Good morning, everyone.
The Tokyo Tech community is pleased to welcome students, parents, family members, staff, and friends to the 2020 Entrance Ceremony. We are here to celebrate the new students joining us today. You have worked hard to come this far under difficult circumstances, and you should be proud of your achievements. Let us also congratulate your guardians and families, and express our gratitude for the time and effort they have dedicated to your life.
This spring, total enrollment was 3,075 students, with 1,181 entering the bachelor's degree program, including transfer students, 1,598 entering the master's degree program, 33 entering the professional master's degree program, and 263 entering the doctoral degree program. To those of you who joined the Institute in April: I applaud you for taking a proactive approach to your online studies in the past six months. Proactivity is particularly important in the current environment, and your efforts have not gone unnoticed. This fall, total enrollment is 502 students, with 2 entering the bachelor's degree program, 316 entering the master's degree program, 9 entering the professional master's degree program, and 175 entering the doctoral degree program. Seventy-five percent of the students who arrived this fall took on the additional challenge of joining Tokyo Tech from abroad. During these turbulent times, all of you have already developed a special bond by becoming the newest members of Team Tokyo Tech, a diverse community which will provide you with a truly unique experience.
This diversity stems deep back in Tokyo Tech’s 139-year history. One of Japan’s first technological advisors, for example, began teaching ceramics at Tokyo Vocational School — Tokyo Tech’s predecessor — in 1884. Gottfried Wagener, a native of Germany, studied mathematics under Karl Friedrich Gauss at Göttingen University and received his Ph.D. at the age of 21. He arrived in Japan in 1868 and recognized the need for more practical technological education in the country. By 1886, he had developed his own style of pottery and was head of the ceramics department at Tokyo Vocational School. Wagener continued to contribute to the development of Japan and Tokyo Tech for the remainder of his life.
Much like at the time of the Institute’s founding, Tokyo Tech today is about giving back and sharing knowledge through groundbreaking findings, pioneering inventions, and graduates who create an impact in the world. The emergence of COVID-19 does not take away from that. More than ever, we see that we are all in this together. More than ever, we are motivated to pursue a more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive world. Our student-centered curriculum, designed around robust research, ensures that you — our newest students — are engaged right from the start so you can pursue your passions and realize your full potential.
Those of you looking to immerse yourselves in research from an early stage should consider Tokyo Tech’s new B2D, or bachelor to doctor scheme. This scheme is specifically designed for undergraduate students who aspire to begin research early and aim to progress rapidly to a doctorate through a curriculum tailored to individual needs. For graduate students, the Institute’s comprehensive training in data science and artificial intelligence, in collaboration with renowned business partners, supplements your advanced specializations and opens doors to societal solutions and new industries. I encourage you to take advantage of this and other programs running parallel to your specializations at the Institute’s various academies.
Tokyo Tech's Laboratory for Design of Social Innovation in Global Networks, or DLab, a platform that unites the Institute's faculty, staff, and students with the public, offers an inclusive, interdisciplinary approach for creating the future together. In the midst of this pandemic, the realization of some future scenarios created by DLab is suddenly much closer than expected. I urge you to get involved, perhaps initially by exploring the Tokyo Tech Future Chronology. In terms of sharing Tokyo Tech knowledge to tackle more immediate issues, researchers at the Institute of Innovative Research are working on COVID-19-related testing and vaccine development, antiviral materials, future predictions, medical devices, and work style reforms. Eighteen research topics have been identified to date under the Research Project for Overcoming Coronavirus Disasters. These and other challenges are invitations for you, the newest members of Tokyo Tech, to set the world on a different path.
Supporting you throughout your Tokyo Tech journey will be faculty, staff, and fellow students, but also the Tokyo Tech Alumni Association, or Kuramae Kogyokai, an active group of leading professionals who paved the way before you. Hisao & Hiroko Taki Plaza, a large international exchange hub donated to Tokyo Tech by one of these graduates, will be opening soon on Ookayama Campus. This hub, a space where students connect, deepen ties, and create the future together, represents Tokyo Tech as an open, borderless community — a community to which you now belong. As our campuses begin to open gradually, I invite you to get to know this community. Get to know your classmates and professors. Get to know the green Tokyo Tech campuses. Get to know the rich history of the Institute, for example by visiting the Tokyo Tech Museum or exploring the various outdoor exhibits spread around our campuses. Immerse yourself in the Tokyo Tech experience!
Finally, I want to point out that the challenges and opportunities I mentioned today are encapsulated in Tokyo Tech's seal, the swallow by the window. This seal symbolizes the Institute as a hub of technical innovation from which the windows of the world open up to its members. You are now peering in this window, perhaps seeking knowledge, skills, and guidance. I am confident that we will provide these to you. All of you have demonstrated exceptional resilience and versatility to get to where you are. From today, you are in an excellent position to seek out new challenges and create one-of-a-kind solutions to these challenges. I encourage you to become creators of a better future!
Once again, congratulations, and welcome to the Tokyo Tech community.