The September 2019 Academic Year Matriculation Ceremony for the colleges and graduate schools of Ritsumeikan University took place this week on Suzaku Campus, September 25.
A grand total of 307 students matriculated this year of whom 140 were undergraduates and 167 post-graduates. Reflecting an increasingly international and diverse student body, this September’s intake herald from a total of 35 different countries and regions.
Yoshio Nakatani, president of Ritsumeikan University, emphasized how important it will be for the students to engage with and influence society for the better, indicating that they will be wholeheartedly supported in such efforts:
Presently, the circumstances that surround us are undergoing dramatic changes. Everything moves beyond borders and globalization is progressing with dizzying speed…When society faces a time of profound change, I believe the role of universities is to cultivate people who are able to discover new value and meaning from the change, propose to people the precise direction that they should go, and move society.
The type of human resources that is in strong demand is the type that will create a totally new concept, flesh it out and then present it to society.
I hope that all of you will turn your attention towards society and think about how you can make contributions in your own way. This will lead to deeper learning, as well as to questions about what it means to learn and what it means to live, and this will enable you to change the future. Our university supports you in such efforts.
Continuing a short, but inspiring ceremony, two newly matriculated students took to the podium. First up, Raiga Toyoda, from the US (College of Global Liberal Arts), set out ambitious, international plans for his time on Ritsumeikan University’s new Global Studies Major program:
I feel so fortunate that I am able to be a part of Ritsumeikan University and the Global Liberal Arts Program. I am confident that I can embark on a journey here as well as in Australian National University, as part of a cross-cultural, intercontinental curriculum with my peers, along with the esteemed faculty, in a collegiate atmosphere that promotes diversity and inclusion, personal and professional growth, so that we may work towards a stronger, more global community.
Before Toma Majumder, from Bangladesh (Graduate School of Life Sciences), concluded the speeches with a moving appeal to her fellow classmates:
Dear fellow classmates, we all came to the same place from different nations with high expectations. Today I request you all to take an oath to contribute to work toward increasing the reputation of Ritsumeikan University by cooperating and supporting each other. Let’s be a source of help for one another to explore our full potential by taking on new intellectual challenges to change our future.