Happy New Year from Kyushu University.
As we enter this new year, I would like to share our aspirations for 2022 with all members of the Kyushu University body and the wider community.
Each of our students has chosen to pursue a degree through a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral program at Kyushu University. On the occasion of this new year, I ask you to reflect on why you decided to study here. If you are unsure whether your current study path and student life align with your original aspirations, please talk to a faculty or staff member during your next class or lab. We are here to help you succeed.
On November 22, 2021, Kyushu University was selected as a Designated National University Corporation by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). We have designed the “Kyushu University Vision 2030” initiative upon this MEXT designation as we aspire to be a “university that drives social change with integrative knowledge” and contribute to solving social issues and transforming socio-economic systems. Our university conducts research in a vibrant range of fields across the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, and even design. By combining and integrating these areas of research, we can create the integrative knowledge necessary to solve the issues facing society. Utilizing this integrative knowledge, we hope to promote the transformation of socio-economic systems through collaboration with local governments, businesses, and other organizations and share this expertise with the rest of Japan, Asia, and the world to contribute to the development of a sustainable society for the well-being of all humanity.
The world faces many global challenges, not the least of which are abnormal weather and the impact on ecosystems and food production due to climate change caused by an increase in CO2 and methane gas in the atmosphere. Other challenges include marine pollution caused by plastics and other pollutants, in addition to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These challenges are becoming more diverse and complex, and it will not be easy to solve them with findings from any one field of research. Therefore, from the earliest stages of a study, we will determine the types of research necessary for moving the study forward, with an eye to translate research findings into real-world change. Our task lies in building a research infrastructure that is highly collaborative between different fields by its very nature.
Two core offices scheduled to launch this April, the Head Office for the Design of Future Society and the Promotion Office for Data-Driven Innovation, will be responsible for driving innovation to solve social issues and for developing a future society based on Society 5.0. Our Open Innovation Platform will also play a key role in ensuring the seamless implementation of our research findings in society. Collaboration with local governments, businesses, and citizens will be essential to the success of these new organizations. We hope to build a close, positive relationship with the local community, such as by creating new institutional collaborations, strengthening our existing partnerships with consortiums and other organizations, and creating more opportunities to provide the university with feedback.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the university shifted much of its communications online as we stayed home to limit face-to-face interaction and prevent the spread of infection. While our activities are no longer restricted by time or location, we still struggle with insufficient communication and the certain degree of stagnation in learning and research that has ensued. This time has been particularly hard on international students and researchers as well as Japanese students planning to study abroad. We plan to review this situation from a new perspective and incorporate the benefits of online communication in our international collaborations as we adjust to life with and beyond COVID-19.
We will also continue to improve our learning environment for curiosity-driven research. This will include securing lab time to enable such research so that we can develop and attract diverse, accomplished researchers. In addition, Kyushu University's resources and subsidies will help us expand financial and career support for students studying here. To bolster our financial infrastructure, we would like to strengthen research and education across the university. Through our Open Innovation Platform, we will increase the number of technology transfers and startups based on research findings, leading to external investment that will be strategically allocated to different research areas, including basic research.
As we enter the first year of Kyushu University Vision 2030, there is no time to spare in tackling the challenges for our future. However, I am thrilled to make a head start with such a promising community of students, faculty, and staff, not to mention the many other supporters of our university. Let us make every effort to achieve the goals outlined in Kyushu University Vision 2030 together, one step at a time. I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to the many groups and individuals who have supported Kyushu University in various ways, and I hope that we will continue to deepen these ties in the coming year.
I wish you all a peaceful, bright, and hopeful year in 2022.
January 1, 2022
President of Kyushu University