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Congratulations to all of you who have received your master’s or doctoral degrees today. I would like to congratulate you on behalf of the Kyoto Institute of Technology. It is with great joy and pleasure that we are able to hold this commencement ceremony with you today.
Due to COVID-19 infections, we have once again simplified this year’s ceremony while wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. Unfortunately, family members, related parties, and the faculty members who provided research guidance were unable to attend today, but I would like to ask you to tell them that the President extends his congratulations and sincere thanks for their support.
It will soon be 20 months since the first COVID-19 infection was confirmed in Japan. Those of you who have received a master’s degree have been forced into an unprecedented lifestyle for almost all that time, while those of you who have received a doctorate have also been subject to this for the greater part of this period. I believe that carrying out research under such circumstances must have been extremely difficult. Vaccinations are progressing, but we cannot yet see an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please don’t let your guard down; brace yourselves once more and persist in taking measures against infection so you can face your new lives in good health.
Now, since the Graduate School of Science and Technology was established in 1988, 11,500 students have received master’s degrees and 1,215 students have been awarded doctoral degrees. Today, we conferred master’s degrees #11,501 to #11,524 and doctoral degrees #1,008 to #1,023. The results of your research are expected to be used for further development, technological innovation and new industrial creation in your respective fields. They will also be useful for the research of those who follow in your footsteps.
During the modernization of Japan that began with the Meiji Restoration, this university produced engineers who supported the industries of Japan as they changed with the times and the circumstances of the nation. Our aim is to foster Tech Leaders, our school’s term for high-level engineers.
Why is our aim now to foster Tech Leaders rather than technicians, engineers, or researchers? We set this goal because numerous issues created by modernization on a global scale—by the industrial revolution, which began in the second half of the 18th century—are now manifesting in a variety of phases across the entire planet. The Tech Leaders the university desires are “highly specialized technicians who graduate with expert knowledge and skill at a level that enables them to successfully lead a range of projects aimed at resolving global socio-industrial issues.” We strongly believe that engineers and researchers who have received higher education must solve the many different issues that face us for the well-being of humanity, by striving to cooperate and consult with people in different fields with a broad perspective as they reliably learn and practice in their own specialist areas.
Those of you here today who have finished your master’s program and received a master’s degree, you are truly specialists who will be at the heart of our Tech Leaders. I extend my congratulations and express my wish that, as holders of master’s degrees from Kyoto Institute of Technology, you will take on the role of making the future bright with the self-awareness of Tech Leaders, and make great contributions to global science, industry, and culture.
Those of you who have finished your doctoral studies and earned your doctorate will prove your value from now on. Rather than being a goal, a doctoral degree is a point of departure. Your work in the future will truly add value to your doctoral degree. I hope that you never forget that you are Tech Leaders as you successfully attain jobs that contribute to society.
I would like to conclude this celebratory address with a wish for your growing success in the future.
I offer my heartfelt congratulations to you today.
September 24, 2021
President, Kyoto Institute of Technology