Student exchange with Japan

Visva-Bharati will celebrate 100 years of Rabindranath Tagore's visit to Japan by launching a student-exchange programme with Reitaku University.

By Snehamoy Chakraborty
  • Published 22.08.16
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Tagore in Japan in 1916. Picture courtesy: Rabindra Bhavana

Aug. 21: Visva-Bharati will celebrate 100 years of Rabindranath Tagore's visit to Japan by launching a student-exchange programme with Reitaku University.

This year also marks the 150th birth anniversary of Japanese philosopher and moralogist Chikuro Hiroike, the founder of Reitaku University. The term moralogy was coined by Hiroike to designate his conception of a new science of morals.

Sources in Visva-Bharati, which has a Japanese language department for graduate and post-graduate studies and for research, said Reitaku University was chosen because the two institutions followed a similar education model.

Both Visva-Bharati, founded by Tagore, and Reitaku University follow the principle of "universal" education, which begins at the kindergarten level and goes up to post-graduation and research.

The Visva-Bharati sources said the student-exchange programme would be at the school, graduation and post-graduation levels. A memorandum of understanding has been signed.

Gita A. Keeni, the head of the Japanese department of Visva-Bharati, said: "The first step (of the collaboration) will be an international seminar (at Visva-Bharati) on August 26 and 27."

A team of teachers and students led by Reitaku University president Osamu Nakayama will attend the seminar, Keeni said.

Nakayama said in an email: "The year 2016 is significant for both Visva-Bharati University and Reitaku University due to the epoch-making 100th anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore's first visit to Japan and the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the birth of Dr Chikuro Hiroike, the founder of our university.... I sincerely look forward to this relation (between the varsities) to prosper to its peak."

In May, Rabindra-Bhavana director Tapati Mukhopadhyay and Keeni had visited Reitaku University.