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New Year’s Address 2011.1.4

New Year’s Address 2011.1.4

January 4, 2011

New Year’s Address

Happy New Year! As the New Year starts, I wish for all of you that 2011 will be happy, healthy and prosperous.

In 2010 a territorial issue on the periphery of our country gained much attention, as well as North Korea’s military attack on South Korea increased tensions in East Asia. In other parts of the world, Greece, Ireland and other countries are suffering from unstable economic situations, and the issues with Wikileaks are a symptom of quickly progressing globalization. “Coexistence” is the keyword, and it is important to continue efforts toward international peace. On the other hand, Hayabusa’s return to Earth and the discovery of a new type of life form reminded us of the importance and possibilities of academic research.

As we live in a world of continuous change, it is necessary to cope with environmental changes and to formulate a long-term vision for the future of Hiroshima University.

Looking at the world’s academic progress, it is our duty to establish professional education and not only deepen specialization, but also to enhance liberal arts education and embrace diversity for the purpose of cultivating broad-based and enriched humanity. This academic year I will continue reforms on liberal arts education. I will advance and enhance the consideration on reforms concentrated last year on the established Headquarters for Liberal Arts Education. I think that it is necessary to take time to validate the education program and to create a program effective for students that will persist for a long time.

Hiroshima University’s leading-edge research is an essential part of our student education. Exposure to high level research helps our students believe in their own potential. It is necessary to lay out the framework of a meticulous system of research support, to create an environment that enables teachers to concentrate on education and research and to produce excellent leading-edge research that gains global recognition.

As globalization of higher education is progressing rapidly, I want to promote further the exchange of researchers and students, the acceptance of international students and study-abroad programs for Japanese students, all of which are necessary considerations for the future. For that purpose, I am enriching the university’s financial support based on the Hiroshima University Fund. Furthermore, I have future plans to cope with the globalization of education and research by taking advantage of our overseas bases and our network of foreign partner universities.

The rapid development of medicine and medical research demand further sophistication of the University Hospital. As an advanced treatment hospital it is absolutely necessary to invest in the field of advanced medical care, which is an unprofitable sector. Another important task of the University Hospital is the fostering of human resources that can contribute to high level medical services and community healthcare, as well as being able to cope with our countries rapidly changing healthcare environment. This is an important mission our university must accomplish. In the current unstable social environment it is our responsibility to be a fortress to protect community healthcare as an important social infrastructure, and we must fulfill it
Therefore, we must accept these tasks, and it is absolutely necessary to cope with the changes of the social environment, to review continuously the administrative operation of our university and to establish a system of improvement to achieve future quality increases in Hiroshima University’s education and research. As we all know, the university is an institution made for the students, and all of us need to remember that our main duty is the education of our students. Furthermore, the history and the past results of our school demand efforts towards globally recognized, leading-edge research and contribution to society based on academic achievements. Globally recognized leading-edge research and contribution to society enables us to improve the quality of student education. That is the goal we always have to keep in mind moving ahead with concrete plans. And it is also important to regularly examine the needs of present operations and services, and to seek further efficiency, re-examination and acceptance of new services. We have to propel the specialization of one part of the university staff members in addition to comprehensive work, and to adjust our system to the increasing complexity of university administration. Our administrative operation has to become more efficient. I believe that it is important to review the administration by repeatedly checking through and examine each purpose, and that regular review will lead to quality improvement in education and research.

I wish the students, the faculty members and the university as a whole a bright and hopeful New Year. Let’s start the New Year together and never forget our goal of doing our best to build a sustainable future society.

I would be grateful for your continued understanding and assistance in 2011.

Toshimasa Asahara
President, Hiroshima University