International Exchange Group, Hiroshima University
E-mail: kokusai-group*office.hiroshima-u.ac.jp (Please replace * with @.)
On November 8th 2018, Hiroshima University (HU) concluded an inter-university exchange agreement with University of Rwanda (UR). Before this, there have been 5 agreements concluded between Japanese organizations and UR. HU, however, is the first national and comprehensive university to do so.
UR has 6 colleges/graduate schools (Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine/ Arts and Social Sciences/ Business and Economics/ Medicine and Health Sciences/ Science and Technology/ Education) with a total of 30,000 students, 1,400 academics and 800 administrative staff. It is also a national university that leads Rwanda.
Since 2013, the Educational Development Course of the HU’s Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC) has accepted 20 JICA long-term trainees from Rwanda (8 enrolling trainees as of Feb. 2019). Most of them are graduates of Kigali Institute of Education, the predecessor of College of Education, UR.
In August 2017, Assoc. Prof. Kazuro Shibuya from IDEC attended the international conference held in the College of Education of UR where he exchanged views with the Dean and professors of the college. Then, it was found that UR, as the core institution in mathematics and science education for the entire Africa, plans to establish master's and doctoral programs in math and science education and thus reinforce its research ability with the support of World Bank, and it also was found that they therefore wish to expand educational and research ties with other institutions in the aforementioned field. Further, it turned out that UR has the Centre for Conflict Management where they conduct research on peacebuilding based on the experience of the Rwandan genocide, and this explained that HU’s knowledge and contribution in peacebuilding developed over many years has a high affinity with the ones of UR. In April 2018, Prof. Takuya Baba (Dean of IDEC) visited UR and had a discussion with UR’s Vice-Chancellor, Dean of the College of Education and other professors on their future research and educational exchange, and this has resulted in the conclusion of this agreement.
It is hoped that this agreement will reinforce the ties between UR and HU and that educational and research exchange among students and academics from the two nations will be deepened. In addition, the participation of UR in the research exchange between HU and African partners, University of Zambia and University of Malawi, will lead to the creation of a new base for research collaboration in science and math education for the African region and the effective dissemination of the research findings.
Having experienced the civil war and the genocide in 1994, Rwanda plays key roles as a research field for peace education and peacebuilding studies such as reconciliation between genocide victims and perpetrators, care and independence support for victims’ families that have suffered the trauma of genocide, and coexistence of multiple ethnic groups. In addition to the current cooperation, it is hoped that joint research and student exchange in peace education and peacebuilding will be promoted even further through this agreement.
HU aims to establish a new philosophy of peace science “Science for Sustainable Development”. In that sense, it is extremely important for us to promote exchange in education and peace studies with UR, which is a leading university in Rwanda and also is a hub in Africa.
Prof. Takuya Baba, the Dean of IDEC (right-center) exchanging his view
with the Dean of the College of Education, UR
Mr. Hashituky (AY2016 graduate), Mr. Mico (AY2017 graduate), and Assoc. Prof. Shibuya
from IDEC, attending the international conference held in the College of Education of UR
IDEC students from Rwanda (as of Feb. 2019)