Intensive and far-reaching cooperation agreement signed by Bielefeld and Osaka Universities

The President of Osaka University, Professor Dr. Kiyokazu Washida, and the Rektor of Bielefeld University, Professor Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Sagerer, have signed a cooperation agreement between the two universities. The signing took place when the Osaka University delegation came to Bielefeld. This cooperation agreement formalizes the many years of good relations between academics from the two universities and will allow even closer and more productive cooperation over research and teaching in the future.

The basis of the cooperation was the many years of academic exchange between the Faculty of Technology at Bielefeld and the Graduate School of Engineering at Osaka. This had already led to further cooperations between the research institutes at the Bielefeld Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) and the Centre of Excellence in Osaka, the Centre of Human-Friendly Robotics based on Cognitive Neurosciences. These involved numerous disciplines including Informatics, Psychology, Sport Science, Linguistics, Biology, and Physics. To explore the possibilities of cooperating on a university level, the Rektor of Bielefeld University travelled to Osaka in March for preparatory discussions. The final signing of the cooperation agreement in Bielefeld was held as part of the programme for the visiting delegation from Osaka University headed by its President Professor Dr. Kiyokazu Washida and Vice-president for International Affairs, Dr. Kiichiro Tsuji. Alongside a visit to the CITEC central laboratory, the agenda also included discussions with academics in the Philosophy Department. The agreement extends cooperation in research and teaching to cover other academic fields, and there are also plans to promote the exchange of students. 

After signing the agreement, Rektor Sagerer said: "Our two universities have a lot in common: Osaka University and Bielefeld University have both been very successful in their national excellence initiatives. Both Universities are equally rooted in the local region while taking an international outlook. Therefore, this cooperation agreement is an important strategic step for both sides, so that we can both position ourselves even better internationally"
President Washida declared: "It is a great pleasure to be able to sign this cooperation agreement between two such high-performing partners, Osaka University and Bielefeld University. Bielefeld is one of the most prestigious German universities, and we have been maintaining intensive contacts for many years. I am convinced that the strengthening of our cooperation will be exceptionally productive, and that it will develop advantageously for both sides."

True to its motto "Live Locally, Grow Globally," Osaka University unites an openness to society with international academic networking. It is one of the most prestigious Japanese universities– as can also be seen in its success in the national Japanese excellence initiative. It is one of seven national universities in Japan, and with about 24,000 students, one of the largest in the country. 
What is special about Bielefeld University is its interdisciplinary profile – in both research and teaching. The strength of its research has been confirmed once more by its successes in the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments; and as for teaching, it is one of the winners in the Exzellente Lehre [excellent teaching] competition. Currently, about 17,500 students are enrolled at Bielefeld.