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Graduation Ball survivors 2013
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Buckingham delegation visits Japan

Two skiers with pulks
Professor Terence Kealey receives his award from
Professor Yamamoto, President of Soka University

Monday 14 November 2011

Ceremonies were held in Tokyo on 25 October to cement the relationship between the University of Buckingham and Soka University, Japan.

As well as the awarding of an Honorary Degree to Dr Daisaku Ikeda, the President of Soka, the signing of both a Memorandum of Understanding and the formal agreement of a new and unique dual degree programme between the two institutions took place.

Dr Ikeda was awarded an Honorary DLit for his work towards world peace - and for the protection of high culture and for the promotion of education - through establishing higher educational and research institutions, world-class art museums and concert associations (promoting intercultural exchange through the performing arts) as well as through his writing.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Terence Kealey, was himself honoured with the Soka University Award of Highest Honour (the highest award from Soka University, which has been conferred on presidents and chancellors of higher educational institutions, world-class businessmen and social leaders such as Wangari Maathai a Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa).

The delegation from Buckingham, including the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard Langhorne, Mr Gerry Loftus (Head of English), Mr & Mrs Peter Thorogood (former High Sheriff of Bucks), Mr Kazuhiro Tobisawa (Research Fellow and External Relations Officer, Centre for Global Studies, Department of Economics & International Studies) and Mrs Anne Matsuoka (Head of Alumni & Graduation), also visited the Soka Junior and High Schools and were treated to a wonderful performance by the 'koto' (a Japanese stringed instrument) group and a question and answer session with the students.

The first group of students on the dual degree programme are expected in Buckingham in January 2013 and will spend 2 years here doing an English degree before going back to spend their fourth, and final, year at Soka prior to graduating with two degrees.

Buckingham looks forward to promoting and strengthening its links with Soka University over the coming years.

Report by Anne Matsuoka

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