The purpose of the Watanabe Trust Fund is to grant scholarships for a study period in Japan or Iceland, in both undergraduate and postgraduate studies; as well as to encourage the exchange of academic staff.
The Watanabe Trust fund at the University of Iceland was founded in September 2008 with a US$ 3 million founding contribution donated by Mr Toshizo „Tom“ Watanabe.
Mr. Watanabe is a former Japanese foreign student, who received financial support from the prestigious and renowned international scholarship program, the Wien International Scholarship Program at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, U.S.A., where he earned his BS in Political Science in 1973. At Brandeis he met and became friends with Geir H. Haarde who was also a Wien Scholar and later the prime minister of Iceland (2006-2009).
Mr. Watanabe earned his MBA at Pepperdine University in California, U.S.A. in 1992, and then became chairman, CEO & sole owner of Nikken, a successful international wellness products company, with headquarters in the United States. Mr. Watanabe, inspired by gratitude for his valuable education, wishes to afford foreign students a comparable opportunity and at the same time, promote goodwill between Japan and Iceland. Following the recommendation of his former fellow student, Geir H. Haarde, the fund was set up at the University of Iceland.
The Board of the Fund consists of three individuals, each of whom is appointed for a three-year term. The Rector of the University of Iceland appoints one board member, who acts as the Fund’s chairman; Mr Toshizo “Tom” Watanabe, or a representative of his descendants, and Mr Geir H. Haarde, or a representative of his descendants.
Current board members are: Dr Már Másson, chairman of the board; Mr Toshizo “Tom” Watanabe, and Mr Ingimundur Sigfússon.
Application deadline for the academic year 2012-2013 is November 30th.
Founding Charter (pdf.)
Press release - Scholarships for studies in Japand and Iceland, academic year 2012-2013.
Application Form (doc.)