Studying abroad becomes easier for Australian and Japanese students

by Ray Clancy on September 22, 2015

in Education in Australia

Universities in Australia and Japan have strengthened their links with the signing of an agreement that will make it easier for students to study in each country.

The agreement between Universities Australia and its counterpart body, the Japan Association of National Universities (JANU), builds upon consecutive agreements signed since 1992 and is described as by far the most comprehensive and multifaceted agreement to be signed.

girl-studyingAnne-Marie Lansdown, deputy chief executive of Universities Australia, pointed out that the two countries have a long history of engagement with over 480 formal agreements in place, and the new Memo of Understanding takes this relationship to the next level.

“The MoU looks at all areas of our engagement with Japanese universities in a way that we have never seen before. It is the culmination of nine months of hard work between the two countries and has been achieved with the support of the Australian Embassy in Japan and the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology,” said Lansdown.

She also explained that the MoU includes an agreement on qualifications recognition, making the two-way flow of students much more streamlined and the development of joint degree programmes a reality.

The formal recognition of academic qualifications is regarded as a major win for university students in Japan and Australia and will signal a new era of student exchange and experience. Universities Australia and JANU will also explore mechanisms to promote greater research cooperation and the development of joint PhD and cotutelle programmes.

“We expect that ever growing numbers of students will flow between our two countries as a result of this agreement. Given that Japan is one of Australia’s largest trading partners, the wider benefits of increased mobility and links are very significant,” Lansdown added.

Aside from qualification recognition, other fields of cooperation outlined in the MoU include information sharing, student mobility exchange, research collaboration, staff development and exchange and university management.

The agreement includes a work plan of activities, commencing with a pilot knowledge sharing programme looking at international offices in a number of Australian universities in November 2015.

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