University of Buckingham and Soka University Establish Joint Academic Society
On April 28, 2021, an online signing ceremony was held to mark the establishment of The Daisaku Ikeda Academic Society for United Nations Studies, a joint endeavor by the University of Buckingham (UB) and Soka University (SU).
Following a decade of academic exchange between the two
universities, this new collaboration will support academic study of the global
body that has been a central focus of Mr. Ikeda’s efforts to promote peace and
global solidarity. The society grows out of the Centre for UN Studies, which
was established at the University of Buckingham in 2019 and is the first UN
research center in the country. UB itself, founded in 1973, is the first
private university to be established in England.
The cooperative relationship between the two universities dates
back to 2011, when the British university presented Mr. Ikeda, founder of Soka
University, with an honorary doctorate for his contributions to education and
peace. It was also at this time that the academic exchange program between the
universities was initiated.
At the signing ceremony, UB Vice-Chancellor James Tooley, who will
head the society, expressed his aspiration that it will contribute to humanity
and expressed his appreciation for the partnership with SU, which he described
an important international partner in the pursuit of humanistic education and
SU President Yoshihisa Baba
expressed his hope that the society would conduct meaningful research during a
time when the global community is striving to fulfil the UN’s Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs). Director of the UB Centre for UN Studies Mark Seddon
also spoke, as did Director of the SU Peace Research Institute Hideki Tamai and
Associate Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences John Drew, senior advisor to
Former High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, Mr. Peter Thorogood, who
was part of the delegation to visit SU in 2011, gave final remarks, mentioning
cherry trees that were planted on the campuses of both universities as a symbol
of friendship between them and sharing his hopes for the deepening exchange
between the two universities.
from an article in the April 30, 2021, issue of theSeikyo
Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]