Thu, Dec 8, 2016 | updated 11:43 PM IST

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University welcomes 573 new students

Updated: Oct 13, 2016 13:11 IST

Oita [Japan], Oct.13 (ANI): Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan's leading international University, welcomed 573 new students from 52 countries and regions around the world in an energetic entrance ceremony held recently.

This fall semester the university welcomes 442 undergraduate students (33 domestic and 409 international students), 50 graduate students (1 domestic, 49 international), and 81 exchange students (6 domestic, 75 international).

President Shun Korenaga welcomed the new entrants with warm words of encouragement.

He said, "By bringing together students from around the world, you challenge and complement each other, and through this polish your abilities; this is the true value [of diversity]. Pursuing diversity is part of our philosophy on education. Diversity brings creativity, develops mutual respect, and contributes to the cultivation of a better, more nuanced international understanding."

He also highlighted APU's recent accreditation by AACSB International: "Last month, APU earned accreditation from AACSB, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, for our undergraduate and graduate business programs. This recognition is in no small part thanks to the efforts of our faculty and staff over the last eight years. We join Keio University as one of only three universities in Japan to hold this distinction, but we are the first where you can apply and complete all programs in English. We will continue to strengthen our connections to business schools around the world, aiming to be one of the top-ranked schools in Asia."

AKAO Noriaki (College of International Management 4th year, Japan) addressed the audience on behalf of current students. ZENAFadilla (College of Asia Pacific Studies, Indonesia) and MORAN Gutierrez Brian Balmore (Graduate School of Management, El Salvador) then spoke on behalf of the undergraduate and graduate new entrants respectively.

Relating his personal experience as a part of the APU community, Mr. AKAO addressed the incoming students: "In today's rapidly changing world, nobody truly knows what is right, so I think you must keep asking 'why' and believe in the path you have chosen; it is important to keep trying. Luckily, APU is a place where people with many different backgrounds come together. Engaging in a dialogue with people who hold totally different values than yourself allows you to bring your own views into focus and to contemplate your own 'whys' from multiple perspectives. You also have a major asset: the fact that there are APU students and alumni wherever you go. When I went to Malawi, a country that most Japanese have never even heard of, my homestay host was the family of an APU student from Malawi. Now that you are students of APU, it is up to you to make the most of this unique environment. You must expose yourselves to different cultures, learn to accept cultural differences at face value, and state your own opinions. Although this is easier said than done, for APU students, it's a matter of course. I believe that making this into a habit will provide you withpowerful tools for use in the global arena."

Speaking on behalf of the new undergraduate students, Ms. ZENA shared her aspirations for the future: "From the moment we decided to enroll at APU, we were eager to represent not only our countries but also APU as a whole, and to enrich ourselves as the next generation of leaders who are able to work hand-in-hand and make a change for the greater good. Make the most of what APU can offer. Explore. Indulge yourself in challenges. Share with others and gain what you need in order to give something back to the world."

Many current students also attended the ceremony to welcome the new entrants to APU and enjoy the colorful performances that followed, including a traditional Indonesian dance, Korean percussion music, Chinese art, and a Japanese drum performance and dance performance. (ANI)