International Strategy Office Kyoto University (iSO-KU)

iSO-KU: working for the internationalization of Kyoto University

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iSO-KU brings together leadership and innovation from both academic and administrative staff in developing strategies and implementing measures for a smooth internationalization of Kyoto University.

The Office is located on the first floor of the University Head Office (building #14 on this map) and consists of:

  • The Director, who is also the University's Vice President for International Strategy
  • Two Vice-Directors: one for global engagement and the other for administrative matters
  • The Directors of the University's Overseas Centers: the ASEAN Center, the European Center, and the North American Center
  • Three faculty members serving full-time, each focusing on specific regions and functions
  • The International Education Administrator and supporting staff

iSO-KU also functions as a university-wide network, an umbrella that brings together main offices in the University's central administration involved in international matters.

As a network, it bridges main offices in charge of international affairs as well as assistants to the University's Provost and Executive Vice-Presidents (EVPs) for: Gender Equality, International Affairs, and Public Relations; Student Affairs and Library Services; Education, Information Infrastructure, and Evaluation; and Strategy Coordination, Research, Planning, and Hospital Administration.

Since 2016, iSO-KU has been performing some of the functions of the former Organization for the Promotion of International Relations, focusing mainly on the promotion of a comprehensive internationalization of Kyoto University.

Guided by its four core missions, iSO-KU works on the design and implementation of policy and strategies to promote smooth and effective internationalization of the University.

The four missions of iSO-KU are:

CONNECT from within and with the world

iSO-KU plans, coordinates, and supports international academic activities.

This mission relates to planning, coordinating, and supporting the University's international activities in education and research. In addition to providing support to activities by departments both at home and abroad, iSO-KU boosts, coordinates, and facilitates collaborations in education and research.

iSO-KU is constantly reaching out to international partners through the University's Overseas Centers in ASEAN, Europe, and North America. Furthermore, iSO-KU contributes to the management of schemes such as the On-site Laboratory initiative and the recruitment of excellent international students as specified in the University's Designated National University concept.

BOOST international presence

iSO-KU encourages effective international branding; strengthens international networking capabilities and visibility of the University.

While the education and research capabilities of the University have been highly evaluated across the world, its outstanding achievements have remained somewhat unexposed internationally. Hence, a key role of iSO-KU is to support the University's efforts to boost its global visibility.

In so doing, iSO-KU strives to strengthen and expand the University's current and potential worldwide networks while tightening partnerships with worldleading universities and making use of the web and other resources towards effective dissemination of the University's achievements and developments.

PROMOTE internalization of the University's campuses and beyond

iSO-KU supports implementation of the Basic Concept for Internationalization by engaging with researchers & students, providing effective international crisis management policy and tools, boosting information sharing, and learning from good practices.

The third mission of iSO-KU is to promote internationalization on campus. Promoting internationalization of the University's education and research requires robust support, and there is the need for more sophistication and efficiency in the University's management. In order to implement the initiatives conceived under the Basic Concept, it is essential to empower and enrich the support system itself.

STRENGTHEN governance for internationalization

iSO-KU plans, coordinates, and promotes cooperation among the University's departments and headquarters to promote concerted internationalization.

iSO-KU aims to build a university-wide foundation for collaborative education and research support that allows the central administration and departments to develop integrated activities based on multilateral cooperation. iSO-KU takes the lead in enhancing the internationalization of the University from a comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and trans-sectoral perspective, serving as a "linkage" to strengthen collaboration between the University's academic and administrative staff members.