Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University


Notes from the President

My message to new APU students (2020 Spring)

Apr 1, 2020

Let me extend my sincerest congratulations to all of you on your admission to APU. It is extremely heartbreaking that we cannot hold an entrance ceremony due to the novel coronavirus, but while we do not have an entrance ceremony, the faculty and staff here wish you the warmest of welcomes to APU. Personally, I am very excited and happy to have you join us here at APU.

To celebrate your admission and welcome you to APU, I would like to speak to you about three topics today.

First, I think most of you entering APU are about 18 or 19 years old. At around 18 or 19, according to modern neuroscience, your interest in learning, your curiosity, and your study skills are all at their peak. To put this more simply, if you develop the habits of continuous learning when you are 18-19 years old, like riding a bike or swimming, those habits will remain with you for life. It has been shown that those who continue to learn throughout their life can earn more over their lifetime. In other words, in order to live a rich life, the time when you are 18-19 years old is very important. The foundation of learning at university is to acquire the ability to think logically. I often say the way to learn is through people, books, and travel; Meet many people, read many books, and travel far and wide. This is fundamental to learning. I’ve created a list of books I’d like you all to read. I hope you will look over this list of titles.

Second, I want to ask each of you, during your four years at APU—even if it takes a little longer— during your time here at APU, I hope that you find your interests and aspirations, and that you challenge yourself. In science today, it is said that even if a great teacher gives a wonderful lecture, if you are not interested, you will forget it the moment you earn credit for the lecture. I hope each of you find what you want to do and what you want to learn at APU. At APU we have gathered together nearly 3,000 students from over 90 countries and regions. APU is a miniature version of the world, or what I like to call a “United Nations of the Young.” I don't think there is a better environment than this for you to challenge yourself and find what you want to learn. This is because the customs and practices of people around the world are different. In this environment, you will be able to learn many things naturally. By all means, find what you want to do and what you want to learn at APU, whether it is in academics or club activities, I hope you will all find what it is you truly want to do. Our faculty and staff will provide you with the support you need to challenge yourself.

There is one last thing I want to say to each of you. I want you to make many friends. In life, when we are troubled or when we things get tough, our friends are the thing we can rely on the most. When I am feeling down or am having problems, I am able to continue thanks to the support of my friends. I don't think there is any better place to make friends than APU. Here you can make friends all over the world, and through your various activities and studies, I believe you will be able to create lifelong friendships. You have left your parents, and are about to stand on your own. You are about to begin your life. I believe that the things you need in life the desire to keep learning, the desire to challenge yourself, and friends. During your time at APU, I hope that you all can find and develop these three important qualities.

Once again, congratulations on your admission to APU. Please feel free to visit my office anytime.

Haruaki Deguchi
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

April 1, 2020

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