Inter-University Exchange Project—Overview

The ACE Program has been selected as an Inter-University Exchange Project for the 2021 Academic Year

Rikkyo University has signed a collaborative agreement with several of the Asia region’s leading universities – specifically, the College of Liberal Studies, Seoul National University; Yuanpei College, Peking University; and NUS College, National University of Singapore – to form a consortium for international educational collaboration, with the aim of working together to develop liberal arts education in the East Asia and ASEAN regions. This initiative has been newly selected as a project eligible for funding support under the Inter-University Exchange Project: Support for the formation of Collaborative Programs with Universities in Asia, organized by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in the 2021 academic year.

In accordance with the agreement that has been signed, Rikkyo University, Seoul National University, Peking University and National University of Singapore will be forming the Asian Consortium for Excellence in Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Education (ACE). Through this consortium, the four universities will be working together to cultivate human talent that is capable of thinking seriously about, and taking action to address, the various issues facing Asia and the global community as a whole in today’s world, through international educational collaboration that involves multi-faceted collaboration between students living and studying in the Asian cultural ecumene, which is rich in both shared features and diversity, and other inhabitants of the region, in a manner that transcends both the boundaries between academic disciplines and geographical boundaries.

About the Inter-University Exchange Project: Support for the formation of Collaborative Programs with Universities in Asia

The Inter-University Exchange Project, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), is a project the aim of which is to provide financial support for key initiatives relating to the building of international educational linkage and formation of related networks so as to promote the building of world-class university education systems and the creation of opportunities for Japanese students to undertake international exchange activities with a guarantee of quality, and for Japan to undertake the strategic inducement of high-quality overseas students to study in Japan, in order to strengthen the ability of Japanese universities to expand globally and enhance the cultivation of outstanding human talent capable of operating effectively on the global stage, by means of efforts to build higher education networks with strategically important countries and regions.

Since the Inter-University Exchange Project was first launched in the 2011 academic year, it has helped to strengthen international higher education networks through university and student exchange activities that are global in scale, targeting various different countries and regions, with a focus on the Asia region. In particular, the CAMPUS Asia project, which was also launched in the 2011 academic year, is a three-country (Japan-China-Korea) inter-university exchange project with the neighboring countries of China and South Korea, with a guarantee of quality provided by an inter-governmental agreement. At the Meeting of the Japan-China-Korea Committee for Promoting Exchange and Cooperation among Universities, which was held in September 2019, Japan proposed the concept of “Asia for All,” embodying the idea of the Asia region as a community, with the aim of expanding the CAMPUS Asia project to include other countries and regions in Asia, and invigorating inter-university exchange with guaranteed quality within the Asia region as a whole; agreement was reached at the meeting regarding the importance of this concept.

It was against this background that, for the Inter-University Exchange Project in the 2021 academic year, MEXT decided to focus the provision of financial support on educational and research programs involving linkage between Japanese universities and universities in the ASEAN region that have a guarantee of quality, with the aim of forging a higher education community based on an international network of universities in the countries of the Asia region, with a vision of fostering collaboration between the three main countries of East Asia (Japan, China and Korea) and the countries of the ASEAN region, while promoting educational and cultural exchange that can serve as a foundation for mutual understanding and friendly relations between these countries in the future, as well as contributing toward the economic development of the ASEAN nations and toward international security, and, ideally, furthering the maintenance of peace in Asia.

More information can be found on the MEXT website