A series of high level university, business and government meetings were held in Tokyo last week. The meetings were attended by representatives of 19 Australian universities as well as the peak body, Universities Australia, 34 Japanese universities, the Japan Association of National Universities (JANU), the Consortium of Universities in Kyoto, major Japanese companies and representatives of the Australian and Japanese governments.
The program of meetings follows the visit to Australia by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s trip to Japan with a trade delegation which included Universities Australia’s Chief Executive Belinda Robinson.
Those visits set the scene for furthering closer cooperation between the two university peak bodies especially to promote student and staff mobility, collaboration between academics and researchers and removing barriers to joint degree programs.
The discussions with Japanese companies focused on providing Australian and Japanese students with a high quality international study experience that includes an internship or mentoring component.
Representatives of 31 major companies including Rio Tinto, Mitsubishi, NEC, Toyota, Japan Airlines, KPMG, PwC, Kawasaki, Fujitsu and Chiyoda were involved in the discussions.
Speaking after the meetings, Universities Australia Deputy Chief Executive Anne-Marie Lansdown said that Universities Australia and JANU will continue to work towards a Memorandum of Understanding.
“We will continue to work on an agreement to frame future cooperation between universities in Australia and Japan which will look specifically at qualifications recognition, joint degree models and university engagement with business to provide meaningful work experience for students”, Ms Lansdown said.