“Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole clear glorious life lies before you. Achieve, achieve!” ----- Andrew Carnegie
The year 2004 marked the beginning of a blossoming relationship between India’s Jadavpur University (JU) and Japan’s Momoyama Gakuin University (St. Andrew’s University). Late Mr. Masaki Ban visited JU in 2004 to conceptualise and initiate a student exchange programme between two great institutions. Mr. Ban’s visit was followed by a series of discussions between Professor David Ito (of St. Andrew’s University) and Professor Joyashree Roy (Jadavpur University) which finally culminated into a student exchange programme.
The uniqueness of this exchange programme is that it provides a brilliant opportunity to students of Jadavpur University gain a better understanding of the language, culture, society and other significant aspects of Japan and its people. This programme also enables students of JU to interact and network with students from across 30 countries. Moreover, the programme facilitates students to broaden their vista of knowledge and mature into responsible global citizens.
In the first year, two researchers participated in this programme: Manikarnika Kanjilal and Sreejata Samajati. Their enriching experiences at St. Andrew’s University were a source of great encouragement for other students of JU. As a consequence, since 2004, students have actively participated in this programme. In Fall 2007, undergraduate students participated in this programme, and expressed their desire to spend four years in the undergraduate course instead of adhering to the conventional system. For the undergraduate students the programme proved to be enriching both academically and culturally, especially after Jadavpur University put in place a credit transfer system
We salute the vision of Late Masaki Ban. Professor Ito and Professor Roy still have their brainstorming sessions whenever they meet in India or in Japan, always eager to find ways to improve and strengthen the program.
Professor Roy in a discussion on the St. Andrew’s student exchange programme at JU remarked, “During my meeting with Mr. Masaki Ban and his team I was fascinated by the fact that Momoyama Gakuin University (Osaka) has come with a goal and outline for a student exchange programme with concrete financial plan which addresses national circumstances! I could see a whole unexplored mine of opportunities for our excellent, brilliant and inquisitive students but at the same time not losing them through out-migration! Anything new, anything innovative, anything creative attracts me”.