Hokkaido University Faculty of Education/Graduate School

International Exchange

Since their foundations, the Hokkaido University Faculty, Graduate School and School of Education have deepened exchanges with universities, other educational institutions and individual researchers in numerous countries and regions across the world. Currently, the Graduate School and School of Education host international students from eight countries and regions.

For university-wide internationalization initiatives, see the websites below.

・Departmental Exchange Agreements (MOUs) with 12 universities and research institutions

・Hokkaido Summer Institute

・ESD Campus Asia-Pacific Program

  ・International Network

Departmental Exchange Agreements (MOUs) with 12 universities and research institutions

As internationalization and its accompanying international research collaboration progress, the Graduate School and School of Education have stepped up their efforts to conclude exchange agreements and sister school partnership agreements with universities in other countries. Currently, Hokkaido University has 195 agreements with 199 universities in 51 countries and regions (as of October 14, 2020). In addition to these university-wide agreements, the Faculty, Graduate School and School of Education have departmental exchange agreements (MOUs) with the following 12 universities and research institutions (as of December 14, 2020)

Portland State University/Lomonosov Moscow State University/University of Leeds, School of Sociology and Social Policy/Kongju National University/Korea University/Seoul National University/National Taiwan Normal University/Renmin University of China/Beijing Normal University/Chulalongkorn University/Sakhalin State University/INSHEA, Institut national superieur de formation et de recherche


Hokkaido Summer Institute

The Hokkaido Summer Institute (HSI) is an educational program in which leading researchers brought together from around the world provide courses between June and August in partnership with Hokkaido University faculty members. Students not only from Hokkaido University but also from other universities in Japan and beyond can attend these state-of-the-art classes taught in English, which allows our students to feel as if they were studying abroad while still on campus.

HSI is an all-hands-on-deck program launched in 2016 as one of the four reform programs under the Hokkaido Universal Campus Initiative (HUCI), which was selected for participation in the Top Global University Project (Type A) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2014. As HSI offers a wide variety of courses, students can find many options within and outside their field of study. It is a tremendous opportunity for them to take a step forward through new experiences with overseas students!

Find more information about the courses offered during HSI 2021 here:

Hokkaido Summer Institute Homepage

Course U018: ESD Campus Asia-Pacific Program 2021: Olympism, Diversity and Innovation I | Hokkaido Summer Institute (hokudai.ac.jp)

Course G086: ESD Campus Asia-Pacific Program 2021: Olympism, Diversity and Innovation II | Hokkaido Summer Institute (hokudai.ac.jp)

Course G032 / 101533: Imagining, Narrating and Representing Futures in a Precarious World | Hokkaido Summer Institute (hokudai.ac.jp)

Course G075 / 101532: Indigenous education and research in Australia: Position, commitment and contribution in Indigenous research | Hokkaido Summer Institute (hokudai.ac.jp)

ESD Campus Asia-Pacific Program

Every year since 2011, the School of Education has held the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) Campus Asia-Pacific Program—a short-term overseas exchange study program focusing on the roles of education in the sustainable development of society—in partnership with its counterparts at Korea University and Seoul National University in South Korea, Beijing Normal University in China, Chulalongkorn University in Thailand and Sakhalin State University in Russia.

This program is expected to help our students continue their exchanges with overseas students into the future and become globally minded human resources capable of contributing to the sustainable development of society.

For information about the past ESD programs, click the links below.

 ESD2019 – ESD2012


ESD Campus Asia-Pacific Program 2020

Due to COVID-19, Hokkaido University cancelled its student acceptance and dispatch programs, respectively, in the summer and fall of 2020. Instead of the summer program at Hokkaido University, the University held the online ESD Campus Asia-Pacific Program from September 14 to 16, with the participation of eight Hokkaido University students and 13 students at Beijing Normal University, Sakhalin State University and the University of Hawaiʻi.


The summer program at Hokkaido University is characterized by the Buddy Program in which Hokkaido University students are paired with students from the institutions to which they will be later dispatched to help each other adjust to life overseas. Although students could not enjoy these in-person interactions this year, they had a great time through the online program consisting of three lectures and one workshop.

The first lecture was given by Teaching Fellow Tyrel Eskelson (the Graduate School of Education). Under the theme of Sustainable Development as a Global Goal: Concepts, Issues, and Ideas, he talked about the histories of mankind and infectious diseases from the viewpoint of social structural issues that are related to institutional and economic units, and then stressed the significance of the basic philosophy of ESD and the need for social initiatives. The next lecture was given by Professor Jeffry Gayman (the Graduate School of Education and the Research Faculty of Media and Communication), who spoke under the theme of Rethinking Sustainable Development Post-Corona from the Issues Made Visible (and Invisible) through the COVID-19 Pandemic: with a focus on Indigenous Peoples. He said infectious disease problems are manifested as problems of social and economic disparities among indigenous communities, and urged students to view ESD issues as local problems confronting them. The next lecture was given by Associate Professor Yumiko Ohara at the College of Hawaiian Language, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Titled Socially determined health and wellbeing: COVID-19, indigenous communities and their languages and ESD, the lecture provided a great opportunity to study the historical, social and cultural aspects of issues involving the Hawaiian language, indigenous communities and infectious diseases. These lectures provided a rare opportunity for students of Hokkaido University and elsewhere to review infectious diseases issues from a sociocultural and historical perspective and develop an analytical viewpoint.

Later in the program, Dr. Nanako Iwasa (Research Fellow, Hokkaido University) hosted a workshop designed to tap students’ conceptual power to help find solutions to social issues. The online workshop provided an opportunity for a practical discussion and interactions as students tackled project issues in small groups. Students shared the achievements of their groupwork through presentations they made on the final day of the program. While the pandemic did not allow students to conduct fieldwork in Sapporo and Biratori Town, as they had in previous years, the program held using online technology enabled them to experience the depths of ESD from a different angle than usual.

The ESD Campus Asia-Pacific Program 2020, which used the impacts of COVID-19 as part of its lecture topics, built on the achievements of the past programs and provided topics for ongoing discussions going forward.


Online lecture of Associate Professor Yumiko Ohara given from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo

Socially distanced workshop

Online presentation made by a student of an overseas partner university

Presentation made by Hokkaido University students

 ESD2020 Campus Asia-Pacific Program



International Network

Participation of our faculty members in the online Cold Land Seminar “Japanese-Russian Collaboration in the North” as part of Specialized Section activities of the Human Resource Development Platform for Japan-Russia Economic Cooperation and Personnel Exchange (HaRP) Program under the Inter-University Exchange Project (Russia) (September 30, 2020)

Professor Keiko Ikeda and Professor Jeffry Gayman of the Faculty of Education attended Section Meeting 2 (“The Northern Community”) in the Cold Land Seminar “Japanese-Russian collaboration in the North” held on September 30, 2020. The event was held as part of the Northern Sustainable Development Forum 2020, which was hosted jointly by North-Eastern Federal University in Russia and Hokkaido University. In Section Meeting 2, Professor Jeffry Gayman and Deputy Director Lena Sidorova (North-Eastern Federal University) jointly served as moderators. From Hokkaido University, Professor Gayman and Professor Ikeda made presentations from their specialized perspectives, and from North-Eastern Federal University, Associate Professor Viktoria Mikhaylova and Leading Researcher Maria Pavlova made presentations on their research projects. The presentations also covered the short-term overseas study program the School of Education offers in partnership with Sakhalin State University as part of the ESD Campus Asia-Pacific Program, and the online seminar held in November 2019 by Ural State Pedagogical University, Sakhalin State University and Hokkaido University. Professor Gayman introduced his lab’s work centering on his indigenous studies. He also shared his interest in social, cultural and economic issues with the Russian participants, and stressed the need for sustained collaboration among them. The section meeting also discussed topics related to “SDGs: Environment, Resource Development, Multicultural Education,” which is a new section in the HaRP Program.


Exchange of opinions with a delegation from National Chiayi University (Taiwan)

Faculty members of the Graduate School and Faculty of Education exchanged views with members of a delegation from National Chiayi University (Taiwan) on October 9, 2018.


Specialized Section activities of the HaRP Program: Visits to the Graduate School and School of Education by Sakhalin State University Professor Victor I. Korsunov (August 28, 2018) and Professor Irina Balitskaya (August 29, 2019)

The School of Education has undertaken the following Specialized Section activities of the HaRP Program under the Inter-University Exchange Project (Russia). In 2017, the school launched an exchange program with the Faculty of Education of Sakhalin State University, one of its partner institutions in the ESD Campus Asia-Pacific Program, a short-term overseas exchange study program featuring six universities in five countries. In the same year, the school and Sakhalin State University also implemented a three-month student exchange program with credit transfer in the form of the ESD Global Partnership Collaborative Educational Program (Hokkaido University dispatched two to four undergraduate students). Both programs are aimed at deepening students’ learning to achieve the UN SDGs from the perspectives of cross-cultural understanding and multilingual education, with an ultimate goal of realizing inclusive education to foster the development of social educators (pedagogues) through practical experiences. In the three-month student exchange program, in particular, students choose one of the fields of study covered by the School of Education (namely, pedagogical foundations of education, social science of education, psychology of education, and science of health and physical education) and learn about the global challenges highlighted by the SDGs through advanced integration into pedagogy. Through academic pursuits in those disciplines, the program promotes personnel exchanges and helps develop global human resources with broad views so that students who successfully complete the program will serve as a bridge between Hokkaido and Sakhalin, which are closely connected with each other historically and geographically, for the future of Japan and Russia.

Professor Korsunov visits the Graduate School and School of Education (August 28, 2018).

Professor Balitskaya visits the Graduate School and School of Education (August 29, 2019).


An academic exchange program with a delegation from Nakhon Pathom Rajabhat University Graduate School of Education (Thailand)

On April 19, 2017, the Graduate School and Faculty of Education held an academic exchange program with a delegation from the Graduate School of Education of Nakhon Pathom Rajabhat University (NPRU) in Thailand. The delegation consisted of a total of 27 members: 6 faculty members, 19 doctoral students, and 2 administrative staff members, and the program took place in a large conference room in the School of Education. Located in Nakhon Pathom Province, roughly 60 km west of Bangkok, NPRU was originally established as a teacher training school and merged with Nakhon Pathom Rajabhat University in 2006 into a university with five faculties (Education, Science and Technology, Humanities and Social Science, Management Science, and Nursing).

During the program, a Hokkaido University representative introduced the present situation of research and education at the University and its departments using the University’s website. On behalf of the delegation, Associate Professor Pitchayapa Yuenyaw gave an overview of NPRU, followed by Associate Professor Jittirat Seanglertuthai presenting his research results regarding teaching methods. The afternoon session began with a presentation by Professor Toshiro Yokoi of the Faculty of Education regarding the Japanese educational system and its challenges, which was followed by a lively Q&A session and discussions about the educational systems, research areas, graduate programs and the like in Japan and Thailand. Since all the doctoral students in the delegation shoulder the responsibility for compulsory and higher education in Thai communities as teachers, school principals, education board members or university faculty members, discussion topics also included the importance of partnership with communities, not just education administration and school management.

Hokkaido University and NPRU are yet to conclude a university-wide agreement or departmental exchange agreement with each other, but they concluded the academic exchange program with the hope that future collaborations, such as NPRU’s dispatches of graduate students to the Hokkaido Summer Institute and research exchanges among faculty members, will lead to discussions about the possible conclusion of a partnership agreement.