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Japan Society chairman Bill Emmott’s guests to discuss the role of universities and their strategies to meet future challenges are Professor David Richardson, vice chancellor of the University of East Anglia, and Professor Yuko Takahashi, president of Tsuda University.
The Coronavirus pandemic has presented Higher Education with a series of widely-reported challenges, from the need to switch rapidly to online learning, to continued concerns over safety of students and staff, to the crisis over A-level results and admissions in the UK and to concerns in both countries over university finances. Many universities also fear increased dropout rates from students struggling both to adjust to a much-changed learning environment and manage rising debt. What are the longer-term impacts of the pandemic particularly in the context of pre-existing challenges such as Brexit in the UK and falling domestic student numbers in Japan?
Professor David J Richardson is Vice Chancellor of the University of East Anglia since 2014. During his time as Vice Chancellor he has chaired a Universities UK advisory group focussed on stamping out harassment on campus, whose report was published in November 2020. David Richardson is a bacterial biochemist who has used a range of disciplines to unravel respiratory processes of anaerobic bacteria from both soils and marine environments and the human gastro-intestinal tract. He has led a research group in UEA's School of Biological Sciences for 23 years - conducting world-leading research into the biochemistry of environmentally and medically important bacteria. In 1999 he was awarded the Fleming Medal and a Wolfson Royal Society Fellowship for his contribution to the understanding of bacterial bioenergetics.
Professor Yuko Takahashi was named the eleventh president of Tsuda College (now Tsuda University) in 2016. She is particularly interested in leadership education for the next generation at women’s colleges in both the U.S. and Japan. Yuko Takahashi’s major research areas are American Studies, American social history, and gender history. She served as President of the Japanese Association of American Studies (2018-2020), and she is currently an executive director of the Gender History Association of Japan; a member of the board of trustees for the American Studies Foundation; and an associate member of the Science Council of Japan. She was a Fulbright visiting scholar at Stanford University (2003-04) as well as Wellesley College (2013-14).
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