Delegation travels to Japan, India to develop partnerships

By Kate O’Neill 

Kavli IPMU Deputy Director Tomoyoshi Haruyam, The University of Tokyo Executive Director and Vice President Hiroaki Aihara, Assistant Vice Provost of Global Engagement Becky George, Kavli IPMU Director Hitoshi Murayama, Chancellor George Blumenthal, and Associate Chancellor Ashish Sahni (Credit: Kavli IPMU)
The UC Santa Cruz delegation met with the Kavli IPMU leaders in August in 2018.

In August, Chancellor George Blumenthal, accompanied by Associate Chancellor Ashish Sahni, and Assistant Vice Provost of Global Engagement Becky George, traveled to Japan and India to meet with leadership at several universities, research institutes, and government agencies to explore opportunities for development of new partnerships supporting student mobility, teaching, and research at UC Santa Cruz.

The delegation met with leaders at several top universities in the Tokyo and Kansai regions of Japan, including the University of Tokyo, the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Sophia University, Rikkyo University, Ritsumeikan University, and Kyoto University. The meetings provided opportunities for the delegation to share about the teaching and research at UC Santa Cruz and to learn about the academic programs and research at the Japanese universities. Dialogue focused on opportunities for developing student exchange and deepening faculty collaborations that, in many cases, already exist with several of these universities.

In addition to university meetings, the delegation visited the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) based at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, and the Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (IPMU) based at the University of Tokyo. UC Santa Cruz has close ties to Kavli IPMU and to ELSI. Assistant Professor Alex Leauthaud and Associate Researcher Kevin Bundy, both in Astronomy and Astrophysics, held positions at Kavli IPMU prior to joining UC Santa Cruz. Francis Nimmo, professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and Doug Lin, professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, collaborate with ELSI faculty on research initiatives. At the meetings, discussions between the institutions emphasized expanding the opportunities for research collaborations to facilitate increased mobility of faculty, researchers, and students for mutual benefit.

Chancellor Blumenthal and Associate Chancellor Sahni continued onto India to attend the International Career and College Counseling Conference. While in New Dehli, Chancellor Blumenthal and Associate Vice Chancellor Sahni met with leadership from the Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi (IITD) and Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology – Delhi (IIIT-Dehli). The meetings provided an opportunity to discuss possible future collaborations.

Since the delegation’s trip in August, the Division of Global Engagement has continued conversations with the institutions in Japan and India and expects to finalize several student exchange agreements with new Japanese university partners soon which will launch in 2020.

The Division of Global Engagement provides support for UC Santa Cruz international partnership endeavors, including the development of agreements. Interested faculty, departments or divisions are welcome to contact to initiate partnership development with universities abroad.

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