University strengthens Japanese sports partnership

"With the 2019 Rugby World Cup being held in Tokyo and the 2020 Olympics being hosted in the city the profile of sport is high. Our students and staff could be part of this both by physical exchanges but also via remote linking and student projects."

James Capper, Head of the Department for Sport and Exercise

Staffordshire University is developing an exciting exchange programme with a prestigious sports institute in Japan.

Nippon Sport Science University (NSSU) boasts a number of Olympic gold medallists among its graduates and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Staffordshire University last year to develop a sport and cultural exchange programme.

Eight NSSU students took part in a preliminary visit to the Stoke-on-Trent campus last summer and members of Staffordshire University's Sport and Exercise department recently visited NSSU to plan further opportunities for both students and staff.

James Capper, Head of the Department for Sport and Exercise, and Andrew Wood, Lecturer in Sport Psychology, spent a week at the university and got a taste of the country's sporting culture, which included attending a Japanese baseball game.

“We saw first-hand the range and level of sporting, cultural and academic experiences that would be available to Staffordshire students whilst at NSSU in Tokyo. Andrew and I also met a range of academics at the university and explored possible research and teaching collaborations.” James explained.

“With the 2019 Rugby World Cup being held in Tokyo and the 2020 Olympics being hosted in the city the profile of sport is high. Our students and staff could be part of this both by physical exchanges but also via remote linking and student projects.”

Staffordshire University is the only Higher Education partner in the UK working with NSSU, which is officially accredited by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.

Professor Tatsuo Araki, Head Director of the International Centre at NSSU, commented: “From the recent visit we have made a lot of fruitful discussions to expand and develop our mutual partnership. Their visit was definitely beneficial to the further collaboration between Staffordshire University and us in the near future.”

A visit by Staffordshire students to the Tokyo and Yokohama campuses is proposed for next May where they will be paired with 'buddies' from NSSU based on their mutual sport interests and courses. The students will have the opportunity to use NSSU's sports facilities, engage with the related sport courses and develop their Japanese language skills.

James added: “This is a very exciting partnership. There is real potential to develop the existing MOU into some very specific activities with student exchanges at the heart of them and this will now be the plan for 2017-18 and beyond.”

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