Professor Mark Williams
- President, British Association for Japanese Studies
PD Dr Sierk Horn
- Adjunct Professor of the East Asia Seminar, Freie Universitat Berlin
Japan Societies/Club Activities
The Department of East Asian Studies boasts a lively student body that participates enthusiastically in events organised by staff and students. There are two Japan-related student-run societies - the East Asian Research Society (EARS) and JapSoc. A variety of exciting events are run throughout the year, including seminars with guest speakers, film screenings, meals and sporting events.
National Institute of Japanese Studies
The Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Leeds , together with the School of East Asian Studies at the University of Sheffield applied to the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for funding under the 2006 Language Based Area Studies initiative. The bid was successful, with four million pounds being awarded for the development of East Asian Studies under the umbrella of the White Rose East Asia Centre. The National Institute of Chinese Studies (NICS) and the National Institute of Japanese Studies (NIJS) together constitute the Centre. The NIJS is the only international Centre of Excellence in Japanese Studies in the UK . The funding enabled us to appoint one new member of staff in Japanese Studies. An addition lectureship in Japanese Studies has been funded by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation. Programmes and syllabus The kinds and number of modules on offer change in response to staff expertise and research interests and student needs, but the overall focus of Japanese studies at Leeds is on a combination of social science and humanities disciplines, as well as language teaching from ab initio to advanced. The University is committed to the development of Japanese studies and we are expecting to recruit about sixty students per annum in the mid-term. The longer term perspective for Japanese Studies (and of East Asian Studies in general) at the University of Leeds will remain within the context of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. This enables us to plan our budget, as well our teaching provision and research direction, in the context of broader School-wide initiatives - and, in recent years, this has led, inter alia, to the introduction of modules on Japanese translation and interpreting (as part of our Centre for Translation Studies), on Japanese business (as part of our long-standing collaboration with the Leeds University Business School's Centre for International Business, University of Leeds (CIBUL)) and on Japanese Cinema (as part of our Centre for World Cinemas), etc.
The increase in student numbers witnessed over the last few years continues apace, and short-term predictions remain buoyant. Staffing levels have been addressed in part with the new appointments in Japanese Studies, but staff-student ratios with respect to Language Teaching Fellow staff could be improved. The national funding picture is, of course, a major concern to us at the moment, and it is not yet clear how the introduction of market-rate fees will affect recruitment to our programmes. We are hopeful that interest in East Asia, and Japanese studies in particular, will remain at a high level, not least given the employability factor of a Japanese Studies degree.