HIRANO Toshio (President) and OKAMURA Yasuyuki (Executive Vice President), and KABASAWA Satoshi (Director, North American Center for Academic Initiatives) from Osaka University and Nicholas Dirks (President), Ronald Gronsky (Professor), and Steven Vogel (Professor) from University of California, Berkeley.
A ceremony was conducted in a friendly atmosphere and the importance of cooperation between the two universities was recognized. It is hoped that this agreement will promote mutual exchange not only among students, but also among researchers.

International Medical Care Symposium Go Global 3

Go Global Symposium

On Saturday, August 30, the "International Medical Care Symposium Go Global! 3" was held at the hotel Taj Campton Place in San Francisco. This was the first Osaka University International Medical Care Symposium held overseas.
Following greetings from President Hirano and WATANABE Masato (Consul General, Japanese Consulate General in San Francisco) and a keynote speech by HOSHINO Toshiya (Vice President), three faculty members from the Graduate School of Medicine: SAWA Yoshiki (Professor), NAKATA Ken (Professor), and MINAMITANI Kaori (Associate Professor) delivered speeches on the importance of internationalization of medical care and its challenges as well as approaches taken by Osaka University. Furthermore, NAKAMURA Yasuhide (Professor, Graduate School of Humanities and Sciences) talked about his activities for promoting the use of "Maternal and Child Health Handbooks" in the world.
Osaka University set up the Center for Global Health in the University Hospital in April 2013 and the International and Translational Medicine Course in the Graduate School of Medicine in July 2014.
Osaka University's strong determination to address international medical care was shown in the symposium's theme, "Man the oars! Global medical care, New Kanrinmaru."

Event to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the North American Center for Academic Initiatives

Following the symposium, in order to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the North American Center for Academic Initiatives, its former Director KUBOI Ryoichi delivered a lecture. Looking back on its history from the opening ceremony in 2004 until today, participants reaffirmed the value of the center thanks to support of many people in San Francisco and to alumni.

North America Alumni Association get-together

Following the lecture to commemorate the above-mentioned center, a party was held. In addition to President Toshio HIRANO and Executive Vice President OKAMURA, some 70 alumni, center-related people, students, and Osaka University faculty and staff members attended the party. Following President HIRANO's speech, participants presented themselves and had a great time at a quiz contest. The get-together was very productive with participants deepening their friendships.


AEARU Student Summer Camp 2014 held

AEARU Student Summer Camp was held from August 19 through August 26.

To read the full news item on this conference, go here .

APRU 18th Annual Presidents Meeting

On June 24 and June 25,  the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) held their 18th Annual Presidents Meeting at the Australian National University. Osaka University is a member and council member of APRU; thus, President Toshio HIRANO and Trustee & Vice President Yasuyuki OKAMURA attended the meeting. This meeting is held at one of the member universities in turn each year. On June 24, under the theme of "Big Data and The Shape of Things to Come," the meeting was held. Following the meeting, in the Presidents Open Forum, under the title of "From Tekijuku to World Tekijuku," President Hirano talked about the OU's international joint research with APRU member universities. He also talked about the concept of "Creating harmonious diversity through scholarship" behind 'World Tekijuku and introduced the OU's approach to international joint research and exchange among researchers such as international joint labs and the cross-appointment system.

On June 24, ISHIKAWA Mayumi, Professor, Institute for Academic Initiatives, talked about APRU's efforts to enhance female leadership. At the end of the meeting, as the president of the host university of next year's meeting, President Hirano spoke about Osaka and Osaka University. The annual APRU meeting will be held next year at Osaka University on June 28 through 30.

Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) has grown to include 45 university presidents from 16 countries. APRU, founded in 1997, is an association established by university presidents of representative Pacific Rim countries. The aims of this association are to strengthen bilateral cooperation in higher education and, through cooperation and contributions in education and research, to work together on serious problems facing Pacific Rim societies.

President Hirano at APRU meeting

President Hirano

Participants in APRU meeting

Participants in the APRU meeting

Japan-UK Conference 'Collaboration in Research and Education'

On May 1, 2014, President Toshio HIRANO, Trustee & Vice President Yasuyuki OKAMURA, and Vice President Toshiya HOSHINO attended the Japan-UK Conference ‘Collaboration in Research and Education' held at University College London (UCL).

For more information on this conference and to view photos, go here .

The ETH Zürich Big Band concert

A concert by the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH Zürich) Big Band was held on February 19, 2014.
For more information on this conference and to view photos, go here .

JUNBA 2014 Symposium

JUNBA, the Japanese Universities Network in the Bay Area, was established in 2006 and has held symposiums every year. Some major Japanese universities possessing an overseas center in San Francisco, California State University, as well as San Francisco State University participated in the JUNBA2014 on January 9  and January 10. From Osaka University Trustee and Vice president OKAMURA, Vice President ABE, San Francisco Center for Education and Research Director KUBOI and other 11 persons participated in the symposium.
On January 9, Leroy. M. Morishita, President, California State University and Leslie E. Wong, President, San Francisco State University delivered speeches on efforts and challenges in guaranteeing the quality of education in the U.S.
Following the symposium, the Consulate-General of Japan in San Francisco and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science jointly held the Japan-U.S. Learning Exchange Association at which various American and Japanese officials exchanged opinions.

In the morning on January 10, following a poster session by participating universities, NUNOMURA Yukihiko, Director, Higher Education Bureau, The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, delivered a keynote speech. In the afternoon discussions with participation from 13 Japanese universities, Trustee and Vice president OKAMURA talked about efforts ongoing at Osaka University. More than 100 people participated in JUNBA2014 over the two days.


Participants in JUNBA 2014


Trustee and Vice President OKAMURA talks about efforts at Osaka University

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