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History

1989 class photoJCMU Class of 1989-1990

Origins

The Michigan-Shiga sister-state relationship was initiated in 1968. Since that time, various exchange programs have been developed, including goodwill missions, teacher and high school student exchange programs, and education programs that take place at JCMU. The Michigan-Shiga relationship is one of the most active sister-state relationships in existence.

Founding

In September 1988, on the 20th anniversary of their sister-state relationship, the governors of Shiga Prefecture and the State of Michigan signed an agreement to create JCMU. In collaboration with the two governments, the fifteen state-supported universities in Michigan formed a consortium for the expressed purpose of operating JCMU and its academic programs. Shiga Prefecture provides the JCMU grounds and buildings in Hikone and on-site staff to work closely with JCMU's staff in designing and carrying out cultural exchange activities.

Partnerships with Local Japanese Universities

In 1998, the newly created University of Shiga Prefecture (USP) became a JCMU partner. In 2003, Shiga University (SU) and USP joined in official student exchange agreements with the JCMU consortium member universities, and in 2008 JCMU added an exchange agreement with Shiga University of Medical Sciences (SUMS). These exchange agreements permit JCMU students to take courses and participate in social and cultural activities at these three Japanese institutions, and allow SU, USP and SUMS students to study at the JCMU consortium institutions in Michigan.

International Commitment

The creation of JCMU represents a unique commitment on the part of Shiga Prefecture and the State of Michigan to promote international education and to prepare the citizens of both countries for the realities of our changing world. It also represents an unprecedented level of cooperation among the universities in Michigan and elsewhere in an effort to develop and implement programs of mutual interest.