Happy New Year.
We sincerely hope that 2017 will be a year of good health and happiness for everybody.
Rapidly advancing globalization is changing societies themselves dramatically, making them open to the world so that people and commodities can cross national borders freely. At the same time, however, we are also witnessing signs of change that could be regarded as reactions to globalization. These involve outcomes that would never have been expected under conventional circumstances, the most notable examples being last year’s presidential election in the United States and the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the EU. In many locations and settings throughout the world, the growth of new forms of cooperation and partnership is counteracted by repeated friction and conflict prompted by differences in nationality, ethnicity, religion, and culture.
Meanwhile, the evolution of information and communication technologies is profoundly transforming the way we live and work. It is currently unclear how people and societies will be affected by the replacement and creation of jobs resulting from technological innovation accompanying the adoption of AI technologies in our daily lives and in industry. At the same time, however, these technologies hold the potential to revolutionize the future for mankind.
What is needed by societies experiencing such upheaval are human resources who possess an international outlook and insight transcending any specific historical era, as well as the ability to understand others. They should also be determined to use their own capabilities to carve out a new future, and should show creativity unfettered by established paradigms. Moreover, cultivating human resources who can solve problems creatively to generate innovation requires a diverse environment in which people with differing views and standpoints can come together.
As a private school that is rich in diversity, Ritsumeikan Academy has raised the level of its education and research by autonomously and independently conducting educational reforms that fully meet the demands of the times.
Last year Ritsumeikan University set up a College of Comprehensive Psychology at its Osaka Ibaraki Campus, commencing education and research in a new field that merges psychology with related disciplines. This year we will be responding to the changing times by moving into other new areas of education and research: we are setting up the first Graduate School of Professional Teacher Education established by a private university in Western Japan, as well as preparing to establish a College of Gastronomic Arts and Sciences. Other new ventures include starting an education partnership with the Australian National University.
Last year Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University acquired AACSB accreditation, which represents an extremely high-level international accreditation standard for business education, and it continues to work toward developing further as an international university. Our affiliated schools in the prefectures of Kyoto, Shiga, and Hokkaido are also highly regarded as schools that are setting the standard for elementary and secondary education in Japan, having earned accolades including official designation as Super Science High Schools or Super Global High Schools by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
In the year to come, Ritsumeikan Academy will continue to draw on its synergies as a private comprehensive educational institution to engage in high-quality education and research activities by promoting globalization.
We look forward to a sharing another successful year with you all.
January 1, 2017
ToyoOmi Nagata, Chairperson
Mikio Yoshida, Chancellor
The Ritsumeikan Trust