Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

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Notes from the President

My message to new APU students (2022 Fall Entrance Ceremony)

Sep 23, 2022

Congratulatory Address

Congratulations to all of you! Let me also congratulate all parents and guardians on their children’s entrance to APU. On behalf of the entire APU community, I offer you a heartfelt welcome.

Over the past two and a half years, humankind has been confronted with a variety of complex problems emerging in the course of an unprecedented pandemic. As an international university that attracts students from all over the world, APU, too, has had to tackle challenges of a kind never seen before. Yet, we have united in our efforts to overcome them. You have chosen to come to APU despite these difficult conditions, and it makes me extremely happy to be able to conduct this entrance ceremony with you here today. All members of faculty and staff welcome you warmly to our university.

We are now embarking on a major new challenge, which we are calling the New APU. I personally am looking forward immensely to working together with all of you as we press forward with our sights set on the new world ahead.

I would like to talk briefly about three things, in the spirit of congratulating all those who have just joined the APU community.

The first is that you are now at a time of your life when it is extremely important to establish good study habits. Neuroscience today estimates that human curiosity and desire to learn reach a peak at around 18 to 19 years of age. The foundation for learning at university is to acquire solid skills of logical thinking. Developing good study habits at this time will enable you to continue learning throughout your life. There is data showing that lifelong learners are better equipped to lead fulfilling lives at all ages. To you, I recommend “people, books, and travel.” In other words, meet a variety of people, read many books, travel the world, and by all means find enjoyment in learning that excites you. After all, a university is first and foremost a place to study. If you are entering graduate school, you are probably a little older already, but I hope you will make use of the experiences and intellectual training you have undertaken thus far as you pursue more specialized studies so you make a solid start in your lifelong learning journey.

Secondly, I want you to find things at APU that you enjoy, that you find interesting, and that you’d like to try out for yourself. APU is like a United Nations of young people; a global village. Students from over 90 different countries and regions gather here to study together, each bringing different cultures, customs, values, outlooks on life, and even social norms. APU is truly the world. I am confident that if you are looking for a challenge to pursue in the global arena as you move forward through life, there is no better place to find it than at APU. All members of faculty and staff, myself included, are committed to doing everything we can to support you in learning and pursuing your challenges. The most wonderful kind of life is one that involves continually working at what you really want to do, and never giving up. I urge you to find something you want to do, whether it is in your academic studies or extracurricular activities, and to pursue it actively.

Thirdly, I want you to make many friends at APU. I believe that friends are the most valuable asset in life, and the most dependable. And you now have the opportunity to become friends with people gathered at APU from around the world. To summarize, I believe there are three key things that can enrich your life: a desire to keep on learning, a willingness to take on new challenges, and irreplaceable friends. It is my sincere hope that you will find these three treasures, the three things most important in life, right here.

By all means, let's take on the challenge of mixing and finding the solution together at APU.
Once more, I congratulate you on your entrance to our university. Please feel free to visit my office at any time.

September 23, 2022
Haruaki Deguchi
President, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University



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