On October 1, I was appointed president of Kyushu University.
For more than a century since its founding in 1911, Kyushu University has maintained a long history and tradition of education and research as one of Japan’s core comprehensive universities. We are recognized for our extensive contributions to society in fostering professional excellence and producing highly specialized research findings.
This year, we have witnessed significant changes in our lives and enormous damage to society and the economy due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. In these times of drastic social change, humanity must look for ways of living with and beyond COVID-19. And I believe that Kyushu University will play a vital role in bringing together expertise to find answers to the difficult problems we now face and apply them as viable solutions to realize a new, more sustainable society.
On September 29th, we held a safe and socially distanced welcome ceremony for new students in place of the entrance ceremony, which had to be canceled due to the spread of COVID-19. There I saw the faces of future graduates in the joyous expressions of these new students who had put university life on hold for more than six months, an unthinkable situation under normal circumstances. I thought to myself that the university must do everything in its power to support these students on their journey to proactively and systematically learn their chosen field of study and become professionals who can think for themselves.
In 2018, we launched the Kyushu University Renaissance Project—a comprehensive, sustainable development plan that links high school education, undergraduate and graduate programs, and researcher training. Through its successful implementation, we hope to educate excellent students and researchers with outstanding research skills. They will become the leaders responsible for the future of our world and must be equipped with a broad knowledge base and good common sense in addition to expertise in their field. We are now working to enhance a STEAM education that further integrates the humanities and sciences, so our students can enter society as conscious citizens of upstanding character.
It is essential for researchers to have a stable foundation and the academic freedom to pursue and generate new knowledge. That’s why I am dedicated to building a system that enables passionate researchers to conduct both basic and applied research in an environment suited to their needs. Together, we will discover promising early-stage seed research, enhance industry-academia-government co-creation initiatives, and expand university-backed start-up ventures. In order to achieve these lofty goals, I believe our university must maintain a strong financial foundation.
The mission of a university is education, research, and social contribution. A university is expected to play a leading role in society by giving back to society through unique, cutting-edge research. Kyushu University's campuses at Ito (center of integrated science and demonstration experiments), Chikushi (Advanced Science Fusion Center), Ohashi (Advanced Design Center), and Hospital (Bio-Medical Science Center) each have unique characteristics and configurations in different physical locations. Our presence can also be felt online, where these campuses harness wide-ranging networks to promote initiatives for social application and deployment through joint research expansion and commercialization. In particular, we plan to accomplish this together with local governments, companies, and citizens to firmly promote initiatives that will form an international academic research city in Fukuoka. In the near future, Kyushu University plans to unite research institutions, local governments, and companies in the areas around each campus to promote the creation of new industries. We are committed to being the driving force behind the transformation of the university and surrounding areas into vibrant cities.
Kyushu University celebrates its 110th anniversary next year. Over the next 100 years, it is our mission to pass down the wisdom cultivated by the university’s long history and tradition to the next generation. By continuing autonomous reforms, I am committed to working together with our students, faculty, and staff to fulfill our role as a research and educational hub that drives innovation through knowledge creation.
I ask for your understanding and support as I begin my journey as your president here at Kyushu University.
President of Kyushu University
October 1, 2020