I am very happy to be here today to deliver this message at the Fall 2015 entrance ceremony and welcome the 396 new students. Among you, 23 are enrolled in the International Undergraduate Program, 296 in degree programs in our graduate schools, and 77 in the JTW and JLCC programs. We are very pleased that you all are with us today.
We are also pleased to have several honored guests with us : Mr. Bui Quoc Thanh the Consulate-General of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in Fukuoka, who will deliver a congratulatory address to our new students shortly, and Mr. Ha Viet Ahn the Consul of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in Fukuoka, Mr. Thomas Whitney from the American Consulate Fukuoka, Ms. Francine Meoule and Mr. Marc Mathieu from the France /Japan Institute of Kyushu, and Mr. Jian Ding the Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Fukuoka. On behalf of Kyushu University, I would like to express my deepest gratitude for your kind attendance at today’s ceremony.
I hope you are excited about attending Kyushu University. Let me tell you a little about it.
In 1903, Fukuoka Medical College was established as an affiliate of Kyoto Imperial University. Eight years later, in 1911, the College of Engineering was established, and with these, Kyushu Imperial University was founded. This was the start of Kyushu University. Since then, Kyushu University has gone through several organizational changes, such as setting up new schools and faculties, integrating with Kyushu Institute of Design, and being reorganized as an incorporated entity.
At present, Kyushu University consists of 11 undergraduate schools, the 21st Century Program, 18 graduate schools, 4 professional graduate schools, the Faculty of Arts and Science, and 5 research institutes, as well as the University Hospital?which is one of the most advanced medical institutions in Japan?, and the University Library?which prides itself on a collection of some 4.2 million volumes. With all these entities, Kyushu University has grown into one of the leading universities in Japan.
When it comes to people, Kyushu University has a total of 18,747 students, including 2,097 international students, and 8,025 faculty and non-faculty staff members, giving a total of 26,772 people who are studying and working here.
Concerning the university’s physical presence, it has five campus sites, namely, the Hakozaki, Hospital, Chikushi, Ohashi, and Ito campuses. Including the University Farm and Research Forests, Kyushu University’s total land area is about 76km2, making it the third largest university in Japan.
The Ito Campus is on hilly land surrounded by an abundance of nature and extends 3km east to west and 2.5km north to south. Its location is also a historical place with human activity going back nearly 1800 years . To prepare the ground for this campus, we gave due consideration to the natural environment in an effort to maintain the biological diversity, while also endeavoring to the greatest possible extent to preserve valuable cultural assets, such as ancient burial mounds.
Ten years have passed since the Ito Campus was opened in the fall of 2005 and the Faculty of Engineering moved from the Hakozaki Campus. The campus development has been progressing steadily. It is now in the third and final stage of the overall relocation project.
In this new campus, many facilities have been built in recent years, for example, Shiiki Hall, the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER), and Ito Guest House. Last year, the construction of the Kyudai Gate Bridge and two residential buildings to accommodate both Japanese and international students, Dormitory 3 and Harmony House, was completed. This month, the Faculty of Sciences just moved into their new building.
The construction of the University Library and the relocation of the humanities & social sciences and agriculture faculties will be finished by 2018. At that time, the campus relocation will be complete.
Today, on the occasion of this entrance 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 here. Students enrolled in the JTW and JLCC programs will be attending lectures and practical classes as well as going on various field trips to study the Japanese language and culture. For students enrolled in the International Undergraduate and graduate programs, your time studying at Kyushu University will provide you with a tremendous opportunity to learn the Japanese language and culture in greater depth, in addition to engaging in study and research activities in your own majors.
Postgraduate students, please work hard in the study and research of your specialties, and gain a wide range of knowledge. I hope you encounter the many wonderful aspects of the Japanese culture while interacting with Japanese students and local residents. My wish is for you to become future leaders of the global community, taking pride in what you have learned at Kyushu University.
Students in the JTW and JLCC programs, it would be gratifying to see you take these short-term programs as just the beginning of your studies here at Kyushu University, then to have you come back here as regular students after finishing your short-term programs.
I imagine that there may be difficulties from time to time for international students living in Japan, with its different language, culture, customs and economic conditions. To support you, Kyushu University has 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 respective undergraduate or graduate 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 objectives while studying at Kyushu University.
Thank you for your kind attention.
President, Kyushu University