Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

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Notes from the President

My message to new APU graduates

Sep 12, 2014

3rd President KORENAGA Shun

This fall, APU launches a total of 448 graduates into various walks of life. I heartily congratulate all of you. It gives me great pleasure to share this memorable occasion with our soon-to-be graduates, their family and friends, and our distinguished guests gathering here today.

APU was opened in 2000 based on a very daring concept, a concept that the university has spent the past 14 years striving to make a reality. Under the philosophy that diversity breeds creativity, APU aimed and succeeded in creating a unique and unrivaled multicultural academic environment in which approximately two and a half thousand international students from 80 countries and regions around the globe study as regular program students for 4 years alongside approximately the same number of their Japanese peers. Through the application of international education standards such as a bilingual English and Japanese curriculum, spring and fall enrollments, and the quarter system, APU has been able to attract large numbers of high-caliber international students, forging ahead as Japan’s leading international university and becoming the driving force in the internationalization of higher education in Japan. 

After 14 years it can be said that APU’s role as being a model for the internationalization of universities in Japan has nearly drawn to a close, and instead the university has embarked on the challenge of how to make these internationalized universities more globally viable. With APU at the helm, it is the start of a new and higher level for universities in Japan. We have, so to speak, embarked on a global challenge. APU is about to step forward into a new and exciting era as it strives to become a truly global university, recognized internationally and chosen by students from around the world. We have already become the most culturally diverse university campus in the world, and now we need to exhaust all avenues in utilizing this environment to also lead the way in education and academia.

Our goal is to lead the world in global learning. With one of the most multicultural environments in the world, APU is cultivating global human resources ready to take on and succeed in today’s society. However, our goal isn’t just to produce human resources fluent in several languages or capable of succeeding on an internationally competitive stage. Global human resources are people who have learnt about a wide range of cultures, studied the structure and issues of global society, respect each other, acknowledge each other’s differences, overcome any confrontations that arise, have dialogue and work together harmoniously to create new values. Here on the APU campus everyone has already experienced this and it is a path that you yourselves have paved. This system needs to be evolved and eventually we hope to realize an education that graduates can be a part of from around the globe, as well as collaborating with graduates in the holding of various lectures and classes.

We, the administrative body of the university, must also evolve, and in doing so will be establishing an APU Governing Advisory Board made up of global experts in higher education, cooperate business people and APU graduates. This Board will strictly and thoroughly review APU’s current and future vision, from both an international and multifaceted perspective. In other words, APU alumni from around the globe will become new educational partners with whom we collaborate as we endeavor to turn this campus into the world’s leading educational environment. Amongst your fellow APU graduates are alumni working in a variety of businesses and corporations, alumni teaching at the universities of Oxford and London, alumni employed at different governmental agencies, organizations and embassies, and alumni working in the field of media, including two graduates working in the Al Jazeera in the Middle East. 

Today you join the ranks of prestigious APU alumni and as APU strives to raise it to a higher dimension, I wish you, our graduating class of fall 2014, all the best in your endeavors in leading fulfilling and successful lives. Let us take on the world together. 

News article for the 2014 APU Fall Graduation Ceremony



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