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UMBC expands international outreach through partnership with Japanese university

Partnership is designed to increase collaboration between two well-established research institutions

An established partnership between Kyushu University and UMBC brings new research and collaboration opportunities.

The University System of Maryland signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan on June 24th, 2014. Designed to increase academic exchanges and collaboration between USM and KU, the agreement provides both universities with an opportunity to strengthen their research programs and academic curriculum.

A second memorandum was also signed on the 24th, 2014, reinforcing a partnership specifically between KU and UMBC. KU is a highly selective university and one of the leading research institutions in Japan.

Philip Rous, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, said the agreement signed between UMBC and Kyushu University, “articulates [the] universities’ shared vision and intention to collaborate broadly in both research and education.”

Looking to offer cybersecurity courses and upgrade their technology around campus, KU contacted UMBC seeking a partnership.

“They sought [UMBC] out specifically for cyber security,” said Antonio Moreira, Vice President for Academic Affairs.

UMBC’s prime location around numerous government agencies and experience relating to cybersecurity curriculum will provides a significant benefit for KU, as they begin expanding their own curriculum.

On January 21st 2015, Vice Provost Antonio Moreira and Karl Steiner, vice president for research, were keynote speakers at the opening ceremony for KU’s Cybersecurity Center in Japan.

The event was a step further in officially strengthening the partnership between UMBC and KU, following the signing of the memorandum.

Upon visiting the university, Steiner noted the impressive research being conducted at KU and the unique, state-of-the art equipment the university has. KU’s established research programs in medicine, genetics, biochemistry, pharmacology and immunology provides a unique opportunity for UMBC.

“It was remarkable to see some of the research they were doing,” said Steiner. The partnership provides UMBC with an opportunity to progress their own research programs, while increasing global outreach in the fields of science and technology.

With a majority of KU’s enrollment consisting of international students, UMBC hopes the partnership will benefit both faculty and students of the universities. Students travelling to Japan will directly reap the benefits of the partnership.

However, UMBC hopes a wider range of faculty and students will have the opportunity to take advantage of the partnership. Through webcam, conference calls and video-conferencing, both universities can interact and share research.

“Science cannot be local: science is global,” said Steiner, stressing the importance of international outreach for UMBC. Despite the time difference between the United States and Japan, the partnership is bringing two leading research universities together to make strides towards meaningful research.

*An earlier version of this article stated that Kyushu University is in Fukushima, Japan, when it’s actually located in Fukuoka. The article has been amended.”