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Spring 2018 Entrance Ceremony

学生生活|イベント

Apr 2, 2018

On Sunday, April 1, 2018, the Spring Entrance Ceremony was held at B-con Plaza in Beppu City, welcoming 987 new students from around the world.

This spring the University welcomes 858 undergraduate students (651 domestic and 207 international), 27 graduate students (3 domestic and 24 international) and 102 short-term and exchange students (35 domestic and 67 international) from 38 countries and regions. (as of March 29, 2018)

President DEGUCHI Haruaki welcomed the new entrants and offered encouragement: “Welcome new students and congratulations on your admission! On behalf of everyone at APU, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all of the parents and guardians in attendance and congratulate you on the admission of your children. I would like to start by asking you a question. What kind of place do you think a university is? That’s right. A university is a place for studying. I remember reading a Tweet that said this: “American university students read an average of 400 books over four years, but Japanese students read fewer than 100. If an American and a Japanese student worked at the same company, it’s obvious who would get the more interesting assignments.” I agree with this sentiment. You cannot lead an interesting life without studying. So, how should you go about studying? My mantra is “people, books, and travel.” People get smarter with experience, and this means meeting many people, reading many books, and traveling far and wide. Luckily, APU attracts students from 90 countries and regions, which makes it what I like to call a “Young United Nations.” There is no other university campus in Japan with this much diversity. From this day forward, you will spend your time on this campus with classmates from all over the world. You can learn many things from other people. By making friends with people from other countries, you can learn their views on things, hear how they plan to spend their time at university, and listen to their plans for the future. Of course, this goes both ways. By talking to each other honestly, you and your friends can deepen mutual understanding and help each other grow.”

(President Deguchi’s full comments can be found here.)


Welcome new students and congratulations on your admission!
On behalf of everyone at APU, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all of the parents and guardians in attendance and congratulate you on the admission of your children.

I would like to start by asking you a question. What kind of place do you think a university is? That’s right. A university is a place for studying. I remember reading a Tweet that said this: “American university students read an average of 400 books over four years, but Japanese students read fewer than 100. If an American and a Japanese student worked at the same company, it’s obvious who would get the more interesting assignments.” I agree with this sentiment. You cannot lead an interesting life without studying. So, how should you go about studying? My mantra is “people, books, and travel.” People get smarter with experience, and this means meeting many people, reading many books, and traveling far and wide. Luckily, APU attracts students from 90 countries and regions, which makes it what I like to call a “Young United Nations.” There is no other university campus in Japan with this much diversity. From this day forward, you will spend your time on this campus with classmates from all over the world. You can learn many things from other people. By making friends with people from other countries, you can learn their views on things, hear how they plan to spend their time at university, and listen to their plans for the future. Of course, this goes both ways. By talking to each other honestly, you and your friends can deepen mutual understanding and help each other grow.

As for books, I definitely hope you will try to read several of the classics. It goes without saying that books that are considered classics even after several dozens or several hundreds of years are bound to be excellent. The human brain has not evolved much in over 10,000 years. The emotions that we express and the judgments we make are no different from those of someone from long ago. This is why books that were excellent in the distant past remain excellent to this day. “How Do You Live?”, a novel by Yoshino Genzaburo, is now a best seller in Japan. It has been turned into a comic book, so I think many people in Japan have read it. But this book was first published over 80 years ago in 1937. In fact, this is one of my favorite books. Inside your program, you will find a list of classics I would like all of you to read, and I hope you will try to read some of these during your time here at APU.

Next, let me touch on travel. In short, travel means going places. If someone tells you that a new bakery has opened and it’s good, you cannot know if it’s good until you actually go there, buy some bread, and try it for yourself. This is why I strongly encourage all of you to go on study abroad or have some kind of overseas experience. Now that you’re at APU and have the chance to make friends from 90 countries and regions, I think it is only natural to want to go see where your friends are from. Life is long, but your time at university is when you have the most free time. I hope you will take advantage of this free time and go see the world. As the old proverb goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” I am certain that travel will change your life. We have student exchange and many other kinds of programs to help you go see the world. The world is a big place, and I hope you will have the courage to get out there and see it.

What exactly can you learn from people, books, and travel? Well, let me answer that by asking you another question. Which would you rather eat, something delicious or something awful? Please raise your hand. Of course, you would rather eat something delicious. But what makes delicious food delicious? In my opinion, you have to gather up a wide variety of ingredients and prepare them skillfully. Next question: Which would you rather lead, a fulfilling life or an unfulfilling one? Of course, you would rather lead a fulfilling life. But what makes a fulfilling life fulfilling? In my opinion, you have to gain a breadth of knowledge and learn how to think on your own. Learning from people, books, and travel not only provides you with knowledge, it helps you hone your ability to think. So, how do you prepare delicious food? First, you follow the recipe and then make minor adjustments. The same principle applies to thinking. Thinking for yourself starts by imitating the patterns and methods people from different cultures use to think and conceive ideas. In this sense as well, you are very lucky to be here in this “Young United Nations.”

There is no other university like APU in the world, not just because it attracts students from 90 countries and regions, but because it provides education in both Japanese and English. The world opens up even more for people who become bilingual, and especially for people who can master English, the world’s lingua franca. I hope all of you entering APU as Japanese-basis students will do your best to improve your command of English.

And now, for my final question. Please raise your hand if you have not organized the drawers in your desk or dresser in over a year. As you can see, almost none of you raised your hand. So, why do we organize the things in our drawers? To make them easier to access, of course. Likewise, there is no point to learning from people, books, and travel if you cannot access what you’ve learned when you need it. So, how can we organize the “drawers” in our heads? The trick is to put things in your own words. If my ideas about people, books, and travel have resonated with you, start telling your friends. Then, if you write about the idea in your own words on your blog or Facebook page, you will start to get a better picture inside your head. You can only remember what you’ve put in your head by creating output.

I was only just appointed to the position of president this January, so like you, I am new here. I look forward to working with you to make APU an even more fun and exciting place to learn.


TSVETKOV Radoslav Tsvetanov (College of International Management, Bulgaria) addressed the audience on behalf of current students. SUGAWARA Iori (College of International Management, Japan) and ABRORI Shukuhiddin (Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies Doctoral Program, Tajikistan) then spoke on behalf of the undergraduate and graduate new entrants respectively.

Speaking on behalf of the new undergraduate students, Ms. SUGAWARA shared her aspirations for the future: “I have a question for our newly-enrolled students. While still in high school, did you ever take on a challenge while giving it your all? I came to the city of Beppu after graduating from a high school whose slogan was “an alma mater where students take on challenges while giving it their all,” and whose teachers and students were both full of earnestness...I became able to hold the mindset that with firm sentiments and earnestness, and as long as one does not give up, there is nothing that one cannot do...Thinking about what kind of student life I should lead from here on out and how far I can test my own limits leaves me feeling full of expectation right now. And yet, in the back of my mind is a small feeling of anxiety. To enable me to transform that anxiety into growth, I will put my faith in what I learned during my high school years and in my mental takeaways from the many extracurricular activities that I took part in, and intend to continue taking on challenges while giving it my all...There are things that are only possible at APU, and things that are only possible with us. Let us take on the challenge of those things together while giving them our all.
As it has been said, “Create opportunities yourself, then use those opportunities to change yourself.” I hope that we all share plentiful opportunities with each other and go on to lead a university life in which we work hard with and learn from one another.”

Mr. ABRORI then spoke on behalf of the new entrants to the graduate school: “By being accepted to APU, we have been presented with a great opportunity to improve and increase our academic understanding and scientific views of the world. We have been given the opportunity to find ways of applying the best practices of Japan in our own countries in order to contribute to national development and the improvement of living standards. Honesty, patience, and hard work will help us to fulfill our duties and responsibilities and bring us closer to achieving our goals. We must take advantage of this chance and try our best in everything we do. With a strong sense of dedication and enthusiasm, I will study hard to ensure a successful completion of my research plans that will certainly be used in my future career, where I hope to contribute to the socio-economic development policy of my country, the Republic of Tajikistan. So today, as we prepare to move towards the future, it is pertinent that we don’t forget our support networks—those who have encouraged and grounded us throughout the years as well as the new ones that we will create here at APU. Let us make the most out of the time we have here and enjoy every step we take towards realizing our dreams.”

Many current students also came along to the ceremony to welcome the new entrants to APU and enjoyed the colorful performances that followed, including a traditional Indonesian dance, Chinese traditional art, a Japanese drum performance, and a Japanese dance performance.

The Entrance ceremony was streamed on Facebook Live and Ustream (being August 1, 2018, playback via Ustream is no longer available). An archive can be found via the Ustream link.

APU Gallery
http://en.apu.ac.jp/home/gallery/article/?storyid=239



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