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16 Jul 2015
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President Juichi Yamagiwa attends the 19th APRU Annual Presidents Meeting (29-30 June 2015)

The 19th Annual Presidents Meeting of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) was held in Osaka, Japan on 29-30 June 2015. The meeting was attended by approximately 120 executive staff and faculty members (including twenty-six presidents) from thirty-eight APRU member universities. The Kyoto University delegation consisted of President Juichi Yamagiwa, Prof Kayo Inaba, executive vice-president for gender equality, international affairs, and public relations, Prof Junichi Mori, director-general of the university's Organization for the Promotion of International Relations (OPIR), Assoc Prof Shigehiro Yoshimura of the Graduate School of Biostudies, and administrative staff members in charge of international affairs.

The first day of the meeting opened with addresses by President Toshio Hirano of Osaka University, and President C L Max Nikias of the University of Southern California, the current chairperson of APRU. The welcome addresses were followed by keynote speeches, including a speech by Mr Kihei Maekawa, deputy minister of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).

In the panel session on higher education in Japan, speeches were delivered by Mr Hideto Matsumoto, director of the Office for International Planning of the Higher Education Policy Planning Division, Higher Education Bureau, MEXT, and the presidents of four Japanese member universities, including Kyoto University. President Yamagiwa spoke about his vision for the future of Kyoto University, called the WINDOW Concept, and about the ongoing Japan Gateway: Kyoto University Top Global Program. The Top Global Program seeks to enhance the university's international competitiveness by focusing on several particularly strong areas of research, including mathematics, chemistry and chemical engineering, human biosciences, and social sciences and the humanities.

In the afternoon, a presidents-only session called the "Presidential Retreat" was held. During the session, the presidents discussed possible future initiatives, issues relating to university leadership, and other matters. In the Senior Staff Working Session held in parallel with the Presidential Retreat, senior staff members from the member universities discussed the current and future activities of APRU. On behalf of Kyoto University, Prof Mori gave a report on APRU's Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) Program.

On the second day of the meeting, after reports of the Presidential Retreat and Senior Staff Working Session, the Presidents Meeting was concluded with the APRU Business Meeting, which included the association's annual financial report and a vote to elect members to the association's Steering Committee for the period from July 2015 to June 2017.

The two day meeting was then brought to a close with the announcement that next year's Annual President Meeting will be held at the University of Malaya in Malaysia in June 2016.

Prof Mori reports about the APWiL workshop organized by Kyoto University

President Yamagiwa delivers a keynote speech

Executive Vice-President Inaba at the Senior Staff Working Session (front)

President Yamagiwa (right) and President C L Max Nikias of the University of Southern California, the current chairperson of APRU (left)

The Presidential Retreat

The 19th APRU Annual Presidents Meeting participants

The Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU)

APRU is an association of forty-five leading research universities in the Pacific Rim region. The association aims to facilitate collaboration between its member institutions, address issues relevant to the Pacific Rim region, and contribute to international society.

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