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New Year’s Address 2013.1.4

New Year’s Address 2013.1.4

“Aspire to be a University that lets students grow, a University with a strong global presence”

January 4, 2013

Happy New Year!

Globalization of human society is going to gain additional acceleration, and we are facing many challenges such as the European Union's financial uncertainty, erratic movement toward democratization in the Middle East, energy issues and the missile launch of North Korea. Also for our country, it is the highest priority to recover from the Great East Japan Earthquake, and there are also other urgent and future-oriented problems to solve, such as responding to globalization, enhancing the global competitiveness of Japanese enterprises, a rapidly aging society and consolidating the corresponding social security system in such a society, and developing a future-oriented energy plan. Human society is growing in diversity and complexity. I would like to assume that some of the issues I mentioned above are “growing pains” that are unavoidable as human society to proceed to the next step.

In an unstable social environment like this, Hiroshima University last year formulated the “Hiroshima University Functional Enhancement Action Plan 2012” in order to fulfill its mission to build a sustainable future society. By establishing concrete steps for this plan to enhance functional strength and ensuring its implementation, I feel that our university can fulfill its duty.

Our most important task among others is to cultivate human resources. We must put all of our efforts toward fostering human resources with high spirits and moral standards through world leading research. At the same time, we need to aspire to educate a global workforce that is able to understand and accept the environmental changes in human society.

As our society continues to age, the role of the university hospital that has supported community health-care by fostering medical staff members is becoming increasingly important. Not only do we need to fulfill the roles of a regional core hospital by actively using the new consultation building that will open this September, but we also must develop the hospital into an Asia-wide medical center.

One of the most important roles of a national university is collaboration with the local community. In the future, we plan to concentrate university information transmission at the Public Relations Office in order to transmit educational and research contents to the public in a more understandable way, while enforcing cooperation with local businesses and municipalities.

To cope with rapid changes in our social environment, it is absolutely necessary for Hiroshima University to develop the abilities of its staff, as they have the ability to view the university as a whole. The officials of our university are regarded with high esteem by the outside world. This year we will make a concentrated effort to strengthen our staff’s abilities from a new viewpoint. We expect that further capacity-building will help students focus even more on their studies, and teachers engage more in education and research, which will result in better educational and research performance.

At present, together with the globalization of the human society, mobility is increasing and there are many challenges we must overcome to rein in an unstable situation. Under these circumstances, we should think about how we can contribute to society. As for Hiroshima University, I want every member of the university to think for themselves about what role they can perform, and believe that it will lead to the development of our university.

At the start of this New Year, I wish for all of our officials to work together and make a goal to “Aspire to be a University that lets students grow, a University with a strong global presence”. I ask for your continued understanding and support in this year.

I wish that 2013 will be a good year for all of you.

Toshimasa Asahara
President, Hiroshima University