New Year's Greetings from President Osamu Murata

January 7, 2021

I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year.

At the moment, it is clear that we stand at a crossroads, as the world and society are trying to change into something new. At Kwansei Gakuin University, we have made it our major policy to prevent even one student from leaving school due to COVID-19, and we have put every measure in place to support our students. The traditions of helping people in need and supporting our students are rooted in the Kwansei Gakuin school motto of Mastery for Service. Based on these traditions, in addition to special support scholarships for 2020 (covering half of tuition fees), we set up HECS-type loans to cover the equivalent of annual tuition fees, to be paid back after students' annual salaries reached a fixed amount. We quickly offered free laptop and Wi-fi router rentals, and free online printing services usable at any convenience store in the country, to provide support for online classes.

 Although the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, the Kobe Sanda Campus (KSC) will undergo reorganization and expansion in April 2021, becoming home to five Schools: Policy Studies, Science, Engineering, Biological and Environmental Sciences, and Architecture. Amidst a society that is growing more complex, the KSC will endeavor to conduct education that goes beyond national borders, the framework of the sciences and the humanities, and the lines separating academia from society, themed around the concept of "Be a Borderless Innovator." I believe students will be able to nurture their abilities to create better solutions to problems by encountering new values and ways of thinking, then debating them. It is precisely during the era of COVID-19, as online education becomes more widespread, that opportunities for people to meet face-to-face and exchange opinions will become more important. Through new initiatives at Kwansei Gakuin University, the school will become a place for learning that can offer even better education, which surpasses limits and creates innovation.

We are now in the so-called fourth Industrial Revolution, a time of drastic change. Through the rapid development of information and communication technology (ICT), things like massive amounts of data being analyzed via AI, with those results then being used to create technological innovation, happen every day in society. On the other hand, environmental challenges such as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions are becoming more serious. It is becoming more difficult to engage in sustainable development without cooperation between all countries. This is exactly what the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) espoused by the United Nations are trying to do. In Japan, the population is declining and aging at a pace unparalleled in the world, and we are facing the challenge of revitalizing regional communities. development. Our university is committed to addressing those social issues head-on, and working to realize active learning for each and every student.

Osamu Murata, President and Interim Chair of the Board of Trustees
Kwansei Gakuin University