From 28-30 September, the Osaka University Forum 2010 was held in the Academy Building. The theme of the conference was Globalization and Conflict. In cooperation with the newly founded Institute for Globalization Studies Groningen, Osaka University organized a conference where about 75 prominent speakers from Japan and Europe entered into discussion with each other. The possibilities for further cooperation were also discussed at management level.
With regard to globalization and conflict, Osaka University is a valuable academic partner for the University of Groningen. In Asia, the position of the Osaka University Centre of Excellence Conflict Studies in the Humanities is renowned in this field. ‘Our Globalization Studies Centre has laid good foundations during the conference for cooperation with our Japanese colleagues,’ says Jodien Houwers of the Office for International Relations. ‘Japan is a leading player in this field in Asia. That’s why good contacts with Osaka are crucial for the University of Groningen.’
The University of Groningen has cooperated with Osaka University since 2002. In 2005 the latter opened a European liaison office in Groningen, from where it maintains and intensifies its contacts with European partner universities. Every year, Osaka University organizes a forum at one of its strategic partners, in order to offer its own Centres of Excellence a stage. The cooperation between the University of Groningen and Osaka will be studied further and expanded in the coming months. For example, next June there will probably be a joint symposium on ‘Bioinspired Materials and Functionalities’. In addition, last week there were discussions about a Research Laboratory of Dutch Studies in Osaka, which would concentrate on present-day relations between Japan and the Netherlands.
The new institute for Globalization Studies Groningen was partly responsible for the organization of the conference. This institute is allied to the Network of Humanitarian Action (NOHA). For over ten years now, the University of Groningen has been offering this European Master’s programme. NOHA offers a degree programme to train experts who can be employed in humanitarian crises. The programme has Erasmus Mundus Status, which means there are extra possibilities to attract talented students from outside the EU. NOHA is a consortium of European universities that offers its programme under the auspices of the European Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid.
Dr J. Herman, director of Center for Globalization Studies Groningen
Ms J.D. Houwers, Office for International Relations
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