Sep 15, 2017
Today, all of you will leave APU and start the next phase of your life. APU holds two graduation ceremonies, one in the spring and one in the fall, and most of our international students are admitted and graduate in the fall. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the graduating students—both domestic and international—who came to Japan to study at APU, right here in Beppu on the island of Kyushu. Congratulations on your graduation!
In just its 17th year, APU is still a young university, but it has developed a reputation as Japan’s leading international university. This year, U.K.-based Times Higher Education conducted its first-ever Japan University Rankings, and out of the 780 universities in Japan, APU ranked 24th overall and number one in diversity. Furthermore, in the field of international management, APU ranked 17th in Far East Asia in France-based Eduniversal’s Best Masters Ranking, placing it firmly in the top 20 business schools in the region. The highest ranking international management program in Far East Asia belongs to National University of Singapore, and APU joins only three other Japanese universities—Keio, Waseda, and Hitotsubashi—in the top 20. I believe the driving force behind these rankings is the activities of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni.
Last year, APM and GSM were awarded AACSB accreditation, and the AACSB Peer Review Team had nothing but high praise for the students they interviewed during the review process. What's more, teams of APU students have managed to successfully place in business case competitions held in Canada and Denmark. Our alumni are active throughout Japan and all over the world in a wide range of fields from business and diplomacy to cultural activities and more. From the APU campus, our goal is to expand the circle of Global Learning throughout the world and create one large APU community. Now that you are alumni of APU, you are vital members of this community.
I believe our founding ideals of Freedom, Peace, and Humanity will continue to shine as a set of noble principles for all humankind. These ideals do not fully manifest themselves without the intellectual ability to discern truth. This year, the fringe theory of alternative facts, whereby falsehoods purporting to be truths are claimed to be true, has received a great deal of media attention. With the information overload of our modern era, this is something that can happen anywhere at any time. Discerning what is fact and what is not requires intellectual ability, and more specifically, the ability to engage in intellectual struggle. In the end, you must make your own determination. The ability to discern truth from fiction and good from bad is an important quality. The expertise you have gained at APU, together with a broad-based global perspective, rich interpersonal skills, and sensibilities honed through routine intercultural interaction, form the source of your intellectual ability and your faculty of judgment.
Your daily life at APU was certainly challenging. You had to leave your comfort zones to break out of your shells and try new things. I am sure many of you feel like you were reborn through this experience. Leaving behind the old you, you discovered a new you. This fundamental narrative of transformation and rebirth is what you gained by attending APU. We have now set our sights on becoming one of the leading providers of global education, not just in Japan but in Asia and the world. In fact, we already rank in the top 20 in Asia in the field of international management. APU is like a new star in the galaxy, shining brightly. May you take pride in the fact that you are now alumni of this university.
I wish you all the best.
Congratulations once again on your graduation.