We are entering a new era in collaboration between Japanese and U.S. institutions of higher learning. The 21st century is a time of increasing globalization and a dense intertwining of nations of the Pacific Rim. It is a time in which the strong foundation of exchange between the colleges and universities in Japan and the United States can serve new and expanded purposes, including:
- sharing resources
- creating knowledge
- addressing common issues
- preparing young people to understand and work together in the future
Rethinking educational exchange
These are important goals, and they ask us to rethink our approach to educational exchange. They suggest that we focus on building even more robust and strategic educational partnerships, to which our colleges and universities devote focused attention repaid by deep connectivity and multiple collaborations. These are the kind of linkages that enable institutions to operate in a regional, even global context. They are not so much a mechanism for trading resources as a recognition of our growing interconnectedness and the value of approaching this interconnectedness through long-term, on-going processes of collaboration and mutual learning.
Fostering increased student mobility
Such linkages are also the kind that will foster increased student mobility between the United States and Japan, mobility inspired and supported by the dense ties their colleges and universities have to institutions in the other nation. Strategic partnerships establish networks that make international study more likely. They are worth building, and they are worth developing in ways that reach new kinds of students, a broader range of institutions, and academic disciplines not previously engaged in international work. Greater U.S.-Japanese connectivity serves us all.
Some U.S. and Japanese institutions have already embarked on this journey of strategic partnership. An exemplary case is the NanoJapan program, featured on this website. Others are contemplating such moves. The RoadMap serves those already on the road and those just starting out. This section lays out key concepts to frame and guide this journey, no matter where your institution is starting.
Next up: Making the Case for Engagement »