UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2024

On campus summer school programme in the UK

Rikkyo School in England | University of Cambridge | UCL

The UCL-Japan Youth Challenge is an annual summer school programme since 2015

Every year, pre-university students from UK sixth form colleges and Japanese high schools enjoy cultural interaction through various educational activities and events held at UCL (University College London) and the University of Cambridge.


The UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2024 is going to be held on campus in the UK between Saturday 27th July and Sunday 4th August 2024.

Our aims at the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge

World map

Face and challenge social issues in a global sense

University style lectures

Experience in attending lectures delivered by the world’s leading academics

Path to world leading universities

Guide a path to the world’s top universities

Creative thinking

Have a good command of English


Interact and exchange ideas

Problem solving

Establish a positive attitude and become independent

Programme outline

UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2024

On campus summer school programme in the UK

Dates: Saturday 27th July – Sunday 4th August 2024 (9 days)

Day 1

Saturday 27th July

Rikkyo School in England

Horsham, West Sussex RH12 3BE

All participants must attend

First day of the programme, all participants attend our welcome event at Rikkyo School in England

Days 2 & 3

Sunday 28th &
Monday 29th July

University of Cambridge

Cambridge CB2 1TN

Optional to attend if you are not staying at our accommodation in Cambridge

Days 4–8

Tuesday 30th July – Saturday 3rd August


London WC1E 6BT

All participants must attend

Day 8: Saturday 3rd August is the final day if you are not staying at our accommodation in London

Day 9

Sunday 4th August


Only for participants staying at our accommodation in London

Participants from Japanese high schools arrive on Friday 26th July and stay at our accommodation throughout the programme.

Theme in 2024: Space and Us

Embark on an extraordinary voyage with the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2024, the 10th acclaimed summer school programme hosted at UCL and the University of Cambridge. Tailored for forward-thinking pre-university students, this immersive experience offers a blend of university-style lectures and various cultural exchange activities. Dive into the captivating mysteries of space and contemplate our place in space with like-minded participants. Join us as we journey into the depths of Space and Us, uniting participants from Japan and the UK in a transformative exploration. Expand your horizons and ignite your intellectual curiosity with us.

Space and Us

Symposium & Reception

UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2024 Symposium & Reception Eventbrite

We welcome the public to our Space and Us Symposium & Reception on Friday 2nd August 2024.

Join our Symposium & Reception as we journey into the depths of Space and Us. Expand your horizons and ignite your intellectual curiosity.

As part of the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2024, a prestigious summer school programme for pre- university students from both the UK and Japan since 2015, we welcome the public to our Space and Us Symposium and Reception on Friday 2nd August from 1pm.

We are delighted to welcome speakers from the senior team of the UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL), including Prof Daisuke Kawata and Prof Lucie Green.

In collaboration with MSSL, the follwoing world-leading researchers deliver talks on the summer school programme theme ‘Space and Us’.

Registration required via Eventbrite (free of charge):


* UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2024 participants and teachers/leaders from Japanese high schools do not need to register via Eventbrite.

2023 programme highlight videos

London programme highlights

UCL Grand Challenge Workshop

Participants’ thank you video

What our participants say

UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2021

Participants from Japanese high schools present their school facilities, club activities, school events, and share their enthusiasm for the programme prior to their participation.

UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2017

UCL-Japan Young Challenge 2016

(renamed to the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge in 2017)

Thank you for an unforgettable experience, I have met so many incredible people and had a wonderful time. This has changed my life. I am indescribably grateful to everyone involved. (2023)

I am honoured to be participating in the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2023. I was able to make many friends and able to improve my English. I have a new dream to study abroad. (2023)

I enjoyed it very much. I got to know all sorts of values anew by getting involved with people. Thank you so much for creating this opportunity. (2023)

Thank you very much for 10 days. I am currently working hard to get into UCL, but this experience was a turning point in my life. Making lifelong friends in England and being able to actively ask questions in English in lectures are all my treasured memories. I will continue to study without forgetting what I learned this time so that I can become a person who can play an active role in the UK and the world in the future. (2023)

It was a really really great opportunity for me. I learned many things in this programme and made a lot of friends. I sincerely appreciate everyone. Thank you very much! (2023)

It was an excellent experience to take part in this programme. (2023)

What parents/legal guardians say

We wanted to thank you a lot for the exceptional quality of your programme. Our son had such a very enjoyable time.

He talked extensively about the lectures, challenges and great interaction he had with his Japanese pairs.

Building on the beginners Japanese course he received, he is now truly committed to learning Japanese on Duolingo.

Many thanks again for giving our son this wonderful opportunity which indeed confirmed his long interest into the Japanese culture and desire to study there at least for a year at university. (2023)

I would like to say a huge thank you to you, and all that were involved in making this UCL-Japan Youth Challenge possible. Our son had the most wonderful time, not only has this experience deepened his love and passion for Japanese, and the culture, but also given him ideas for his future. Also, and most importantly, it allowed him to have some independence and to push himself out of his comfort zone.

The whole experience, from start to finish has been more than we could have ever expected, and we are truly grateful for the opportunity given him.

Would it be possible for our son to attend next year? (2023)

What teachers say

Participants from Japanese high schools participate in the programme with their school teachers.

All the participants from our school were very satisfied that they had completed this intensive programme. Their parents said that they were really glad to have them participate when they saw how they were doing after returning home.

It was a great pleasure for me as a teacher to see how my students grew and developed their confidence during the programme. (2023)

The great thing about this programme is that we can network with other participating schools. We were immediately introduced to a forum and participated online.

There are many initiatives that overlap with several participating schools and I am hopeful that we can collaborate in the future. (2023)

Our students were able to immerse themselves in British English throughout the programme, visit Rikkyo School in England, the University of Cambridge and UCL to have lectures and talks by leading researchers and experts, meet the wonderful staff including the chair of the programme, Prof Ohnuma, and make friends from both the UK and Japanese high schools. It was a valuable experience in every way.

I also learnt a lot from the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge 2023. (2023)

What lecturers & speakers say

Many participants asked questions in their own words, and I was impressed by their English language skills. I was amazed at the participants’ high level of awareness and how quickly they absorbed the information, as they seemed to have learnt how to ask questions from their previous lecture experiences and seemed confident in asking questions. We could sense the significance of this programme and we learnt a lot from it. (2022)

I was very glad to give the lecture, and I was impressed by the questions—particularly as most of them came from Japanese students. I imagine that asking a question in a non-native language must be hard. (2022)

Thank you very much for this opportunity to interact with students as potential UCL students. I also enjoyed the session, very impressed with how smart the students are. (2022)

I was really pleased by the calibre of the questions, you have some great students on the programme. (2022)

It was my great honour and pleasure to be part of this programme. I was amazed with your students. (2022)

I really enjoyed speaking to the participants, and was pleasantly surprised with the questions that the students came up with! They seem to be very bright and engaged in the programme thus far. (2023)

This summer school programme is organised by the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge Committee.

Chair: Prof Shin-ichi Ohnuma, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology

本サマースクールプログラムはUCL-Japan Youth Challenge実行委員会によって開催されています。

実行委員長:大沼信一教授、UCL Institute of Ophthalmology

Committee members (in alphabetical order by first name):


Dr Anawat Suppasri, Arisa Shimada, Ayato Yamazaki, Emiko Asagoshi, Prof Hidekazu Kurebayashi, Hideyuki Miyahara, Kaito Mizukoshi, Kentaro Kimura, Makoto Yoshida, Manaka Abe, Dr Masako Shimato, Dr Masashi Matsunaga, Dr Masazumi Tada, Dr Miwako Kitamura, Moeno Sugiyama, Momo Sakai, Nanako Takaba, Risa Hanai, Seitaro Taketani, Sumire Kaimori, Wataru Tage, Dr Yasu Takeuchi, Dr Yoshiyuki Yamamoto, Yu Hosomi, Yuta Nagano

The UCL-Japan Youth Challenge Committee are most grateful for our partners, collaborators, sponsors and supporters.

We would be unable to hold the UCL-Japan Youth Challenge summer school programme without their generous commitment.

共催者・コラボレーター・スポンサー・サポーターの企業・団体・個人のみなさまには平素よりUCL-Japan Youth Challenge実行委員会への多大なるご支援・ご協力を賜り厚く御礼申し上げます。

今後もUCL-Japan Youth Challengeサマースクールプログラム内容の充実を図り、日英の高校生が様々な教育活動とイベントを通して文化交流する機会の促進に努めてまります。


Japan Foundation
Rikkyo School in England
Rikkyo School in England
UK Japan Institute
UK Japan Institute
Shimizu Corporation
Mitsubishi Electric Building Solutions Corporation
Mitsubishi Electric Building Solutions Corporation
The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation
The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation
The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation
The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation
Japan Association in the UK
Fukushima Prefecture
Fukushima-15 Project
Daishichi Sake Brewery
Apollo Gas
Apollo Gas
Kagoshima Prefecture
Tohoku University International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS)
Tohoku University International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS)
Mitoco Kawachi Corporation
The Japanese Women's Association in Great Britain
Ajinomoto Co., Inc.
Ajinomoto Co., Inc.
Sugoi Fusion
Sun Chlorella Corporation
Embassy of Japan in the UK
Embassy of Japan in the UK
JSPS London
UCL Grand Challenges
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