Kyoto University Opens Overseas Office at Heidelberg University
5. Mai 2014
Opening ceremony with representatives of the Ministry of Education and the Japanese Embassy
Kyoto University, a long-standing partner of Ruperto Carola, has opened an overseas office at Heidelberg University; the purpose of the new office is to foster contacts and cooperation with European universities. The Kyoto University European Center – Heidelberg Office was inaugurated on Saturday, 3 May 2014 in the Old University building. Along with a large delegation from Kyoto, further guests from universities as well as scientific and research funding organisations of both countries attended the event. A representative of the Japanese Embassy in Germany was also present.
Dr. Michiaki Mishima, Kyoto University’s Executive Vice President for International Affairs, spoke on behalf of the university’s executive board, and expressed his pleasure at being able to open the overseas office at Heidelberg University. Deputy Minister of Education Ms. Kumiko Bando then underlined the significance of the new office, especially with regard to the internationalisation of Japanese universities. She expressed her gratitude to Heidelberg University for its support in establishing the Heidelberg Office. She also noted that the overseas office should contribute significantly to further expanding the relationships between Japanese and German universities as well as universities throughout Europe.
Prof. Dr. Dieter W. Heerman, Vice-Rector for International Relations at Ruperto Carola, commemorated the nearly 25-year-long partnership with Kyoto University; he mentioned that Heidelberg University is considering to open a Heidelberg overseas office at the Japanese university in the coming year and emphasised that global issues could be solved only through interdisciplinary and international cooperation. After the ceremonial ribbon-cutting in front of the Old University building and a tour of the premises, Dr. Kiyoshi Yoshikawa, Executive Vice President of Research at Kyoto University, addressed the audience with a few final words.
The office in Heidelberg will be one of five overseas offices of Kyoto University worldwide: In accordance with its institutional strategy, the Japanese university established its first overseas office in London in 2009. The new office in Heidelberg will be joined shortly by another one in South East Asia. Two more offices in the USA are scheduled to open in 2015. The Heidelberg Office, which will employ several staff members, will be housed in the Old University building.
The universities of Heidelberg and Kyoto have maintained close ties since 1990. In 2010, this bilateral university partnership was the starting point for the founding of the German-Japanese university consortium HeKKSaGOn. Members of the consortium include Heidelberg University, Göttingen University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology on the German side, and Kyoto University, Osaka University and Tohoku University in Japan. The newly opened Heidelberg Office of Kyoto University will also be a point of contact for the Japanese partners of HeKKSaGOn.