St. Edward's University Students Gain Access to Asian Studies Through Japanese Government Grant

A grant from the Japanese government expected to provide an award up to $3,746,618
(JPY 292,180,000) for the next 4 to 5 years will benefit St. Edward’s University students who have their sights set on doing business in Japan and learning more about Southeast Asian religion, society and culture.

St. Edward’s in cooperation with its international grant partner - Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University  - has created educational programs that will allow Asian and American students to develop intercultural understanding by studying and traveling together while in pursuit of an undergraduate degree.

“The programs made possible through this grant will provide Asian and American students with an immersive educational experience that promotes critical thinking, cultural understanding and social consciousness,” said George E. Martin, President of St. Edward’s University. "Students will be challenged to navigate different and demanding environments, but will be supported by experienced faculty who will help them grow intellectually and personally. We are grateful to our grant partner – Asia Pacific University, and also to the Catholic University of Korea – for working with us to create this global educational experience.”

This is the latest in a series of international programs and partnerships called for in the St. Edward’s
 5-year strategic plan.

This custom-designed, collaborative program includes four components:

  1. Doing Business in Japan – Each year in March, St. Edward’s University students enrolled in this program will travel to Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan where they will study business management in the context of Japanese culture.
  2. Southeast Asian Religion and Culture Tour – Each year in August, students from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Catholic University of Korea and St. Edward’s will study and travel together throughout Thailand and Malaysia. Lead by supportive and experienced faculty, their studies will focus on gaining greater intercultural and inter-religious understanding.
  3. St. Edward’s welcomes Japanese students to Austin – Each year in the spring and summer, students from Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University will experience life at an American university while they study English and a range of liberal arts courses at St. Edward’s. This is an important component to the program because it enables St. Edward’s an opportunity to bring greater cultural diversity to campus as outlined in the university’s current 5-year strategic plan.
  4. Endeavor to create dual degree programs – the grant provides for the eventual development of customized dual degrees that will include courses in English and Japanese language proficiency, strategic management, religion and culture and the history and evolution of global procedures.   

These types of international, educational experiences are critical for today’s students as they prepare to compete for jobs in which employers look for candidates who have an understanding of the global context in which business is done. The Association of American Colleges and Universities states that among things employers look for in new college graduates, a global perspective, the ability to work well in teams, and a strong sense of ethics and integrity, are key factors to long-term professional success. 

The grant, provided through Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology (MEXT) was awarded to only 7 out of 49 programs who applied. Programs and partner universities were selected based on their ability to expand international education and develop joint programs with collaborative instruction methods using both American and Asian faculty members.

Students interested in these programs should contact the Office of International Education at  512-428-1051.