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Reinhardt University connects with Aoyama Gakuin University for research and education

By Jordan Beach

Reinhardt’s study abroad programs serve to expand the global reach of the University and its students, and that reach has now extended to Japan.

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Dr. Kina Mallard with Aoyama Gakuin president, Yoshikazu Miki

During her 10-day trip to Japan, President Kina Mallard met with Aoyama Gakuin University president, Yoshikazu Miki, to sign an agreement that forms a partnership enabling Reinhardt students to study abroad in Japan and allowing students, faculty and staff to participate in an exchange program with the university.

“The Japanese government is increasing expectations for students to study in other countries. I believe we will see a modest growth in international students studying at Reinhardt and am confident AGU will be a strong partner for our students to study in Japan,” said Mallard. “In addition to student opportunities, AGU offers exchange professional development opportunities for student affairs and student support staff and faculty research prospects.”

Reinhardt and AGU have agreed to promote the exchange of faculty members to advance research education and professional programs and of staff members to execute international programs and to develop staff skills. The universities may also exchange graduate and undergraduate students. The agreement also allows opportunities for joint research.

The signed agreement is similar to the one Reinhardt created with Edwin Clark University in Nigeria in 2017. ECU recently received full accreditation and has two students ready to travel to study at Reinhardt. Mallard hopes to continue similar conversations with Kwansei Gakuin University in Kobe and Hiroshima Jogakuin University in Hiroshima.

Agreements with international universities contribute to Reinhardt University’s Quality Enhancement Plan, “Where in the World RU Going?,” that highlights High Impact Practices, giving students ways to gain experience and learn beyond the classroom. Study abroad opportunities are one of the aspects of the plan that give students real-world experience, strengthen their understanding of the world and provides them a good foundation for success.

Mallard was selected to give the keynote address titled “Challenges and Opportunities in U.S. Private Universities,” at the Association of Christian Schools in Japan’s (ACSJ) annual meeting. The trip provided networking opportunities with other university presidents from the United States and Japan as well as cultural visits to temples, shrines and the Peace Museum at Hiroshima.

“Next year, Reinhardt has a group of students and faculty traveling to Japan on a study tour,” Mallard said. “I hope they will have a chance to meet with the three universities I visited and continue the discussion of Reinhardt-Japan partnerships.”

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