Japanese Princess completes year of study at University of Leicester

Posted by ap507 at Sep 18, 2015 04:45 PM |
Her Imperial Highness Princess Mako of Akishino completes year of taught Master’s degree in Museum Studies at University of Leicester

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 18 September 2015

Contact pressoffice@le.ac.uk to request images.

You can watch, download and embed a video showing Princess Mako and an interview with her dissertation tutor Professor Simon Knell available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhnzZvWuOAk

The University of Leicester is celebrating the achievement of a Japanese Princess who has successfully completed all her classes and handed in her final coursework in the School of Museum Studies. She now returns to Japan to await her final results before graduation in January 2016.

Her Imperial Highness Princess Mako of Akishino is a member of the Japanese Imperial Family. She is the eldest daughter of Their Imperial Highnesses Prince and Princess of Akishino and the first-born granddaughter of Their Majesties Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

She has been studying at the University of Leicester since September 2014 during which time she has lived amongst other students in the University’s Halls of Residence and undertaken an intensive and varied course of study in the School of Museum Studies.  As part of her degree programme Princess Mako has also completed a placement at Coventry Museums and collections-based research at New Walk Museum in Leicester.

Speaking at a press opportunity marking the end of her year of taught Master’s degree, Princess Mako said in Japanese that "her time at the University of Leicester had been ‘a wonderful experience'."

During her MA in Art Museum and Gallery Studies, Princess Mako has had to engage critically and creatively with wide ranging ideas and issues to develop both philosophical approaches and the practical methods and skills necessary for her chosen discipline. She has received training in collections care and management, studied the social roles and responsibilities of museums and galleries, built an exhibition with students from around the world and worked hard to develop new approaches to audience engagement with art.

President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester Professor Paul Boyle, who has recently returned from a visit to Japan, said: “Leicester’s School of Museum Studies is world-renowned and is among the highest ranked research departments in the UK.  We are delighted that Princess Mako chose to study with us and trust that she had a wonderful time in Leicester. We will be proud to count her among our alumni and hope that she will continue to engage with our University in the future.”

Head of the School of Museum Studies Dr Suzanne Macleod said: “We have a strong connection to the cultural profession in Japan with many students graduating from our School to take up posts in museums and galleries there and so it felt very natural that Mako should come and follow her interests with us. She has been a pleasure to teach, has worked incredibly hard and should be very proud of her achievements.’’

Princess Mako will graduate from the University in January 2016 when the University holds its postgraduate degree ceremonies.



  • Please note: The Japanese Imperial Household invited media to attend a press celebration event at the University’s School of Museum Studies to mark the completion of classes in the year-long MA in Art Museum and Gallery Studies. Her Imperial Highness Princess Mako of Akishino will graduate at the University of Leicester degree ceremony in January 2016.  Details of the course are available here: http://www2.le.ac.uk/study/postgrad/taught-campus/museumstudies/gallery

For raw video footage contact Carl Vivian, Video Producer at: cav2@le.ac.uk

About the School of Museum Studies

The University of Leicester's School of Museum Studies has the highest proportion of world-leading rated research in any subject in any UK university (RAE 2008). In its 50 year history, the School of Museum Studies – the only school in the country solely devoted to the study of museums and galleries – has played an influential role in the reinvention of museum theory and practice.

The School has made a significant and sustained contribution to the international cultural sector and the field of museum studies through:

  • Training creative and critical professionals who have transformed organisations and professional practice throughout the world
  • Producing original, rigorous and internationally influential research
  • Working collaboratively on a range of pioneering initiatives

About the University of Leicester

The University of Leicester is a leading UK University committed to international excellence through the creation of world changing research and high quality, inspirational teaching. Leicester is consistently one of the most socially inclusive of the UK’s leading universities with a long-standing commitment to providing fairer and equal access to higher education.

Our Standing

Leicester is ranked in the top one per-cent of universities in the world by the QS World University Rankings and THE World University Rankings.

More information: http://www2.le.ac.uk/about

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