Public Relations Office January 26, 2017
On January 25, at the Station Conference Tokyo event facility in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Kwansei Gakuin University signed an internship agreement with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA; Director of Tokyo Office: Junko Sazaki). KGU is only the third Japanese university and the first private university in Japan to enter such an agreement.
As part of the Japanese government’s Top Global University project, KGU will introduce a “United Nations/Diplomacy” graduate minor next April. Under the terms of the new agreement, the UNFPA will be one of the organizations hosting students for global internships. KGU plans to send five students per year for internships of up to six months.
The relationship between KGU and the UNFPA began in the 2004 academic year, when KGU awarded an honorary degree to then-UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid. The “Obaid Fund” established at that time was used to launch an internship program at the UNFPA Tokyo Office. A total of 24 students participated in the program over the following seven years.
At the signing ceremony for the agreement, University President Osamu Murata declared: “In this chaotic world, the role of the United Nations has increased and more Japanese UN staff is needed. I would like to work with the UNFPA to foster human resources that can play an active role at the UN and other international organizations.” UNFPA Tokyo Director Sazaki added: “These internships will involve students in drafting projects and a wide range of other tasks. As they work with staff of diverse nationalities, they are sure to experience tremendous growth. Through this partnership with KGU, we hope to contribute to the development of Japanese global citizens.”