Apr 1, 2021
Entrance Ceremony: Congratulatory Message
Congratulations on your admission to APU. I would like to extend a wholehearted welcome on behalf of everyone at APU. I also would like to extend my heartfelt greetings to your family members. This spring, APU is happy to welcome 983 incoming students, thus bringing the total number of students enrolled at the university to 5766, 2660 of which are international students and 3106 are domestic students. A total of 90 countries and regions are represented by the international student body at APU. There may be nearly 800 universities in Japan, but not one of them can compare to APU in terms of the number of countries and regions represented on campus. Our domestic students are also diverse, hailing from every prefecture of Japan. At APU, not only will you study with students from all over the world, you will live with them in APU House and participate in club activities together. Through this and your interactions with older students and alumni around the world during your time here you will encounter different cultures and values and deepen your knowledge as you develop character and make friendships that will last a lifetime. At APU, we call this the Global Learning Community.
Over the past year, you have seen the whole world suffer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Life has changed, and I’m sure you’ve experienced a great deal of uncertainty and sadness. However, one thing that humankind has learned from this crisis, is that information and communications technology (ICT) can be used to maintain and expand personal connections while preventing infection. Last spring, APU moved all of its classes online to ensure that students could keep learning, and we have exerted our efforts to ensure the same quality of education as before. This was a first for APU, but it also allowed us to identify the benefits of online education.
That being said, the most attractive aspects of APU are, without a doubt, our international campus, where students from around the world learn together and interact with each other, and AP House, where you can make friends in a communal setting. These cannot be replaced by online tools. This is why APU will almost completely resume in-person classes this year. Due to government restrictions, some international students still cannot enter Japan, so for the time being, we will continue offering them online classes. I hope that someday very soon we can welcome these students to our campus and everyone can enjoy the rewards unique to APU campus life.
APU is on the verge of a major transformation. We are currently making preparations for the opening our third college in 2023. To coincide with this, we will construct a new classroom building and dormitory, both of which are designed to encourage collaborative learning. We will increase opportunities for on-site learning in various places both in Japan and overseas. We will cooperate with Japanese and foreign universities to develop joint classes. We will further strengthen our progressive efforts as a truly international university. We will strive to create a university that you can be proud of graduating from.
The key players at a university are YOU, the students. The most important function of the university is to ensure your learning and growth. Please make the most of APU’s resources—the classes, faculty members, classrooms, library, and other facilities—to discover a NEW YOU. I want you to keep challenging yourself and become a person “who possess[es] the power to change the world”—a person that is beyond the reach of your imagination today! Your growth as an APU student starts today!
Unfortunately, President Deguchi could not attend today because he is recovering from an illness, but I would like to close with a message he always gives to new students: “Meet many people, read many books, travel far and wide and learn to love learning. Because more than anything, universities are places for learning.” President Deguchi has prepared a list of books he would like you all to read, and we have provided this to you for reference.
Once again, I would like to sincerely congratulate you on your admission to APU.
Vice President / Acting President
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
April 1, 2021