• Opening of the Soka University Office in the Philippines: Strengthening the Relationships with Partnering Universities


Opening of the Soka University Office in the Philippines: Strengthening the Relationships with Partnering Universities

    The Soka University Overseas Office in the Philippines (University of the East - Soka University International Program Office) was established at the University of the East Caloocan campus as a part of the initiatives for the Top Global University Project initiated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

    On Tuesday, August 14th, the opening ceremony was held at the University of the East Caloocan campus. The opening ceremony had about 150 participants, including the University of the East President Dr. Ester Albano Garcia, Chancellor Dr. Linda P. Santiago (Manila campus), Chancellor Dr. Zosimo M. Battad (Caloocan campus), Embassy of Japan in the Philippines Counsellor Mr. Ken Nakamura as well as deans, faculties and staffs, and student representatives.

    In addition to providing information and consultation to students in the Philippines who are planning to study in Japan, the newly established office will also provide support for Japanese students from Soka University studying in the Philippines and strengthen the relationships with partnering universities in the country.

    The new office in the Philippines is the fourth overseas office following the establishment of the Soka University Beijing Office, Beijing (est. 2005), Thammasat University - Soka University Liaison Office, Thailand (est. 2016), and Soka University Korean Office, Korea (est. 2016).
    Following the ribbon-cutting at the opening ceremony, a commemorative tree planting ceremony was held as a token of friendship between the two universities. Soka University received a warm welcome by the whole campus; about 200 students from the University of the East affiliated elementary school gave welcoming remarks in Japanese as they waved the flags of Japan and the Philippines, followed by performances by the high school music band and a chorus by the university students.

    President Garcia and Chancellor Battad mentioned the history of the development of the exchanges between the two universities and the missions of both universities in their opening remarks. Following, Soka University President Yoshihisa Baba stated in his opening remark that, "It is an earnest hope for the 'University of the East - Soka University International Program Office' to become a base for further promotions of the academic programs between the two universities and continue to advance forward by working closely with each other as the highest seat of learning that foster creative global citizens who will lead the local community, society, and the world in building peace and sustainable prosperity."

    Finally, Counsellor Mr. Nakamura of the Embassy of Japan, who participated in the ceremony as a distinguished guest made a statement that it is very delightful that the Soka University Philippines Office was established inside an esteemed university, University of the East, and that he is truly looking forward to Soka University to make further contributions to the friendship between Japan and the Philippines.

    Soka University delegates also visited their exchange partner schools, University of the Philippines and the Ateneo de Manila University, the day before the opening ceremony on the 13th. A signing ceremony of the new faculty exchange agreement between Soka University's Faculty of International Liberal Arts and Ateneo de Manila University was held. In addition to the current exchanges between the universities, new exchange programs for students and faculties will start between the faculties of both universities.