ACE2018: ACE Brokers New Ties for U.S.-Japanese Higher Education

March 13, 2018

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By Heather H. Ward

ACE President Ted Mitchell and Juichi Yamagiwa, president of the Japanese Association of National Universities (JANU) and of Kyoto University jointly signed an agreement aimed at strengthening U.S.-Japan higher education collaboration March 10 at ACE’s 100th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

“I hope that the partnership between ACE and JANU will continue to deepen and that we can make a significant contribution to knowledge and prosperity for the United States, for Japan, and for the world,” Mitchell said on signing the agreement. Yamagiwa congratulated ACE on marking its centennial year.

The signing ceremony was the culmination of a U.S.-Japan partnership dialogue between 10 ACE member institutions and 12 Japanese universities, organized by ACE’s Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement. Also participating in the roundtable session were representatives of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Embassy of Japan in Washington, U.S.-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON), and Japan Committee of Universities for International Exchange (JACUIE).

Ted Mitchell (left) and Juichi Yamagiwa

U.S. and Japanese higher education have a long and successful history of collaboration, and Japan remains one of the top countries, second only after China, for partnership activity among U.S. institutions, according to the ACE’s 2017 Mapping Internationalization on U.S. Campuses report. However, following the historic high level (47,000) of Japanese students enrolled in the United States in 1997-98, the number of Japanese and U.S. students studying in one another’s countries has gradually declined. Several bilateral initiatives have aimed to reinvigorate the relationship.

During the U.S.-Japan roundtable meeting, ACE’s Brad Farnsworth, vice president for internationalization and global engagement, announced the opening of the U.S.-Japan COIL Initiative competition period.

ACE invites applications from accredited U.S. higher education institutions interested in partnering with universities in Japan to develop, deliver, and assess one or more collaborative online international learning (COIL) courses. COIL is a method of virtual exchange in which faculty and students in two countries collaborate online for shared teaching and learning.

The application period will close May 31, and ACE plans to announce selected institutions in August 2018. Eligibility criteria, guidelines, and the online application are available at

The U.S.-Japan COIL Initiative is supported through a grant from the U.S. Embassy Tokyo, and coordinated in partnership with Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT).

For more information, contact Heather H. Ward at

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