Apr 12, 2022
Entrance Ceremony Address for the Class of 2022
Welcome all students newly enrolled in the undergraduate and graduate schools of Osaka Metropolitan University. I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all of you.
Osaka Metropolitan University is a brand new university and has just opened its doors. You are the first class of students to be admitted in our inaugural year.
It is my great pleasure to welcome you all here today in the attendance of our many distinguished guests, to this entrance ceremony being held for the first time both live and online.
The total number of Osaka Metropolitan University students enrolled in the undergraduate and graduate programs today is 4,438. On behalf of Osaka Metropolitan University, I would like to welcome each and every one of you. I would also like to extend my congratulations to your families who have been looking forward to this day.
Living under a pandemic for two years is something that we are all experiencing for the first time. In your case, this coincided with your entrance examinations. To all of you who overcame the challenges of those two years, I would like to express my respect and sincere appreciation for your perseverance in the face of these challenges. On top of that, I believe that the ways this year’s class, responds to the social changes brought about by the Corona virus will be a very important theme for your future. Online conferencing and remote-work, which used to be rare, have become commonplace. Things will never return to normal even once the pandemic is over. On the other hand, trends such as "improving quality of life through digital technology" will accelerate. I hope that you will anticipate the changes of the post-Corona era, and start this new stage in your lives without being tossed about by these turbulent times. We expected that in the future people's values will become more diverse. I hope that all of the students of our first class will become people who respect each other's diverse values.
Osaka City University and Osaka Prefecture University, the two universities on which our university is founded, are both distinguished universities with 140 years of history. They were originally founded as the Osaka Commercial Training Institute and the Osaka School of Veterinary Medicine, respectively. The Osaka Commercial Training Institute was the forerunner of the current Graduate School of Economics, and the Institute of Veterinary Medicine was the forerunner of the current Graduate School of Veterinary Science. As the first president of Osaka Metropolitan University, I would like to preserve the spirit of our predecessors who supported and nurtured these schools. We should be proud to carry on this legacy in Osaka Metropolitan University.
Both universities were established 73 years ago in 1949. Osaka Prefecture University began under the name "Naniwa University" with engineering and agriculture as its main fields of study, and then became “Osaka Prefecture University" through repeated consolidation and reorganization. In 2005, Osaka Prefecture University merged with Osaka Women's University and Osaka Prefecture College of Nursing, to form Osaka Prefecture University which continues to this day. Osaka Prefecture University has contributed greatly to the development of academic research and higher education in both Osaka and Japan, as a "university that values practical learning," and Osaka Women's University as a "liberal arts" institution. Osaka Prefecture College of Nursing trained highly specialized medical professionals. Conversely, Osaka City University was established from the former Osaka University of Commerce and Osaka City Medical University, which later became the Graduate School of Medicine. The structure of Osaka City University has been close to its current form since its establishment, a multi-disciplinary university, and maintained these strong traditions to this day. Their philosophy of working "with the city," has contributed to the development of human resources, industrial revitalization, and promotion of public health in Osaka.
I believe that the opening of Osaka Metropolitan University will be the culmination of mergers between the public institutions of higher education in Osaka. I do not doubt that the balance of these diverse academic cultures and traditions will be the driving force for the future development of Osaka Metropolitan University, which upholds "comprehensive knowledge" and "co-creation" through the 12 undergraduate schools and academic fields.
Now, I would like to ask all the participants of our entrance ceremony here: what is a university? What makes a university different from your previous education institutions? The most important difference is research and social contributions through education. We believe that contributing knowledge and expertise is the driving force that will enable you to continue to learn throughout your life. At undergraduate and graduate schools, students are expected to learn in an "independent” and “self-reliant” manner. The lectures, exercises, experiments, and hands-on training provided at universities are designed to optimally support your "learning style," giving you the experience to learn and grow on your own. In addition, students are expected to make their own study plans from a wide range of course options. When you go out into the world in the future and face various challenges, there is almost nothing that can be solved by one academic field alone. Our university offers a diverse curriculum provided by 12 undergraduate and 15 graduate schools, along with minors and study abroad programs, which allow you to make full use of your comprehensive knowledge.
Osaka City University and Osaka Prefectural University have been jointly promoting the Program for Leading Graduate Schools, which thoroughly encourages students to design their own "learning style" plan. This program is designed to nurture research leaders who can play an active role in the industrial world; and its graduates are highly rated by their employers. In addition, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has given the program an "S", the highest rating in ex-post evaluations. The program courses are open to non-degree students, and we are working to expand this concept to undergraduate and interdisciplinary education as well. Furthermore, the graduate schools of Osaka Metropolitan University offer support through the "Comprehensive Support Package for Doctoral Programs," which are both financially and curriculum-friendly.
Students are required to take a compulsory first year seminar during the very first semester of undergraduate studies. This is an active learning class in which a small number of students interact with many members from our diverse schools and academic areas. This class will make it possible for students to select an interest theme from over 200 topics. Through group discussions and other activities, students will acquire skills and attitudes to learn spontaneously and actively. Through this seminar, we believe that you will come to realize the importance of comprehensive knowledge while experiencing the value of diversity our university provides. Cultural diversity is a source of exchange, innovation, and creativity that brings justice, freedom, and peace to humankind. Osaka Metropolitan University appreciates diversity in culture, expertise, and values, as well as diversity in students, faculty, staff, and our international communities who carry these values. We hope that students will deepen their understanding and strive to face new challenges, while respecting each other's values.
In addition to a diverse educational curriculum, our university is home to a wide range of world-leading laboratories and research facilities, such as the Research Center for Artificial Photosynthesis and the Research and Development Center for Plant Factory, and about 50 unique interdisciplinary research centers namely Collaboration Research Center. Varied academic research, be it basic or applied, is being conducted by faculty and students working together, disseminated around the world, and proven our credibility to the global academic community and industry. As president of the university, I myself, am still continuing my research on next-generation storage batteries called "All-Solid-State Batteries," which I have been working on for many years. The faculty, staff, and existing students, including myself, are enthusiastically looking forward to conducting research with you.
Apart from intellectual academic activities, our university also actively carries out festivals, club and volunteer activities, and exchange programs among the student community, where you can develop a wide range of abilities such as planning, creativity, and communication skills. At our university, you can improve yourself on your own journey. I hope that you will discover what you should do in this limited and unique university time when you can enjoy your freedom. I sincerely hope that your new university and graduate school life will be a fulfilling one.
With these words, I would like to conclude my address by wishing you all the very best in your future endeavors. I would like to once again extend my sincere congratulations to all of you today.
April 11, 2022
President, Osaka Metropolitan University