RENKEI is a partnership between 12 universities in Japan and the UK, aiming to further knowledge exchange and research collaboration between institutions and individuals. This group of leading research intensive universities in the two countries is also developing collaborations with industry, governments and civil society to address global research challenges

How RENKEI was formed 
The origin of RENKEI dates back to 2010 when the then Foreign Secretary William Hague visited Japan and both governments announced that the British and Japanese university leaders will hold dialogues to share best practices in internationalisation and would promote student and researcher exchanges.

During this year, the 2nd Japan-UK Higher Education Symposium was held at Kyushu University in Japan and university leaders identified a need for a new model of international university-industry partnerships as action points. At this symposium, both UK and Japanese universities were openly invited to come forward to form a working group. 12 universities responded to this call and decided to join an initiative to develop a new strategic bilateral partnership with British Council Japan as its secretariat.

This strategic bilateral partnership was named RENKEI (Japan-UK Research and Education Network for Knowledge Economy Initiative) and was formally launched on 13 March 2012 to meet the challenges of living in a complex, rapidly changing and globalized twenty-first century.