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Message from the President

New Year Greeting(January 1st, 2017)

Happy New Year!

I am delighted to hear that our students, staff, and faculty members, and everyone who routinely supports the work of Kyushu University enjoyed a peaceful and healthy new year.

I would like to talk about the direction that Kyushu University plans to take this year. As you all know, having marked our centenary with a new slogan, “Lead to the Next 100 Years, Leap to the Best 100 in the World,” Kyushu University has set the goal of becoming one of the world’s top universities. Last year, we began working on priority initiatives based on the Kyushu University Action Plan 2015-2020 formulated in 2015, such as the establishment of the Kyushu University Platform of Inter/Transdisciplinary Energy Research and the founding of a new undergraduate school.

<Action Plan>

  1. Conducting research at the highest global standard and encouraging innovation
  2. Fostering global talent
  3. Contributing to the local and international communities through advanced medical care
  4. Developing an enhanced campus that students, staff, and faculty members can be proud of
  5. Organizational reform
  6. A university that develops in tandem with society

I would like to discuss our resolutions for the coming year from the perspectives of research, education, campus relocation, and industry-university public-private partnership.

  1. Research
    One of the key initiatives in the Action Plan is the establishment of the Research and Education Institute. We intend to set one up for each of the research fields that is globally acknowledged to be one of Kyushu University’s areas of strength or distinctive features. We anticipate that this will systematize our diverse research and education activities, as well as promoting advanced interdisciplinary research and creative research in transdisciplinary realms, and that the outstanding output from this research will be fed back into our educational activities. The Kyushu University Platform of Inter/Transdisciplinary Energy Research was founded in October last year to serve as a platform for such research in the energy field. We will require the active participation and collaboration of each school, institute and faculty throughout the university, across a wide range of fields, including the humanities and social sciences. I intend to put the whole of Kyushu University’s might behind our efforts to form a world-class center.
    I would like to use Energy Week, which starts on January 31, as an opportunity to promote wider awareness of our university’s initiatives in government and industry circles.
  2. Education
    The main pillars of Kyushu University’s activities in the realm of education this year are the establishment of a new undergraduate school and achieving progress in the internationalization of education. With no prospect of a change for the better in respect of the declining birthrate and Japan’s public finances, universities face a very tough environment, both domestically and on the global stage. At the same time, I feel that society expects a great deal of universities as institutions for human resource development. Kyushu University must address these expectations by moving forward with both organizational and educational reform. Other key challenges include actively welcoming a diverse array of individuals, such as high-caliber international students and working members of society returning to education for further study, and increasing the added value of each and every student.
    Kyushu University plans to open the university’s 12th undergraduate school, the School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation, on April 30. The new school will cultivate individuals with a global outlook, capable of playing active roles in the international community. It will send out into society individuals with a global outlook, capable of working together to develop conceptual visions and create new objects and ideas to generate innovation. Furthermore, we will expand the range of international courses at the undergraduate level and put in place a more accessible environment for entrance examinations, such as introducing an online application system and a more diverse array of entrance methods, enabling candidates to choose from one of four approaches.
  3. Campus Relocation
    We have reached the third and final phase in the campus relocation project, with relocation to Ito due to be completed in FY2018. Construction of the General Research Building [Agriculture] has been underway since December 2015 and that of the Humanities and Social Sciences Research Building since February 2016. The new Central Library is also still under construction, but partly opened in October last year. The South Gate is now in use.
    The question of how to use the site of the old Hakozaki Campus is a very important one. We will continue to work with Fukuoka City and other relevant organizations as we steadily dispose of the site, through the work of the Consultative Committee on the Use of the Hakozaki Campus Site, which was set up by Fukuoka City and Kyushu University, as well as via the joint project that we launched with the Urban Renaissance Agency in November last year, focused on the area south of the old campus.
  4. Industry-University Public-Private Partnership
    Since becoming president, I have had a lot more opportunities to meet representatives from the worlds of industry and government. Last year, we stepped up our intersectoral (industry-university public-private partnership) cooperative initiatives, including getting Kyulux, Inc. off the ground in earnest, as well as launching the Smart Mobility Consortium and holding the National Convention for Dynamic Engagement and Regional Revitalization , the Fukuoka-Busan Forum, and the groundbreaking ceremony for the Jonathan Choi Koon-shum Japanese Cultural Center .
    This year, based on the fruits of our intersectoral partnerships to date, we will aim to cultivate additional university startups and expand field trials on campus. In February, the University Startup Promotion Council is due to be established, with myself and Yutaka Aso, Chairman of the Kyushu Economic Federation, as joint representatives; through this organization, we plan to launch initiatives that involve representatives of industry, academia, and government throughout Kyushu.

We must also do our utmost to strengthen the fiscal base through other endeavors. We will spare no effort in boosting our self-generated income and external funding, as well as cutting expenditure through operational improvements. Addressing our position in university rankings is another crucial challenge. We will engage in initiatives aimed at improving our standing in the rankings, based on our fundamental strategy rooted in improving our research ability and enhancing our international research competitiveness and reputation.

This year, I intend to make solid progress with these initiatives based on the Kyushu University Action Plan 2015-2020 and seek to ensure that Kyushu University makes further leaps forward in 2017. The dynamic efforts of each and every member of the university? students, staff, and faculty members alike ? will be essential to bring this to fruition. I would like us all to base our efforts on the 3Cs: Challenge, Change, and Creation. This year is the Year of the Rooster. I pray that 2017 will be a year in which students, staff, faculty members, and Kyushu University as a whole achieve soaring success, just like a bird taking flight into the wide blue yonder. As such, I would like to close by wishing you a happy new year.

January 1st, 2017
Chiharu Kubo
President,
Kyushu University

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