Orientation for Class of 2020 Sasakawa Fellowship Students
The Orientation for the new Sasakawa Fellowship Students in the Class of 2020 was held at WMU on 20 September in the Sasakawa Auditorium. The event is hosted annually by The Nippon Foundation to promote connections between the graduating Class and the incoming Sasakawa-sponsored students to foster future collaboration. The Class of 2019, with 30 Sasakawa Fellowship Students who will be graduating in November, welcomed the 28 Sasakawa Fellowship Students in the Class of 2020.
The Sasakawa Fellows Programme provides a global network to enable Sasakawa Fellows who graduate from WMU to support their countries in addressing maritime policy challenges and to develop excellence in leadership as well as promote international cooperation. Sasakawa Fellowship Students are expected to take advantage of the experience gained at WMU to resolve challenges that their countries may face, and to build strong human networks to implement positive change in the maritime world as well as society in general.
The Nippon Foundation was represented by Mr. Eisuke Kudo, Advisor for the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF), and Mr. Takeshi Mizunari, Research Fellow, Ocean Education Division, Policy Research Department of SPF. The orientation included opening remarks by Mr. Kudo who emphasized the importance of making connections with other Sasakawa Fellows to advance the network. Mr. Mizunari then made a presentation on the history of the Sasakawa Fellows programme, its administration and funding arrangements.
Sasakawa Fellowship Students in the soon to graduate Class of 2019 made presentations about the seven different MSc in Maritime Affairs specializations as well as their experiences of studying at WMU. A reception followed in the WMU World Bistro where WMU President, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, thanked The Nippon Foundation for their extraordinary, and ongoing support for maritime capacity building through providing fellowships to WMU students. Overall, the event enabled the students to set the foundation for expanding the Sasakawa Fellowship network.
The Nippon Foundation’s contributions to WMU began in 1987 providing fellowships for WMU students from Asia and Africa. The WMU Sasakawa Fellowship Programme began in 1988. The Nippon Foundation is the largest fellowship donor to the University, providing 25-30 new awards on an annual basis. The Class of 2020 Sasakawa Fellowship Students brings the total number of students funded by The Nippon Foundation to 669, coming from more than 60 countries.