Tohoku University President Hideo Ohno attended the 24th Annual General Meeting of the Association of East Asian Research Universities (AEARU), hosted by National Taiwan University (NTU) on November 14.
The AGM is the most important of the association's gatherings, as it gives the leaders of major research universities in East Asia the opportunity to evaluate their activities and to share ideas on science and technology. Approximately 60 representatives from regional universities, including presidents and vice presidents, attended this year.
AEARU's future activities and plans were discussed and a proposal to collaborate with the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) in its multi-hazards summer school in 2019, was unanimously approved. Tohoku University's International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) will host the event next July.
In the afternoon, a special Presidents' Forum was held as part of celebrations to mark the 90th anniversary of NTU's founding. President Ohno participated in a five-member panel session titled "University Strategies for Global Impact." He presented Tohoku University's vision as a Designated National University and introduced its international strategies.
After the Forum, President Ohno, along with Executive Vice President Toshiya Ueki and other invited guests, attended a private tea party with NTU's faculty, students and alumni. He delivered a congratulatory speech, describing the success of the academic exchange agreement between the two universities, which was signed in 2000 by former NTU President Chen Wei-Jao, an alumnus of Tohoku University's School of Medicine.
Since then, many bi-lateral exchanges have been carried out in a wide range of disciplines, most notably in the field of materials science.
President Ohno also spoke warmly of the historical ties between the two universities, referring specifically to the Eikichi Iso Memorial House on the main NTU campus. Eikichi Iso is best known as the Father of Taiwanese Japonica rice.
"Dr. Eikichi Iso, who developed ponlai rice, graduated from Tohoku Imperial University's Faculty of Agriculture in 1911. I am very pleased to see how a Tohoku University graduate contributed to the agriculture in Taiwan and hence the lives of generations of Taiwanese people," said President Ohno. He added that he hopes similar impactful connections between the two universities will continue.
Before leaving Taiwan the next day, the delegation from Tohoku University took a tour of the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center in Hsinchu City.
※ About AEARU (The Association of East Asian Research Universities)
AEARU was founded in 1996 with the goal of promoting long-term mutual exchanges between leading research-oriented universities in East Asia. It comprises 18 member universities from around the region. Tohoku University joined in 1998, and was a member of the Board of Directors from January 2012 to December 2015.
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