University of Leicester and Japanese University in new agreement

Posted by pt91 at Nov 28, 2016 10:51 AM |
Link between Kanazawa Institute of Technology and Leicester paves way for staff and student exchanges and new academic programmes

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 28 November 2016

Photographs from the partnership signing are available to download here:

The University of Leicester has forged a new partnership with a leading Japanese university.

A delegation from the Kanazawa Institute of Technology (KIT) has signed an agreement with Leicester, paving the way for the two institutions to work more closely together.

Following a visit from University of Leicester President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle to the technology-focussed institution, opportunities have now opened up for staff and student exchanges as well as academic collaboration.

Professor Boyle said: “The signing of the MOU cements a relationship between the two institutions that has been running for a number of years. Students from KIT have visited the University’s English Language Teaching Unit and the School of Engineering as part of a European tour organised by KIT for the last three years.  Having visited KIT and seeing for myself the excellence of the facilities and programmes on offer, I am delighted to sign this MOU which will bring our institutions closer together and afford new international opportunities to our staff and students.

“Like Leicester, KIT is committed to international excellence and making an impact on the global stage. UK education is high quality, it is world renowned and it is an export. Following the Brexit decision, it is more important than ever to develop stronger links across the world and our ambition is to continue to forge more top level partnerships and collaborations.”

President Satoshi Osawa, from KIT, said: “The Kanazawa Institute of Technology places great emphasis on the development of internationalization under its new president Satoshi Osawa.  As part of this focus we believe that much can be learnt from the format of degree programmes and educational research methodology used in the UK.  Such co-creative education is relevant to people, industry and culture across the world.

“It was, therefore, a significant step for us that we have concluded an agreement with the University of Leicester which is widely  recognised for its teaching and research excellence. We look forward to actively promoting interaction at student, staff and faculty level.”

The MOU follows visits by Phil Horspool, Director of the English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) to Kanazawa as well as by Professor Boyle.  During a return visit by a delegation from KIT to Leicester, led by President Satoshi Osawa, the team had meetings with the ELTU, the School of Business, Engineering, Chemistry, Geography and seeing teams in Astrobiology and Space Instrumentation as well as visiting university accommodation.

KIT’s President has an aim of offering 50% of KIT modules by 2020 through the medium of English. Conversations centred on how the University of Leicester’s ELTU could help KIT deliver this commitment as well as involving their students in Leicester’s summer school English programmes and collaborating with student and staff exchange with academic departments.  It is also hoped that Leicester will be able to send some students to Kanazawa as part of a student exchange programme.

Phil Horspool said:  “This agreement offers fantastic opportunities for the two institutions to work together over the coming years on a variety of projects.  The ELTU is committed to helping this collaboration through involving KIT students on our summer school programmes, particularly Engineering and with teacher training in English Medium Instruction (EMI) for KIT academic staff.  We are delighted that after so much hard work from both sides a Memorandum of Understanding could be signed between President Satoshi Osawa and President and Vice-Chancellor Paul Boyle.”

The two institutions have been in contact for a number of years through Dr Sigmund Wagner-Tsukamoto, from the School of Business, and Professor Okabe from KIT.

Dr Tsukamoto added: “Talks have progressed very well about exchanging research staff in the various units which the delegation visited. The KIT guests confirmed that they were very impressed by educational aspects of their programme at the ELTU and the campus tour.

“Conversations about student exchange progressed well too, especially involving the ELTU; Japanese classes with the School of Modern Languages and various other departments.”



For interviews contact:

Philip Horspool

Director of English Language Teaching Unit


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