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RGU to share marine development expertise with Japanese students


A group of 15 Japanese students will spend a month studying at Robert Gordon University (RGU) as part of a respected international development programme.

Nippon Foundation scholars 2016The Masters students, from nine different universities in Japan, will spend four weeks at RGU as part of the Nippon Foundation Marine Pioneers of the Future Scholarship Programme, studying modules led by RGU staff on marine engineering, oil and gas, and offshore renewables, until September 9.

The group will also spend five days in Orkney carrying out site visits with energy and environmental consultancy Aquatera, as well as taking part in a packed cultural itinerary which will see them visit Edinburgh, tour a distillery and have dinner with the Lord Provost of Aberdeen.

As part of the programme, students will be asked to develop their own project addressing industry issues and will then present their findings to industry and the university.

The Nippon Foundation, a social innovation grant organisation, is leading the effort to enhance capacity building in offshore engineering in Japan and both the students and RGU faced a competitive selection to be involved in the initiative.

The subsea industry in Japan is rapidly developing and the country is increasingly looking to Aberdeen as a centre for subsea excellence.

The Principal of RGU, Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, said: “We are deeply honoured to be chosen to host this exciting programme and to be working with the Nippon Foundation to host students from such esteemed universities.

“As a university which specialises in oil and gas related teaching and research, as well as clean energies, we feel we have a lot to offer the students during their visit and very much hope they enjoy their time with us in Aberdeen.

“We hope this is the start of a deepening relationship for the university with Japan, where we are already working in the areas of environmental monitoring and health.”

Nippon Foundation scholars 2016Head of the Office of Marine Development Capacity Building at the Nippon Foundation, Masanori Yoshida, said: “We are pleased to establish the summer programme in cooperation with RGU and dispatch 15 passionate Japanese students as the first fellows.

“Scotland has taken the initiative in the offshore oil and gas and marine renewable energy sectors, while RGU has collaborated with industry for many decades and developed its advantage in these sectors.

“I hope that the students can learn a lot of things from the programme and that we can further strengthen our relationship in the future.”

Scottish Development International (SDI) has supported the development of the collaboration between RGU and Nippon Foundation.

Dr Stephen Baker, Country Head SDI Japan, said: “International education is a foundation for the development of the future global industry leaders today’s world requires. I wholeheartedly welcome the announcement of this summer programme which through the exchanges and relationships it fosters will open the door to new industry collaborations and R&D opportunities.”

The north-east already has strong ties to Japan through Thomas Glover, an Aberdeen man who played an important role in the development of Japanese industry, while another Scot, Henry Dyre, is considered the father of engineering education in Japan.

The Mayor of Nagasaki is due to visit Aberdeen this month, while a second group of Japanese academics will also visit RGU’s Faculty of Health and Social Care as part of a separate educational exchange programme.

Release by Jenny Rush
Communications Officer | Faculty of Design and Technology
Press and Media Enquiries