His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino visited the WULS-SGGW campus and the Wilanów-Obory research station on July 1st. 2019.
WULS-SGGW was represented by His Magnificence Rector Prof. Wiesław Bielawski, Prof. Marian Binek, Vice-Rector for Science, First Deputy, Prof. Michał Zasada, Vice-Rector for International Cooperation and Prof. Kazimierz Tomala, Vice-Rector for Didactics respectively.
Rector Bielawski welcomed His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino in the Senate Assembly Hall in the Rectorate located in the historical part of the WULS-SGGW campus and briefly described the University. Afterwards a short film with major facts about WULS-SGGW was presented. Vice-Rector Zasada provided summary information on University’s cooperation with Japanese institutions.
Despite of the distance between Poland and Japan, 9 out of 13 faculties maintain close cooperation with a few dozen Japanese universities, research institutes, scientific associations and companies - since at least 4 decades. The list of these institutions includes, among others, Kyoto University, Nagoya University, Hokkaido University (with its renown museum), Hiroshima University, Brain Science Institute, Japanese Geotechnical Association for Housing Disaster Prevention and a few biotechnological companies. The most active contacts with Japan are those of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, where research on animal physiology and hormonal regulation have been carried out. The second unit, Faculty of Horticulture, Biotechnology and Landscape Architecture, focuses mostly on plant genetics and breeding. In all cases WULS-SGGW cooperation with Japan concerned up-to-date and important topics, including human health and safety, biotechnology and food technology, biodiversity conservation and advanced technologies.
Contacts between WULS-SGGW and Japanese institutions have always been balanced: joint research was funded by various Japanese institutions, such as Japan Science Society or the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, but many activities have been also possible thanks to Polish and European projects. Currently WULS-SGGW looks forward to results of the Erasmus+ Programme call, where a Japanese partner, Shibaura Institute of Technology, is included.
Japanese side hosted our scholars and visiting professors, but WULS-SGGW was also a place for research and study for Japanese citizens, including Japanese PhDs graduates. At present WULS-SGGW hosts one Japanese MSc student in forestry.
His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino asked about the structure of the University, its origin and history, the origin of its name, internationalization issues and the most important fields of WULS-SGGW research. After the conversation His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino visited gardens, renovated antique stairs and pond behind the Rector’s office – Ursynów Palace, where He was presented the history of the Palace, the park on the Campus and its oldest tree, as well as the current functions of the building.
After signing the visitors’ book, His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino was offered a symbolic gift – hand-painted tea cups with WULS-SGGW symbol: an eagle - the emblem of Poland - holding an olive branch and an academic palm, three stars representing three oldest faculties: Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry, and the surrounding ears of grain representing agriculture.
Before leaving the WULS-SGGW campus His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino became interested in the Count Edward Raczyński monument in front of the Rectorate. Rector Bielawski presented the biography of the Count Raczyński, the President of Poland in exile, the donator of Ursynów Palace to the eduction in horticulture and agriculture.
In the following part of the visit the Crown Prince arrived to Wilanów-Obory research station, where Director Łukasz Zaniuk and dr Marcin Gołębiewski provided information about the farm, cattle breeding and milk production. The Crown Prince met also students of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the Faculty of Animal Sciences as well as visited didactic facilities of the Department of Pathology and Veterinary Diagnostics, thus completing the tour. After bidding farewell His Imperial Highness Prince Akishino left the Wilanów-Obory research station.