International Partnership (Internationale Partnerschaft)

The Centre has been making efforts to develop partnerships with overseas researchers and groups with a stake in rural development. It is important to stimulate international engagement and cooperation around contemporary rural issues as it is through such engagement that we can better understand the various problems facing and approaches to rural development. This international knowledge exchange is a crucial step in moving towards the development of vibrant and sustainable rural areas.

Das Zentrum wurde die Anstrengungen zur Entwicklung von Partnerschaften mit ausländischen Forschern und Gruppen mit einer Beteiligung in der ländlichen Entwicklung. Es ist wichtig zur Stimulierung des internationalen Engagements und der Zusammenarbeit auf zeitgenössische ländlichen Probleme, da sie sich durch solche Engagements, können wir besser verstehen, die verschiedenen Probleme und Ansätze in Bezug auf die ländliche Entwicklung. Diese internationalen Wissensaustausch ist ein entscheidender Schritt in Richtung auf die Entwicklung eines lebendigen und nachhaltigen ländlichen Gebieten.

International Links (Internationale Verbindungen)

Newcastle University (UK) Centre for Rural Economy


International Research Project

During September, two members of the Centre for Regional Partnership visited the Centre for Rural Economy, Newcastle University, UK. The trip was part of a JSPS funded four year co-operative research project which aims to compare rural development theory and practice within Japan and the UK. Along with members of the Centre for Regional Partnership, academics from Meiji University and Tokyo University also took part. The trip and the research project builds on fruitful linkages that have already been established between these UK and Japanese institutions.

During the stay in the UK, the Japanese delegates had the opportunity to meet with and discuss rural development issues with prominent academics in Newcastle University. The Japanese delegates also had the opportunity to visit Northumberland to speak to those involved in community development work. During the one day visit to Northumberland delegates had the opportunity to visit the Northumberland National Park Authority, the Lynemouth Community Trust, Humshaugh Village Shop, The Carriage Tearooms (Bellingham), North Tyne and Redesdale Community Trust and Kenspeckle Chocolate company. These visits were an excellent opportunity to see the practice of community driven rural development 'on the ground' and to discuss some of the issues that these organisations and projects faced. One of the important lessons that came out was that seed funding was very important to these projects, yet once established, these projects could become self-sustaining and provide a source of revenue and jobs for the local area that went beyond the initial investment. Moreover, small projects and organisations potentially could inject a much needed impetus into localities, creating conditions for other businesses and community activities to flourish. For example, it was suggested that in Bellingham, investment in the community trust and tourist centre had established conditions that allowed other businesses to take root in the area.

This trip to the UK was, however, only one stage of the four year research project. Over the next four years there will be further exchange between the universities involved. This project is a great opportunity for both rural development academics and practitioners from both countries to build upon the links between the UK and Japan, and for both countries to learn from each others' experience.

Graduate School of Agriculture, Kobe University
1-1 Rokkodai-cho, Nada, Kobe, Hyogo 657-8501, Japan
TEL & FAX : 078-803-5939