On 6 January of this year, Mizutori Mami, Executive Director of the Sainsbury Institute and Professor Osano Shigetoshi, Dean of the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology and also of the Faculty of Letters of The University of Tokyo signed an agreement on academic exchanges between the two organizations. The signing ceremony took place at the Hongo Campus of the University of Tokyo with Dr Simon Kaner, Head of the Centre for Archaeology and Heritage present from the Institute.
Since its establishment, expanding and deepening our ties with Japanese higher education institutions has always been regarded as a top priority issue for the Sainsbury Institute. This most recent agreement forged with the University of Tokyo, which is regarded as the most important university in Japan in terms of both research and educational activities, can be perceived as a clear recognition in the Japanese academia of the Sainsbury Institute as a centre of excellence for the study of Japanese arts and cultures in Europe.
This agreement will enable us to carry out exchange of academic staff and researchers as well as students. In the consultation process which preceded the signing of the agreement, we decided that the best way to start implementing our agreement would be with the exchange of students in the area of archaeology and heritage studies, which are disciplines at the core of the research interests of the Sainsbury Institute. To this end, on the same day, and again between the two heads of the organizations, a Memorandum on student exchanges was also signed.
We are now starting to prepare for the exchange of five students from Europe and the United States to spend two weeks in Japan at the Tokyo University as well as their research laboratory on archaeological studies in Tokoro, Hokkaido. These five students will be selected from a pool of students who will apply to an open call to participate in this program. We have already carried out a pilot project last year which was highly popular attracting around 60 applications for only five places. Reports on this program can be viewed from here:
In addition to students going to Japan, from next fiscal year the Sainsbury Institute will welcome five students from the Tokyo University to a course designed to familiarise them on how archaeology and heritage studies is studied and researched in the UK and Europe.
The Sainsbury Institute is delighted to kick start the year with such an important achievement. We are confident that this will be another prosperous and productive year for the Institute.