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University launches partnership with Kyoto University

| Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Notre Dame signed an agreement with Kyoto University in Japan two weeks ago that will allow for the exchange of faculty and graduate students between Notre Dame’s department of chemistry and biochemistry and Kyoto University’s Institute for Chemical Research, Ken Henderson, chair of the department of chemistry and biochemistry, said.

Henderson said this exchange program will be beneficial for faculty and graduate students at Notre Dame.

“They will potentially have access to equipment and expertise that faculty do not have here, which could strengthen the research program,” he said.

The partnership will also raise the international profile of Notre Dame, Henderson said.

“Kyoto is one of the best universities in the world, and of course, Japan is very strong in science and technology,” he said.

According to Henderson, the exchange agreement is the most recent development in a two-year conversation between the universities.

“Around two years ago, a representative of Notre Dame International mediated and signed a memorandum of understanding with Kyoto University,” Henderson said. “So basically, that is an agreement saying that we are interested in developing partnerships — academic partnerships, undergraduate partnerships, research partnerships.”

The universities are also developing an undergraduate exchange program that is set to begin in the spring of 2017, Henderson said.

The recent agreement represents the second memorandum between the two universities, he said.

“So this [second memorandum] is basically saying that our department — chemistry and biochemistry — and [Kyoto’s] Institute … will work together on things like research programs, joint seminars, workshops, a faculty exchange and some more things for graduate students,” Henderson said.

An additional benefit of the partnership is that Notre Dame researchers are invited to Kyoto University’s International Partnership Conference, Henderson said.

“We are now one of those who come every two years to be a part of the symposium,” he said. “And it is quite a prestigious group of people to be around.”

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  • Mark Wells

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