2021 New Year’s Greetings from the President
Create a better and more prosperous post-COVID-19 world.
Katsuyuki Ohtomo, President of Asahi University
Happy New Year to you all.
Last year was a year full of battles against the new COVID-19 infection, which was already spreading on the island of Oahu when I visited the University of Hawaii at Manoa in February with Chancellor Miyata as part of the Department of Health and Sports Sciences’ short-term overseas training program.
In response to the first wave in Japan, we decided to hold the graduation and entrance ceremonies separately. We very much regret that we were unable to send off our graduates with a grand ceremony and welcome our new students together with our faculty, staff and current students.
Under the slogan of “Never hinder students in their pursuit of knowledge” the faculty and staff have been working diligently to prepare for the new school year, and in April, we began offering distance learning classes. Compared to conventional face-to-face classes, the satisfaction level of students and faculty was lower in some areas, but on the other hand, this new environment that does not require strict time and place conditions has led to new innovations and approaches that enhance and maximize the advantages of online learning.
The state of emergency was lifted at the end of May, and in June, we resumed face-to-face classes and practical training, mainly in medical faculties, and also responded immediately to provide financial support to students who were experiencing financial difficulties.
In the fall, we resumed exchange activities with overseas partner universities, such as the University of Texas, Peking University, and the Autonomous University of Mexico, using an online conference system. This return of academic cooperation and camaraderie similarly brought smiles back to the faces of our students.
At the same time, the staff of our affiliated medical institutions is continuing to fight COVID-19. These brave and dedicated people are working tirelessly with their high level of professionalism and pride as medical professionals to protect the health of our citizens. On behalf of all here at Asahi University, I would like to express my utmost respect for their sense of ethics and courage.
This year, Asahi University celebrates its 50th anniversary. Once again, we will return to the core fundamentals of successful and meaningful education, and continue our efforts to “Never hinder students in their pursuit of knowledge” and “Protect the health of our community”. We can expect many challenges, but together let us rise and overcome them to create a better and more prosperous post-COVID-19 world.