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The 8th Kumamoto University Forum held at Hanoi, Vietnam (Dec 4-5, 2010)

Kumamoto University organizes the Kumamoto University Forum annually in different locations around the world since 2003, including Tokyo (Japan), Shanghai (China), Daejeon (Korea), and Surabaya (Indonesia). The objectives of this event are to increase the global presence of Kumamoto University, to strengthen international networking and trained manpower. This year, the 8th Kumamoto University Forum was successfully organized in Hanoi, Vietnam during December 4-5, 2010 with the central theme of Academic Collaboration for Asian Development and Prosperity. The Forum was co-hosted by The National University of Civil engineering in Hanoi and the Vietnam National University.
 Kumamoto University has ongoing agreements with six universities from Vietnam. A large number of Vietnamese students are studying in Kumamoto University, mainly in the Graduate School of Science and Technology. Further, Kumamoto University has been a part of the ongoing JICA International Cooperation project in Vietnam titled, “Capacity Building of Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology to Strengthen University-Community Linkage”. In recent years, Vietnam is successfully attracting attention of major universities in Japan. In this context, Kumamoto University, with its emphasis on collaboration with Asian region, is particularly looking forward to enhanced academic exchanges with Vietnamese universities thorough this Forum. Also, this year has special significance as it marks the 1000th anniversary of the establishment of Hanoi City.
The program on the first day i.e., Dec. 4, was held at National University of Civil Engineering, Hanoi. Prof. Isao Taniguchi, the President of Kumamoto University, called upon the delegates, in his opening address, to discuss and explore the possibilities of developing the cultural, economic, academic relationship between Japan and Vietnam in addressing global challenges. Prof. Le Van Tran, the Rector of National University of Civil engineering also welcomed the delegates and wished for the success of the Forum. The program on DAY 1 consisted of the introduction of Kumamoto University and National University of Civil Engineering, as well as the presentation of a wide range of research activities. Poster presentations and panel exhibitions were also given.
The event on the second day, i.e., Dec 5, was held at Sofitel Plaza Hotel in Hanoi. The program began with the address by the President Taniguchi followed by a congratulatory speech by Prof Bui Cach Tuyen, the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Government of Vietnam. The other invited delegates who addressed the gathering included Mr Yasuaki Taniguchi, Ambassador of Japan in Vietnam, Mr Akira Shimizu, Senior representative of JICA Office in Vietnam, Prof Mai Chong Nhuan, President of Vietnam National University. Keynote lectures were delivered on the education and research opportunities at Kumamoto University and other universities of the Kumamoto region which are member of the “Higher Education Consortium Kumamoto”. The highlight of DAY2 was the formal signing of the university-level international exchange agreements for academic collaboration and student exchange, between Kumamoto University and the Vietnamese universities, namely, National University of Civil Engineering, Hue University and Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology.
In the afternoon, exhibit panels were displayed to introduce Kumamoto City, Kumamoto prefecture, industries and universities of the Kumamoto region to the participants. Posters on various research topics were also presented by the students of participating universities. Some of Cutting-edge research activities of Kumamoto University were introduced to the participants later in the afternoon, followed by the panel discussion under the title “new Horizons for Industry-Institute Collaboration under Globalization”.
The Kumamoto University Forum facilitated a range of presentations and speeches to better understand the history and future of the relationship between Japan and Vietnam. It also provided a platform for academics and young researchers from the two countries to exchange relevant knowledge and experience in research and education.