Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER)

CHEER in Japan: June 2017

CHEER members travelled to Japan for a week on 18 June 2017 to be hosted by the Research Institute for Japan, UK and Europe (RIJUE), University of Hiroshima. The team included CHEER’s Director, Professor Louise Morley; Co-director, Dr Emily Danvers; Research Fellow, Dr Charlotte Morris; Head of the Department of Education, Dr Simon Thompson; Assistant Director of the Doctoral School and doctoral researcher, Paul Roberts; and CHEER doctoral researcher, Daniel Leyton.

The purpose of the visit was to develop CHEER's research partnership with RIJUE; to collect data and exchange knowledge for co-authored papers and to discuss ideas for future research and publication collaborations.

The three research strands - agreed at a Sussex symposium in February 2017 - included Internationalisation with a focus on the experiences of International academics, Doctoral Studies, investigating training and skills development, and Higher Education Pedagogies with an emphasis on critical thinking.


The team was welcomed at the University of Hiroshima by Professor Yumiko Hada where the team met and conversed with Professor Hotta, Deputy Vice President of International Planning. The team was then welcomed by Professor Masataka Koyama, Dean of the Education Department, and had an opportunity to share details of the projects and discuss current research interests and issues in Education. Following this meeting a welcome lunch was joined by Dr Norifumi Miyokawa, Senior Research Administrator in the Research Planning Office, Hiroshima University.

Data collection activities commenced in the afternoon.

Professor Louise Morley in the grounds of Hiroshima University

  The CHEER team meets the Dean of Education at Hiroshima University: Day 1  Lunch at Hiroshima University: Day 1   


Professor Louise Morley was as a keynote speaker at an international seminar at Doshisha University, Kyoto, at which she presented The Future of Higher Education in Japan and the UK [PPTX 4.04MB].

The CHEER team had the opportunity to network with academics and doctoral researchers at the university, and the day ended with dinner with Ms. Bando, Secretary General of the Consumer Affairs Agency.

Cheer members with Dr Simon Thompson waiting for train to Kyoto  Louise in front of a Japanese bullet train  in Hiroshima: Day 4

Professor Louise Morley is a keynote speaker at a Kyoto conference: Day 2

  Louise with CHEER colleagues at a Kyoto conference: Day 2  Daniel Leyton and Paul Roberts at Kyoto conference: Day 2  Post-conference dinner: Day 2


Following a morning of data collection, the team attended a University of Hiroshima seminar which included presentations from doctoral researchers. As part of the afternoon event, Dr Emily Danvers facilitated a workshop on academic writing for researchers, which drew on her own research as well as experiences running the ‘Writing Into Meaning’ group for doctoral researchers at Sussex. The workshop included students making clay models to represent their research.

The day ended with a networking event and 'sake party' supported by Hiroshima Prefectural Government.

Dr Emily Danvers facilitates a workshop on academic writing at the University of Hiroshima: Day 3  Sake party: Day 3


Following a morning of data collection, the CHEER team was treated to some sightseeing with RIJUE colleagues Ryo Sasaki, Yuki Yamaguchi and Robert Aspinall. Firstly, the team travelled into the city of Hiroshima where they were met and taken by ferry to Miyajima - ‘The Island of Gods’ - known for its temple and floating shrine. With the benefit of a tour guide, the group spent an unforgettable time at this unique location.

On the way back, the hosts provided a tour of the famous Peace Park in Hiroshima. The day ended with further opportunities for reflection and discussion over dinner in the city.

CHEER at Temple Gate: Day 4   Sightseeing (3)  Sightseeing (2)  Lunch while sightseeing (3): Day 4 Lunch while sightseeing: Day 4


RIJUE hosted a planning meeting between the two centres. Chaired by Paul Roberts, the meeting focused on the objectives of the partnership and next steps. Suggestions were put forward for co-authored papers for peer reviewed journals, and possibilities for further funded research. Plans are currently underway for two Sussex academics and two doctoral researchers to return to Hiroshima to continue this work in 2018.

This memorable visit ended with the team being welcomed to a special barbecue with Professor Yumiko Hada, family and friends.

The CHEER team at a barbeque hosted by Professor Yumiko Hada: Day 5