Aston recently hosted a visit from a group of Japanese universities who were visiting British universities in order to develop a greater understanding of the UK education system. They also were looking at Aston's initiatives in internationalisation as part of their national drive to develop their own global strategy.
In July 2008, the Japanese government launched a major education initiative which aims to attract 300,000 international students to study in Japan by around 2020. Japanese universities are therefore keen to learn from the UK’s experiences and exchange knowledge and best practice on student recruitment and student experience as well as developing strategic links. The visiting delegation were particularly keen to hear about the provision of services for international students; a major issue for Japanese universities and an area in which UK expertise is acknowledged. The day was also an opportunity for Aston to develop potential new relationships with key Japanese partners.
The visit was initiated by the British Council Japan and Aston was one of only five British institutions selected to host the delegation. The University was selected in part because of our standing in the annual rankings for our excellent graduate employment record and for our highly-praised student support. 15 delegates represented 13 international office staff from Japanese universities and representatives from the Japan Association of National Universities (JANU) and the British Council Japan.
Presentations were delivered by Professor Helen Higson, PVC External Relations, Wendy Yip, Head of the International Office, Angela Edkins, Careers Service, Claire Powrie, Head of Student Support and Paul Alcala, DANU.
In return, Mr Yuichi Oda, Deputy Director, General Affairs Department at JANU delivered a presentation to Aston staff on the '300k International Student Plan'.
Feedback from the delegates was very positive and the presentations certainly stimulated lively discussions afterwards over lunch and dinner.
It is hoped that this visit will be the beginning of more strategic relationships between Aston University and some of these Japanese universities. Aston has identified Japan as one of our key target countries, particularly in developing strategic partnerships for staff and student exchanges and research links. We have a number of staff who visit Japan on a regular basis.
The Japanese visit was arranged by David Tobin in the International Office.
Assistance with future visits, market intelligence on the University’s key countries, list of regional marketing and recruitment responsibilities.
For a copy of Mr Oda’s presentation, contact David Tobin.
Words by David Tobin, International Officer