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April 28, 2021

University of Buckingham and Soka University Establish Joint Academic Society

University of Buckingham and Soka University Establish Joint Academic Society
University of Buckingham

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 peace.

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 the society.

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.

 [Adapted from an article in the April 30, 2021, issue of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]

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