Image by Ben Sutherland, under Creative Commons Licence, on Flickr.

Image by Ben Sutherland, under Creative Commons Licence, on Flickr

Inward Mission for Japanese Universities: November 2015  


Invitation to tender

Key dates

Application deadline: Monday 1 June 2015

Notification of application outcome: end of June 2015 

Proposed dates of visit: between Monday 9 and Thursday 12 November 2015


We would like to send a delegation of 15 to 20 international office staff from Japanese universities to visit UK universities in November 2015. The Japanese participants will be accompanied by staff from the British Council. 

Purpose of the mission 

One of the key aims of the mission is to provide Japanese universities with the opportunity to develop a greater understanding of the UK higher education system and its internationalisation strategies. We hope to demonstrate the diversity of the UK higher education sector by visiting different types of universities.

With government support through initiatives to enhance the international profile of the Japanese university sector, the demand for new partnerships with UK institutions in terms of student and academic exchanges has never been higher among Japanese universities. Through this programme we ultimately aim to facilitate networking which will lead to the development of new partnerships between universities in Japan and the UK. 

Proposed programme 

We would like host UK institutions to provide an overview of the topics below either in a briefing session or through visits to relevant facilities with international staff from the host institution.

Required topics and activities

  • Development and implementation of international strategy 
  • Establishing agreements with overseas partners: overseas campuses, student exchange, credit transfer, double degrees/joint degrees
  • University branding, reputation management and PR
  • Initiatives to increase outbound mobility
  • Campus tour
  • Networking opportunities with staff interested in partnership building  

Optional topics

  • Running an international office: structure, day-to-day management, staff development 
  • Summer programmes
  • Support for international students: accommodation, learning support, counselling
  • Alumni networks


We plan to hold the mission between 9 and 12 November 2015. We hope to visit four institutions. At each institution, we would like to participate in a full day visit programme, starting at around 10:00 and finishing at around 16:00 (subject to discussion). 


We would like each host institution to provide lunch for the delegation during the visit. 

Institutions which can offer on-campus accommodation with internet access will be preferred. The maximum cost per night is shown below.  The cost will be covered by the delegates. 

Edinburgh £80

London £120

Manchester £70

Elsewhere £60

*Prices include breakfast and tax.

Selection methodology

We will select host institutions taking the following aspects into consideration: 

  1. Commitment to develop links with Japanese universities
  2. Topics to be covered
  3. Geographical location in relation to other host institutions
  4. Overall balance of the types of universities
  5. Institutions which have never hosted or not hosted the Japanese delegation for the same programme within the last three years will be given preference. However, institutions which have hosted the delegation within the last three years will not be excluded from consideration.

Japanese university participants

We will invite participating Japanese institutions on the basis of: 

  1. Commitment to developing links with UK institutions including student and academic exchanges as well as research collaboration
  2. Commitment to the Japanese government’s agenda of internationalising universities 
  3. Participation in ‘Experience Japan Exhibition 2015’, which is scheduled to be held in London on 14 November to promote study and work opportunities in Japan.

Further background information

According to the latest official statistics published by the Japan Student Services Organisation, there was just under a 60% increase in the number of Japanese university students studying in the UK as visiting and exchange students between 2010 and 2013. This growth has resulted from a series of Japanese government initiatives to enhance the internationalisation of Japanese universities since 2009. The ‘Global 30’ project, which ran between 2009 and 2014, funded 13 top universities to act as “hubs” of internationalisation. Meanwhile, the ‘Go Global Japan’ initiative, which was launched in 2012 and is scheduled to run until 2016, provides grants to 42 universities with the multiple aims of overcoming the ‘inward-looking’ tendency of the Japanese, nurturing global talent, and internationalising university education. 

Furthermore, a new government initiative called the ‘Top Global University Project’ was launched in 2014 to enhance Japanese Universities’ global competitiveness. As part of this project, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology (MEXT) is keen to promote joint degrees and the presence of Japanese universities overseas. It also aims to position 10 Japanese universities within the top 100 of the world university rankings within the next decade. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s strategy towards education, often dubbed as “Abeducation”, aims to double inbound and outbound student mobility by 2020 (to 300,000 and 120,000 respectively). The number of government scholarships for long term study abroad has risen from 50 to 250 since 2009.

As many universities in Japan struggle to meet their targets for internationalisation, there is an increased demand for staff development in order to successfully internationalise universities as well as opportunities to build new partnerships. Over the past six years the British Council Japan has successfully organised a series of Inward Missions, providing opportunities for nearly 100 staff representing more than 40 Japanese universities to learn about the internationalisation strategies and best practices of UK universities. The Inward Missions to date have resulted in the establishment of new links and student exchange programmes between participating institutions.

How to apply

If you would like to be considered to host a visit, please complete the following on-line form:

Please apply by Monday 1 June 2015. We will notify you of the results by the end of June. 


For further information please contact Ayako Towatari, Project Manager (Education) for the British Council in Japan:

T +81 (0)3 3235 8043 | F +81 (0)3 3235 8040 | E