Making a Real Difference through Collaboration

In accepting His Hon. Doctorate, Prof. Dr Kenji Sugibayashi says Japanese scholars are lucky to be working with Management and Science University (MSU)

Professor Dr Kenji Sugibayashi is a prolific Japanese researcher with more than fifty patents to his name. His work ranges from skin delivery of drugs and cosmetics ingredients to safety evaluation of topical exposure to chemicals. Among those that have won him his many Best Paper awards is his work on the “Alternatives to Animal Testing and Experimentation”. He counts the Asahi Kasei Young Inventor Award and the Most Distinguished Scientist Award among his accolades.

The President of Josai International University (JIU) joined Josai University (JU) in 1976 as a faculty member, and accepted full professorship in 1998. In 2017, he was appointed President of JIU as well as Trustee of JU Educational Corporation, having overseen the expansion of JU and JIU between 2002 and 2013 in his former positions of Dean for Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and JIU Vice President.

In his acceptance of the Honorary Doctorate in Pharmaceutical Science conferred to him at the 21st Convocation Ceremony of Management and Science University (MSU), Professor Dr Kenji Sugibayashi described his appointment to President of JIU as timely as he can learn from Professor Tan Sri Dato’ Wira Dr Mohd Shukri Ab Yajid. The President of Management and Science University (MSU) is Josai International University (JIU) Honorary Doctorate for the promotion of international education in the advancement of learning and culture. Professor Kenji recalled meeting Professor Shukri for the first time in Tokyo whilst he was “a mere chairman of one department at Josai” who was impressed by the MSU President’s steadfastness and vision for excellence in education.

The relationship established over a decade ago between Management and Science University (MSU) and JU not only bridges the culture gap between two nations but also lays the foundation to a bond that cultivates the benefit of collaboration for the staff and students of both universities. Initially, the MSU-JU collaboration was centred on pharmacy education, with both universities successfully organizing the annual international pharmacy education workshop APPEW. The participation of various Asia Pacific nations at APPEW enriches the discussion platform, bridging regional issues and bringing about new understanding.

In this age of globalization a global mindset is necessary, and constantly changing technology demands as well as creates opportunities for new research. International collaborations have all the potential for cross-cultural research that produce innovations of global impact and make a real difference. One such project may be MSU’s Global Mobility Programme (GMP) with JU’s Women Leadership Programme, a combination that facilitates student mobility between the two universities, and, with programs such as dual degrees, guest lectures, and new postgraduate studies in the pipeline, promotes curriculum expansion.

Another area of collaboration between Management and Science University (MSU) and JU is in halal pharmaceuticals, food, and cosmetics. The Japanese love clean materials, informs Professor Kenji, and working with Management and Science University (MSU) on issues of halal not only places Japanese scholars among the luckiest but has also resulted in the establishment of the International Centre for Halal Studies (ICHLAS).

Professor Dr Kenji Sugibayashi who is a regular at APPEW notes the success of APPEW’s well-managed, well-attended events as reflecting the true spirit of excellence at the core of the Management and Science University (MSU) philosophy. He is optimistic that the partnership will develop and grow, as the challenges of the 21st century necessitate close collaborations, ones that transcend borders and cultures. He congratulates Management and Science University (MSU) for its global vision and is confident that the MSU-JU collaboration will continue bridging the challenges of distance and differences to broaden the horizon and future of pharmacy education.

The Asia Pacific Pharmacy Education Workshop (APPEW) is organized by Management and Science University (MSU) through its School of Pharmacy, with partner universities including JU.