Dear Kyushu University students,
Spring quarter starts May 7. However, as the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues to spread across the world, the Japanese government has declared a nationwide state of emergency, and new infections are on the rise here in Fukuoka as well.
In light of the current situation, Kyushu University has released university guidance that stipulates different levels of restriction for on-campus activity according to the spread of infection. We are currently at Level 4: Restrictions (High). As the health of all students and faculty is our top priority, we have restricted educational, research, and extracurricular activities in accordance with this guidance. I know that having to stay home may cause anxiety, both mentally and physically. New students, in particular, must be going through a good deal of confusion at a time when you are starting a new chapter in your life as university students. Many of you are living on your own in Fukuoka for the first time. This can be stressful. If you need to talk to someone about how you’re feeling, please do not hesitate to reach out to friends and family, your academic advisor, or someone at the Student Counseling Section.
We are fully prepared to take the entire spring quarter online to ensure that every student will be able to continue their studies. I know that this is the first that many of you will be taking fully online courses. I would like to thank you, too, for your preparations ahead of the new quarter. Many students have already made sure their Internet connection is stable and have confirmed the necessary procedures for the courses they have registered for, either on the Kyushu University website or through the student portal site. This is the first time the whole university will be conducting classes online, and though we will undoubtedly experience some issues at the start, we ask for your help to make sure that these courses are a fulfilling learning experience for everyone involved. Though there may be some bumps along the way, we will always do our best to stay connected through the university website and via email.
I realize that this pandemic has had a great impact on many of you and your families just ahead of the new quarter. Some of your parents may be facing economic hardship, and you may have been asked to stay home from your part-time job. To relieve student anxiety surrounding their studies, Kyushu University has allocated its own emergency financial aid to all students whose livelihood has been affected by a loss of work and such in addition to the Japanese government’s ¥100,000/person special flat-rate subsidy (tentative name) and emergency loans provided by Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO). Please be sure to check the university website for details, which will be announced on Thursday, April 30. Kyushu University is committed to ensuring that no student must give up their studies for financial reasons.
As many healthcare workers, including those at the Kyushu University Hospital, are putting their lives at risk to fight the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and many businesses are hard hit by coronavirus-related restrictions, we must continue to limit our activity and stay home to help stop the spread of infection. We will continue to operate under the current level of restriction (“Level 4: Restrictions [High]”) and ask that you continue to refrain from going out unless absolutely necessary in order to help reduce the chance of infection for yourself and others.
Kyushu University faculty and staff will continue to work together to support and protect your health and safety while maintaining the highest academic standards. This is a difficult time for us all, but we are all in this together. We will get through this together.
April 28, 2020
Chiharu Kubo, President