Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

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Notes from the President

My message to new APU students (2017 Spring Entrance Ceremony)

Apr 1, 2017

Congratulations on your entrance into APU. In welcoming 1,014 new students this spring, we currently have enrolled 2,955 international students from 86 countries and regions around the world, as well as 2,962 domestic students, for a grand total of 5,917 students. Of the some 800 universities in Japan, APU is the only one with international students studying from so many countries and regions. APU also brings together domestic students from all across Japan, especially Kyushu, Kansai, and the Tokyo metropolitan area. APU is a campus where the time you spend in classes, clubs and the student dormitories will yield friendships with people from many different places all around the world.

APU is located on a hill 300 meters above sea level. This hilltop campus is where you will spend the next four years. This is a place where you will cut a path to your own future, and where each and every one of you will see new doors open up in your own lives. One can look upon APU as the ideal place for just that to happen. To begin with, it’s a campus where students can live a comfortable and safe student life, while enjoying a sweeping view of Beppu Bay as it reaches towards the Pacific Ocean in the distance. Even with 16 years passing since we were first founded, the buildings here still have state-of-the-art earthquake-proofing, and suffered no ill effects from the Kumamoto-Oita Earthquakes of last year. With all of that said, though, more than anything what we have prepared here for you is a compelling, internationally-based curriculum offered in both Japanese and English, and a team of many exceptional faculty to satisfy all of your curious spirits and inquisitive minds.

With the internet bringing on an information revolution, human society has seen globalization progress with a bang. However, when it comes to a deeper understanding between different ethnic groups and different cultures, there has been comparatively little progress. Instead of a deepening in mutual understanding, society as a whole has been losing its sense of tolerance, with more and more walls being built by xenophobia. Xenophobia and ethnic discrimination can never lead to any new kind of wisdom; all they can do is stir up hatred. The conflicts caused by discrimination and hatred have incited mankind into mindless wars, with these miseries of history repeating themselves again and again. How then can these mindless miseries of war be avoided, so we can instead walk down a path of peaceful coexistence? The way to bring about peaceful coexistence in this world is through a spirit of openness to other cultures – a resolute spirit that looks to acquire new kinds of wisdom by overcoming our differences together. That is what defines the true global spirit. It can never be interwoven with the mindless ideals of xenophobia and ethnic discrimination.

The multilingual, multicultural environment of APU, where students from many countries and regions around the world congregate, is the ideal place to foster mutual respect and the spirit of multicultural understanding. A stunning landscape, a comfortable and safe hilltop campus, outstanding education, and a global-mindedness that fosters diversity – take pride in what an ideal spot APU has become. As I mentioned, there are some 800 universities in Japan; in 2014, thirty-seven of these were recognized as Japan’s Top Global Universities, with APU being selected among them. Last year, in 2016, APU gained accreditation from AACSB, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. This is the leading international certification body for evaluating global business schools, placing APU among the top business schools in the world. With seventeen thousand business schools on the planet, this places us among the top 5% that have earned this accreditation. So, be proud. Have confidence. During these next four years, live a joyful and healthful student life. Welcome to APU.

KORENAGA Shun
President
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
April 1, 2017



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