UCL News


East Asia links

1 April 2004

As part of a tour of East Asia UCL's President & Provost, Professor Malcolm Grant, met with Japan's Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi in Tokyo in March 2004.

Professor Grant with Prime Minister Koizumi

The Prime Minister, who studied economics and politics at UCL in the late 1960s, joked: "When I was a student at UCL I would never have dreamt that one day I would meet the President." Prime Minister Koizumi, who has fond memories of UCL, concluded: "I was probably better at politics than at academic studies."

Professor Grant and the Prime Minister went on to discuss the role of universities in a globalising world, and the forthcoming administrative reforms that will grant greater autonomy to Japanese universities. They also discussed the differing relationships between universities and industry, research collaborations between leading international universities, and exchanges between students and staff.

Professor Grant said: "There is a long and remarkable relationship between UCL and Japan. The first Prime Minister of Japan following the Meiji Restoration in 1868 was a UCL graduate, Prince Hirobumi Ito, and other UCL graduates of the same era made an enormous contribution to the development of Japan in the late 19th century. We are proud of this history, and particularly proud of the achievements of Prime Minister Koizumi."

Professor Grant also visited with influential individuals and organisations in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

Image: Professor Grant with Prime Minister Koizumi.

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