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New Year's Message from President Hamada (Public Relations Office)

January 5, 2015

Date of activity: January 5, 2015

   Happy New Year!

   While Japanese society faces multiple challenging hardships such as the declining birthrate, aging society and issues in the economic and financial sectors, robust movements towards a brighter future are sprouting up everywhere you look. Universities are not excepted from this trend. As the new year dawns upon us, we at the University of Tokyo are thinking anew of the importance of our roles in both advancing the development of Japanese society and contributing to the prosperity of humankind through raising our educational and research standards to further heights.

   This year marks the final year of FOREST 2015, the Action Scenario outlining my term as president. I laid out ten pillars in that Scenario, namely: Ensure Academic Diversity and Pursue Excellence; Build a Truly Global Campus; Further Develop Collaboration with Society: From “Contributing Knowledge to Society” to “Joint Creation of Knowledge with Society”; Develop UTokyo Students with Intellectual Toughness and Personal Resilience; Enhance Faculty’s Educational Skills and Sustain Academic Vigor; Train Administrative Staff as Professionals; Build a Close-knit Network with Our Alumni; Enhance Agility of Management and Reinforce the University’s Foundations; Reinforce Governance, Compliance and Environmental Safety; and Develop Activities for Relief and Reconstruction Assistance to Rebuild Japan. Progress on the initiatives rooted in each of these themes is edging towards completion. With regards to comprehensive educational reform, this spring the University will be starting on a four-term system, introducing revised curriculums, and implementing a policy granting University admission by recommendation.

   I will complete my six-year tenure as the University’s president at the end of March. Makoto Gonokami, the next president, will assume the post from April, turning a new page in the history of the University of Tokyo. Along with establishing a comprehensive educational reform, Dr. Gonokami aims to further strengthen the education and research abilities of the University, such as by fortifying doctoral-level education through reforms in Graduate Schools and improving working conditions for young researchers. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone for their support during my time as president. As the University of Tokyo ambitiously embarks upon a new stage of innovation and growth, we would appreciate your continued support and encouragement.

   I wish all of you the best in this coming year.