Apr 1, 2015
3rd President KORENAGA Shun
Congratulations on your admission to Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU). Japan is home to around 800 universities—783 to be exact—but APU is the only university where nearly half of the students and faculty hail from outside of Japan. Looking around the world, there is a similar university in the Netherlands, but its diversity pales in comparison to ours. Our multicultural environment is a rarity in the world, and its sheer diversity generates new ideas as well as new value systems required for the peaceful coexistence of human beings.
Now, the word 'global' is bandied about with increasing frequency as if Japan is opening up again for the first time since the Meiji era in the late 19th century. At APU, we aim to provide global education, which means we will cultivate talented individuals who can accept and respect others for who they are and overcome conflict and friction to create new values through their daily exposure to and interaction with foreign cultures on our campus, itself a true microcosm of the world. Students from around the world gather at APU, which makes it an invaluable venue for fostering mutual understanding through dialogue. In this multicultural environment, I hope you will learn to respect others and discover common values required for coexistence; I hope you will develop global-mindedness through your studies.
Last year, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology selected APU as one of 30 Top Global University funding recipients. We were selected based not only on our achievements over the past 15 years, but also on our well-crafted plan for the future. Selection for this project is akin to national government accreditation as one of Japan's top 30 universities. In the meantime, we have also been working on obtaining international accreditation. The College of International Management and the Graduate School of Management are seeking accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the world’s top accreditation organization for management education. Its process typically takes six or seven years. APU reached the final stage of this accreditation and welcomed a team of reviewers to the campus this January. By securing this accreditation, we aim to become one of the top 30 social science universities in Asia.
APU is located in Beppu City, Oita Prefecture, which boasts the largest volume of hot spring water and the most hot spring sources in all of Japan—it is a world-renowned city of international hot springs tourism. The volume of hot spring water that bubbles up from beneath the city is second only to that of Yellowstone National Park in the United States, but since no one lives inside the national park, Beppu can be considered the number one urban hot spring resort in the world. This is the city that Japan's premier international university calls home. Recently, regional revitalization has become a hot topic, and APU is often cited as a successful example of how a university can contribute to the local community. Our campus is the epicenter of global higher education in Japan.
You have chosen to come to APU, with its one-of-a-kind multicultural environment, but that means nothing if you do not immerse yourselves fully into living and learning at APU. A human being's true value is determined by the skills and character he or she strives to develop. In closing, I hope that each and every one of you will immerse yourselves in this enriching environment, develop global-mindedness and cultivate the skills you need to achieve your dreams. May you lead fun yet structured lives on campus, exercise your can-do spirit and carve out a path to your future.