President Fujii holds press conference, announces UTokyo Compass Building an autonomous and creative university model through dialogue

October 1, 2021

UTokyo President Teruo Fujii speaks during a press conference held at Yasuda Auditorium on the Hongo Campus on October 1, 2021.

University of Tokyo President Teruo Fujii held a press conference on the Hongo Campus on Oct. 1, 2021, announcing the release of UTokyo Compass, a basic statement of the guiding principles that lays down the ideals and direction UTokyo should pursue.

At the press conference, he emphasized that, in order for UTokyo to create, connect and deepen its academic knowledge, it is necessary to create a virtuous cycle from the three perspectives of “knowledge,” “people” and “place.”

He also explained that UTokyo Compass’ title “Into a Sea of Diversity: Creating the Future through Dialogue” was inspired by the image of creating a future together through diverse entities outside the university through dialogue. Such entities include people, organizations, regions and countries, he said.

In addition, Fujii stressed the need to develop an autonomous and creative university model by strengthening its management. “When we talk about management, the emphasis is usually on the financial aspect, but we need to go beyond just focusing on the financial and personnel systems and build a growth model as an ‘organization that serves the global public,'” he said.

Fujii also described a number of specific action plans and numerical targets in UTokyo Compass.

On measures to strengthen management, Fujii referred to the establishment of a Financial Management Headquarters (tentative name), and the creation of a 100 billion yen fund, which, pending changes in regulations, would allow the university to autonomously invest in various projects.

In the meantime, to contribute to solving global environmental problems, UTokyo has created the Global Commons Stewardship Index to encourage countries and organizations around the world to change their behavior. He said that the university will commit to halving its carbon dioxide emissions by the end of academic year 2030 compared to 2006 levels, as well as joining the international Race to Zero campaign, to help achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

In a question and answer session with journalists, when asked about changes surrounding universities, Fujii said, "The key is for us to think for ourselves what the university needs to do now and come up with a system that allows us to invest our resources in it.”

Regarding the goal of raising the proportion of female students to 30%, Fujii said, “We will have to work very hard to achieve this level," but added: “The most important thing is to share the fact that the university as a whole is going in this direction, and to make everyone — including those outside the university and prospective students — understand this.”

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