On behalf of the university, I would like to extend a hearty welcome to you all. Congratulations on your enrollment in the School of Science and Technology or the Graduate School of Science and Technology of Kyoto Institute of Technology.
Despite the various restrictions imposed on you over the past two years due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, you have arrived at the starting line of a new future. Although anti-viral vaccines and therapeutics have been developed and we are finding ways to live with this Coronavirus, we felt it best to remain cautious. This is the reason we requested your family members and other well-wishers refrain from attending today’s ceremony. Please relay our deepest gratitude to them for their understanding and cooperation.
This April, we have enrolled 656 undergraduates, including 59 transfer students, 528 master’s degree students, and 45 doctoral degree students. Although you specialize in different academic fields, in a manner of speaking, you are all Kyoto Institute of Technology classmates for the 2022 academic year, which we refer to as the 4th year of the Reiwa Emperor. KIT is striving to nurture engineering professionals who can contribute to a bright future. It is essential to go beyond existing frameworks and work in a cross-disciplinary manner to accomplish this. It is no small coincidence that you are all enrolling in the same university at the same time. Even if this does not seem meaningful to you now, I am sure that you will soon find it to be highly significant.
We have come a long way in the 120 years since the establishment of our predecessor institutions, the Kyoto College of Textile Fibers, and Kyoto College of Technology. During this time, we have developed a unique academic culture pursuing wisdom, beauty and scientific knowledge. This culture benefits from the influences of our Kyoto location in many ways. Kyoto, has long been an important wellspring of Japanese invention and traditions, producing many talented individuals who have contributed to academic accomplishments, the arts, culture, and industry.
The “knowledge, beauty, and technology” pursued by KIT are based on Kyoto culture and traditions. These have been nurtured by artisans and are characterized by advanced technology, superior quality, refined attention to detail, and by trust-based human networks. As an institution of higher education in Kyoto, our university continues to be committed to the creation and dissemination of outstanding systems and styles. These range from cultural diversity and the consolidation of millennial wisdom, to ideas and implementation that learn from Kyoto communities. In recent years, KIT has begun to adopt design thinking for new problem solving and art-based thinking for innovating future breakthroughs. What is more, we encourage the creation of new interdisciplinary fields of study.
As a 21st century national university corporation, KIT is on a mission to respond to the trust placed in it by the public through independent and autonomous university management, to seek solutions to the many emerging issues that currently confront us on a global scale, and to realize a sustainable world for the future. To this end, the year before last, a working team of campus faculty and staff was established to discuss future directions. After repeated discussions from a variety of perspectives, last year, the team declared our university a cutting-edge Kyoto-rooted international engineering university where solutions and values never before seen in the world, are innovated. In July, the team decided on a new university philosophy. It grows out of the following three characteristic KIT conceptual directions and will produce new value and a brighter future for us all.
Our first conceptual direction is ART x SCIENCE. Here, we create new value by integrating ART’s dreams, scientific fantasies, and leaps of innovation that expand future possibilities, and SCIENCE’s contribution of concrete form through precise analysis. Our second direction is LOCAL x GLOBAL. This is the direction of new value creation combining LOCAL “Kyoto Thinking” characterized by high quality manufacturing and trust-based networks with the “Global Thinking” needed to solve worldwide problems in sustainable ways. Our third direction is TRADITION × INNOVATION. We create new value with unrivaled credibility by combining the deep understanding we have developed through coexistence with Kyoto’s TRADITIONAL history and culture with the INNOVATION of refined artisanal skills.
This is the framework of our social mission. We strive to utilize Kyoto-based knowledge and skills, further develop education and research, and build next-generation social systems through the creation of new value to contribute to a peaceful, prosperous and aesthetically pleasing world. Beauty is essential to the future of the earth and Japan.
The KIT community of faculty, staff, and current students is now boldly taking on the challenge of ushering in a new era. We look forward to adding your strength to this mix, and hope you will tackle your studies and research with renewed vigor and enthusiasm. As you join us in our endeavors, work hard to realize a world that achieves well-being for each person and for the world.
Again, allow me to welcome you once again and congratulate you on becoming part of the KIT community.
April 5, 2022
President, Kyoto Institute of Technology