Lancaster strengthens links with Japan

Nagasaki at night

Lancaster University has signed a ‘’Memorandum of Agreement’ with Nagasaki University in Japan.

Initially brought together by shared research in environmental science, the partnership is now exploring other areas of potential collaboration such as social sciences and medicine.

Lancaster University’s Environment Centre is home to one of the largest groups of environmental scientists working together anywhere in the world while Nagasaki is one of the few Japanese Universities with a trans-disciplinary Environment Centre bringing together natural and social sciences.

Established in May 1949 as a National University, today Nagasaki comprises of eight faculties or schools, six Graduate Schools, two Research Institutes and various affiliated facilities with around 10,000 students and 2,894 faculty and staff. Nagasaki has particular strengths in Peace Studies and also Medicine, where Nagasaki leads the study of radiation-induced diseases. The country is a world leader in fundamental scientific research, having produced twenty-two Nobel laureates in either physics, chemistry or medicineand three Fields medalists.

The two universities hope to explore closer working from staff exchange programmes and joint research applications to student summer schools and dual or joint degree agreements at masters level.

Lancaster University Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark E. Smith said: “Lancaster University is a research-intensive UK top ten University, gold-rated for our teaching excellence. We are a thriving global community of researchers and teachers with a strong international ethos and we very much welcome Nagasaki University into that community and look forward to the benefits of shared working for our researchers and students.

Kimihiro Yamashita, Nagasaki University Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, said: “In Nagasaki University, we share common aims with LEC in solving global environmental problem and training our students as environmental professionals in a transdisciplinary environment for the benefit of global society. Looking ahead we envision a very productive bilateral interaction with Lancaster University.”

Dr Gabriela Toledo-Ortiz, a lecturer in plant science at the Lancaster Environment Centre, has been instrumental in setting up the partnership together with Professor Kirk Semple, Lancaster Environment Centre’s Director of International Engagement, both of whom met the Vice-President and his senior management team of Nagasaki University in a recent visit to Japan.

Dr Toledo-Ortiz said: “Japan boasts the third highest number of scientists, technicians, and engineers per capita in the world and its scientists and engineers have contributed to the advancement of agricultural sciences, electronics, industrial robotics, optics, chemicals, semiconductors, life sciences and various fields of engineering.

“Our vision at Lancaster is to work across disciplines, and societal and national boundaries, to address the major environmental challenges facing the world.

“We are very pleased to strengthen our links with our colleagues in Japan and look forward to working together in future.”

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