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11 November 2009 | PR 09/157

Loughborough joins Japan in global $14m sports science programme

Loughborough joins Japan in global $14m sports science programme

Loughborough joins Japan in global $14m sports science programme

Loughborough University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Waseda University in Japan as part of a global $14m programme designed to increase collaborative research in sport sciences and physical activity.

Loughborough is one of five universities worldwide and only two in Europe to be initially invited onto the multi-million dollar five-year programme which will foster closer working relationships and collaboration between some of the world’s leading research and teaching universities in sport sciences.

The partnership follows Waseda University’s inclusion in the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Global Centre of Excellence (GCOE) programme which provides funding to establish world-leading education and research centres in specialist areas.

The programme aims to develop highly creative young researchers who go on to become world leaders in their respective fields through experiencing and practicing research of the highest world standard.

Central to this will be the opportunity for academics and postgraduate students from both universities to take part in exchanges, engage in shared research and contribute to doctoral level teaching.

Both institutions will work together to identify appropriate opportunities for collaborative teaching and research in shared areas of expertise. 

An initial three areas of research have been identified between the two Universities: the use of physical activity to prevent chronic disease, muscle physiology and sport performance, and the role sport plays in a socio-cultural context.

Professor Myra Nimmo, head of Loughborough’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences was at Waseda University last weekend to sign the MoU and present a keynote lecture at the inaugural International Sport Science Symposium on Active Life.

“I am delighted to strengthen our relationship with Waseda through this five-year GCOE programme,” she said. “To be recognised alongside some of the best sports science institutions in the world reinforces Loughborough’s leading position on the global scene.

“This agreement gives our students and staff excellent opportunities to collaborate with a prestigious Japanese institution, inform their studies and take part in internationally relevant research.” 

Professor Kazuyuki Kanosue, who is leading Waseda University’s GCOE programme, added: “It is a great pleasure to have exchanged this MoU with Loughborough University, the leading institution in the field of sport sciences, as part of Waseda University’s Global Centre of Excellence programme. 

“Other institutions involved in the GCOE are China’s Tsinghua University and Shanghai University of Sport, Seoul National University in Korea and German Sport University Cologne.  I hope this project will help to build up the international network for education and research in the field of sport sciences.”

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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