It is my privilege to say some words to you today on the occasion of this, the Fall 2014 opening ceremony. Today, new students enrolled in the International Undergraduate Programs, degree programs in our graduate schools, and the JTW and JLCC programs are gathered here. I would like to extend my sincere welcome to all new students.
In addition, on behalf of Kyushu University, I would also like to express my gratitude to Mr. （テイ・ケン）DING Jian, Consul of the Consulate-General of the People's Republic China in Fukuoka who has been kind enough to join us today and will deliver a congratulatory address to our new students.
In recent years, fall enrollment and the quarter system have been frequent topics of conversation in Japan. At Kyushu University, we have been offering fall enrollment in the International Undergraduate Programs under the G30 Project since 2011. We have also held a joint opening ceremony for other students enrolled in our university in fall, including international students enrolled in degree programs in the graduate schools and short-term programs such as JTW and JLCC, in addition to the International Undergraduate Programs. Today marks the third of such joint opening ceremonies. We also plan to introduce the quarter system, which we find beneficial to both education and research.
Kyushu University had its start in 1911 as Kyushu Imperial University, which was composed of colleges of medicine and technology. Since then, various reforms have been made, including the establishment of various schools and faculties, the change of its name to Kyushu University, the merger with the Kyushu Institute of Design, the opening of the 21st Century Program, and the opening of international programs in which all classes are given in English.
With 11 undergraduate schools, various programs and courses, 18 graduate schools, 4 professional graduate schools, the Faculty of Arts and Science, 5 research institutes, and the University Hospital, Kyushu University has been growing as one of the leading universities in Japan, and also as one of the global centers of knowledge focused on our neighboring countries in Asia.
Today, on the occasion of this opening ceremony, what I would most like to tell you is to be proactive in learning the Japanese language and experiencing Japanese culture while you are studying in this country. Students enrolled in JTW and JLCC programs will be attending lectures and practical classes as well as taking tours to various places to study the Japanese language and culture as part of their curricula. For students enrolled in the International Undergraduate Programs and degree programs in graduate schools as well, your time studying at Kyushu University will provide you with the best opportunity to learn the Japanese language and culture in greater depth, in addition to engaging in study and research activities in your own majors.
The International Undergraduate Programs are designed to enable students to complete all stages of the programs in English, from taking the entrance examination to earning a degree. Kyushu University creates the curricula for this purpose. Specially selected Japanese students studying at Kyushu University are also scheduled to attend some classes in these programs. I hope that you will learn more about Japan through interaction with them. I would also strongly recommend that you make it one of your goals to take ordinary classes delivered in Japanese and earn credits when you move up to the third year. I believe that this will give you a valuable opportunity to learn about Japan and Japanese culture in Japanese, and in more practical terms, it will also give you great advantage in finding employment in Japanese companies after graduation.
It is my hope for postgraduate students to gain a wide range of knowledge and acquire the ability to see things from a broad perspective, in addition to engaging in the regular study and research activities in their programs. Through this, you may sometimes encounter wonderful aspects of the Japanese culture that even Japanese students and teachers have not been aware of. My wish is for you to become future leaders of the global community, taking pride in what you have learned at Kyushu University.
I would like to also encourage postgraduate students to take an interest in participating in the Program for Leading Graduate Schools. This program, sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, aims to advance the establishment of university graduate schools of the highest caliber by supporting the dramatic reform of their education programs in such a way that they will institute degree programs recognized as top quality around the world. To foster excellent students who are both highly creative and internationally attuned and who will play leading roles in the academic, industrial and governmental sectors across the globe, the program brings top-ranking faculty and students together from both in and outside Japan, and enlists participation from other sectors in its planning and execution while creating continuity between master’s and doctoral programs and implementing curricula that overarches fields of specialization. Under this program, three specific programs are implemented at Kyushu University. The Graduate Education and Research Training Program in Decision Science for a Sustainable Society is provided for students in all graduate schools, and the Advanced Graduate Course on Molecular Systems for Devices and the Advanced Graduate Program in Global Strategy for a Green Asia are provided mainly for students of the Graduate School of Engineering and the Interdisciplinary Graduate Scholl of Engineering. I hope that you will give them a try, and also hope that new undergraduate students work hard so that they can join this program.
I imagine that it is not easy for international students to live in Japan, with a different language, culture, customs and economic conditions. To support our international students, Kyushu University provides consultation centers on each campus, including the International Student Center, the International Student and Researcher Support Center, and the Counseling and Health Center, as well as your faculty office. So please feel free to visit them.
In closing, I would like to express my sincere wish that all of you have a meaningful experience, and achieve your own objectives of learning at Kyushu University.
President, Kyushu University