University of Tokyo: 16th Annual IARU Presidents’ Meeting

The 16th Annual IARU (International Alliance of Research Universities) Presidents’ Meeting was held online on January 27th, February 5th and February 10th, chaired by President GONOKAMI Makoto. Executive Vice President and President-elect FUJII Teruo and Professor FUJIWARA Kiichi (Graduate Schools for Law and Politics), who also serves as Special Assistant to the President, also attended the meeting.

Presidents of the member universities shared institutional focuses and challenges, including responses to COVID-19 and strategies for the “post-corona era.” President Gonokami introduced key initiatives that represent UTokyo being “ the platform for social change,” for instance the establishment of the Center for Global Commons, the announcement of the Global Commons Stewardship Index during Tokyo Forum 2020, and issuance of long-term university bonds. In addition, the presidents exchanged ideas to further strengthen the international collaboration, including the promotion of virtual academic exchange and research initiatives including climate change and sustainability.

Furthermore, all member universities have agreed to nominate the University of Cambridge as next Chair of IARU; President Gonokami expressed his gratitude towards all presidents and member universities during his two-year tenure as IARU Chair.

IARU (International Alliance of Research Universities), established in 2006, is a collaboration between eleven of the world’s leading research-intensive universities who share similar visions for higher education, in particular the education of future global leaders. UTokyo takes an active role in IARU working groups and initiatives, such as student exchange activities in the form of summer schools and internships; research collaborations on campus sustainability, aging, and gender; and networking activities for alumni associations and librarians.