16 students and academics at the University of Iceland and 6 Japanese students and academics will receive grants from the University of Iceland's Watanabe Trust Fund this year.
This is the 13th round of allocations from the trust fund, which aims to foster academic links between the University of Iceland and Japan. The trust fund was established with a donation of USD 5 million from the entrepreneur and friend of Iceland Toshizo Watanabe; this is one of the largest monetary donations the University of Iceland has ever received from an individual.
The students who have received this year's scholarships are at all stages of their university education and will spend the next semester studying either in Japan or at the University of Iceland. The grants for academics will be used to fund research stays, either at Japanese institutions or the University of Iceland. The total sum allocated this year was ISK 17.4 million.
Recipients and their representatives were awarded their grants at a formal ceremony held yesterday in the University of Iceland Ceremonial Hall; due to the pandemic, this is the first time the ceremony was able to go ahead since 2019. The founder of the fund, Toshizo Watanabe, was unfortunately not able to attend this year, but the Ambassador of Japan to Iceland, Ryotaro Suzuki, attended the event and gave a speech, as did Geir H. Haarde, former Prime Minister of Iceland, ambassador, and member of the Watanabe Trust Fund board.
The trust fund received a total of 32 applications, of which the following were successful:
University of Iceland students awarded a scholarship to study in Japan
- Abel Haukur Guðmundsson, MS student in computer science, to study at Kyoto University.
- Auður Gréta Þórisdóttir, BA student in Japanese language and culture, to study at Kwansei Gakuin University.
- Daníel Óskarsson, MS student in pharmaceutical sciences, to study at the Innovation Center of Nanomedicine (iCONM) in Kawasaki.
- Esja Sigurðardóttir, BA student in Japanese language and culture, to study at Seikei University.
- Esther Mee Hwa Herman, BA student in Japanese language and culture, to study at Gakushuin University.
- Freydís Xuan Li Hansdóttir, BS student in computer science, to study at Kyoto University.
- Han Xiao, PhD student in biology, to study at Kyoto University.
- Jowita Magdalena Kumek, PhD student in earth sciences, to study at Kochi University.
- Ingibjörg Björgvinsdóttir, MS student at UI, to do a PhD in marine biology at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology.
- Patrik Snær Kristjánsson, BA student in Japanese language and culture, to study at Osaka Gakuin University.
- Svandís Rafnsdóttir, BA student in Japanese language and culture, to study at Kansai Gaidai University.
Japanese students awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Iceland
- Ai Katabe, BA student in sociology at ICU.
- Asuka Nakashizu, BA student in history at ICU.
- Haruhiko Fukuhara, BA student in Icelandic as a second language at the University of Tokyo.
- Mashiho Kaneko, MA student in comparative English literature at Waseda University.
- Mayu Tomioka, MA student in international education studies at the University of Iceland.
University of Iceland academics awarded a grant to fund research in Japan
- Charla Jean Basran, postdoctoral researcher in marine biology, to conduct research at Kobe University.
- Anna Sigríður Ólafsdóttir, professor of nutrition, to conduct research at Kyoto Medical Centre.
- Sigríður Þorgeirsdóttir, professor of philosophy, to conduct research at the University of Tokyo.
- Svala Guðmundsóttir, professor of business administration, to conduct research at Doshisha University.
- Viðar Halldórsson, professor of sociology, to conduct research at Waseda University.
Japanese academic awarded a grant to conduct research at the University of Iceland
- Hiroshi Tamura, professor of chemistry at Kansai University.
The board of the Watanabe Trust Fund is Kristín Ingvarsdóttir, lecturer at the Faculty of Languages and Cultures and chair of the board, Toshizo "Tom" Watanabe, founder of the fund, and Geir H. Haarde, former prime minister and ambassador.