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Last modified: Thursday, October 5, 2006

IU's McRobbie heads to Japan on an academic relationship-building visit

Oct. 5, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Developing relationships with three of Japan's leading universities is the goal of Michael A. McRobbie, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, during an upcoming eight-day trip to Tokyo.

McRobbie is scheduled to visit senior administrators and faculty members at Rikkyo, Waseda and Tokyo universities, where he will discuss possibilities for expanding faculty and student exchanges, cooperative and collaborative research ventures, language programs and internships.

Michael McRobbie

Print-Quality Photo

McRobbie noted that the three schools represent half of the six Tokyo-based institutions often referred to as "the Ivy League of Japan."

"These universities will all play leading roles in Japan's academic future," McRobbie said. "Establishing strong ties with them will open many doors of opportunity to IU students as well as improve our access to Japan's top graduate students."

With more than 3,000 international students enrolled at IU Bloomington, the campus has a long history of international involvement.

However, a proposed new general education curriculum for IU Bloomington will require that all undergraduates meet an international requirement, such as language proficiency, study abroad or intensive study of other cultures.

"This new curriculum is requiring us to expand our relations with institutions overseas, especially those with the highest academic standards," McRobbie said.

McRobbie's Japan trip also includes visits to five other organizations with whom IU already has relationships or wishes to establish relationships.

He will meet with officials of the National Institute of Informatics and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology. Both these agencies are partners with IU in operating TransPAC2, the high-speed international Internet service connecting research and education networks in the Asia-Pacific region to those in the U.S.

He will go to the Japan Foundation and Toshiba International Foundation, two organizations that sponsor arts and cultural exhibits at various locations in the United States, including Indiana University.

And, he will visit the Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc., where he will discuss emerging super-computing technologies.

McRobbie is scheduled to return to Bloomington on Sunday, Oct. 15.