Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

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Notes from the President

My message to new APU students

Sep 25, 2015

Congratulations on your admission to Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU). This fall, we are welcoming 567 new students from a wide range of countries and regions including Viet Nam, Indonesia, China, Thailand, the Republic of Korea, United States, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Samoa, Tajikistan, Germany, the Kyrgyz Republic, Nigeria, Philippines, Bhutan,Ethiopia, Fiji, Hong Kong, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Morocco, Norway, Senegal, Tanzania, Tonga, Egypt, Kenya, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Liberia, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Mozambique, Netherlands, Pakistan, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Among our new crop of students there is a young woman who resided in a Liberian refugee camp and overcame many hardships to gain admission to APU. We had another student in the past who left a refugee camp and traveled to Europe before enrolling here, and we consider it a great privilege to be able to accept such students. APU admits new students twice a year, in the spring and fall semesters. Adding in the latest group of fall entrants, we now have a total of 5,976 enrolled students, comprising 2,930 international students from 83 countries and regions and 3,046 domestic students. A little more than 15 years have passed since APU’s inauguration, and all told, students from a total of 136 countries and regions have studied at our campus since then. We also have about 13,000 alumni who are currently working in their home countries or elsewhere across the globe. Moreover, half of our faculty are non-Japanese, hailing from 24 countries and regions. This type of diversity is exceptional not just in Japan, but all over the world.

Japan is home to roughly 800 universities to be exact figure is 779 and last year, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) selected 37 universities— 21 national universities, 2 public universities and 14 private universities—for its Top Global University Project. In the 15 years since its founding, APU has earned a solid reputation as the leader of internationalization in Japanese higher education, and it was selected for the Top Global University Project in recognition of these efforts. Among the 37 universities, APU stands out for its diversity and is also notable for its vision calling for the cultivation of global citizens who can leverage our highly diverse multilingual and multicultural campus to generate new value through dialogue and cooperation.

APU established a close relationship with Japan's corporate sector at the time of its founding, and has maintained this connection as it has grown and developed. To date, APU has received roughly ¥4 billion in donations from over 200 companies who hold great expectations for APU’s leading role in Japan’s internationalization. We have also actively applied for MEXT subsidies every year. Over the last 15 years, we have been selected for 20 projects and awarded roughly ¥1.9 billion in government funding. Every year, some 350 companies travel down from Tokyo and Kansai to hold on-campus briefings with a view toward hiring new graduates. What draws them here and what makes our graduates attractive to them? Last January, the U.S. TV channel PBS contacted the public relations department of the Japanese government regarding their plan to create a special feature on internationalization in Japanese society. Upon inquiring which university would be most suitable to highlight in the context of internationalization of higher education, they were promptly directed toward APU. When they visited our campus for their coverage, I explained that APU graduates have been embraced by the Japanese corporate sector because of their language ability, their capacity for dealing with foreign cultures, their specialized knowledge in the social sciences, and last but not least, their global mindset. APU students develop a genuine global mindset by living together on APU’s multilingual and multicultural campus while cultivating mutual respect and an understanding of foreign cultures. I believe that in APU, you have chosen the ideal platform to carve out your future, and I welcome you all to our campus. I wish you every success during your time here at APU.



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