Texas Tech University

OIA Directors collaborate to secure competitive grant funded by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo

Texas Tech has been awarded a competitive grant designed to support the development of partnerships between institutions of higher education in the United States and Japan. The PI for this grant was Richard Porter, Ed.D., Director of International Student and Scholar Services, who lived and worked at a University in Japan for 6 years. Other participants from the Office of International Affairs involved in the grant included Elizabeth McDaniel, Sr. Director of Int'l Education & Enrollment Management, and Reagan Ribordy, Director, International Grants Administration and Partnerships.

This TeamUp award was funded by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and is facilitated by the United States-Japan Bridging Foundation (USJBF). According to the TeamUp web site, the $7,000 grants are awarded to 5 US institutions to increase the number of American and Japanese undergraduate and graduate students studying in each country by expanding relevant, active, mutually beneficial and innovative agreements among American and Japanese institutions of higher education.

Japan and the US have had one of the world’s strongest partnerships over the past 70 years but over the past 15 years there has been a 57 percent drop in the number of Japanese students studying in the United States. During the same period, Japan fell from being the number-one country of origin for foreign students on U.S. campuses to seventh place. While the number of U.S. citizens studying in Japan tripled during the same period, reaching 6,000, the absolute number is still small, and there is a major need to expand exchange opportunities.

TeamUp was recognized by Prime Minister Abe and President Obama in their April 2015 Summit in Washington, DC. They released a joint statement and FACT SHEET: U.S.-Japan Cooperation for a More Prosperous and Stable World that included:

“[Japan-U.S.] deep economic integration has been an extraordinarily positive force for job creation, wage growth, innovation, and enhanced prosperity for both countries. To further develop those bonds, the United States and Japan endeavor to…strengthen people-to-people ties, including efforts to increase student, research, and legislative exchanges.”

The Office of International Affairs has provided matching funds for Texas Tech representatives to travel to Japan in the spring. They will be visiting institutions in various cities in Japan to explore potential partnership that support student exchange and that involve elements of service learning or internships with the local community (U.S. and/or Japan).