Kyoto University is aiming at building an equal partnership in research, education and contribution to society with Kingdom of Bhutan with all it’s strength.
To take advantage of the multidisciplinary university, every individual colleges, departments and institutes such as Kyoto University College of Humanities, Science and Engineering or Life Science work together to combine and build a comprehensive academic field and return greater outcome of its academic activities not only in the narrow conventional area but also to expanded contribution to the international society, which is in line with Japan’s national objective.
The relationship between Bhutan and Kyoto University has started since 1957. Initially, some of professors of Kyoto University such as Takeo Kuwabara and Johji Ashida guided Her Majesty Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck, the Queen of Third King of Bhutan in Kyoto. Following this memorial meeting, Dr. Sasuke Nakao, the graduate of Kyoto University, was invited by her Majesty to Bhutan in 1958, as the first Japanese visitor to Bhutan. Since then, in Bhutan, the research teams from Kyoto University have undertaken activities such as; Minoru Matsuo and Takeo Kuwabara et al surveyed in 1970 and Ryohei Hori et al reached to the summit of Mt. Masakang 7200m in 1985.
However in the recent years, there is dilution in this horizontal connection among each activity, and there is suspicion for oblivion of the historical details. Therefore, to remind as equal partners in Japan and Bhutan over the size of the country, and to be aware of the role of Kyoto University as a bridge between Japan and Bhutan, Kyoto University Bhutan Friendship Program has been launched since 2010.
With respect to Gross National Happiness (GNH)
The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked nation in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalaya Mountains and is bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by People's Republic of China. Bhutan used to be one of the most isolated nations in the world, but developments including direct international flights, the Internet, mobile phone networks, and cable television have increasingly modernised the urban areas of the country.
Bhutan has balanced modernisation with its ancient culture and traditions under the guiding philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH). Rampant destruction of the environment has been avoided. The government takes great measures to preserve the nation's traditional culture, identity and the environment.
Bhutan's landscape ranges from subtropical plains in the south to the Himalayan heights in the north, with some peaks exceeding 7,000 metres (23,000ft). The state religion is Vajrayana Buddhism, and the population of 691,141 is predominantly Buddhist, with Hinduism being the second-largest religion.
Founded in June, 1897, Kyoto University has a long history and enduring traditions. The main campus is located in the historic city of Kyoto, a center of traditional Japanese culture.Since its founding, the University has been dedicated to furthering higher education and fostering an atmosphere of free academic exchange. Graduates of the University play important roles in both national and international affairs, as key players in politics, industry, and society.
At present, Kyoto University is comprised of 10 faculties, 17 graduate schools, 13 research institutes, 28 educational institutes and other establishments. Approximately 1,300 of the university's 22,000 students hail from overseas. With students from over 90 different countries and regions, the university's campuses boast a rich cultural diversity.