About Tokyo Tech

President's Address at the Graduate Spring Entrance Ceremony 2013

President's Address at the Graduate Spring Entrance Ceremony 2013

On this joyful occasion for the Tokyo Tech community, we gather here today in the presence of our distinguished guests and the Institute's members of the Board of Directors, deans and directors, to conduct the graduate spring entrance ceremony for academic year 2013. Today, 1,843 new students enter our graduate school. Of these, 1,522 are starting a master's program, 29 are starting a professional master's program, and 292 are joining a doctoral program. First of all, I would like to congratulate all of you who are entering today. Tokyo Tech offers you a heartfelt welcome, and we also want to express our profound respect to your family members who have supported you in your studies up to this point.

You have come here after completing an undergraduate program or a master's program, at Tokyo Tech or another university, to enter Tokyo Tech's master's or doctoral program. Some of you are responsible working adults in mid-career who have come here to pursue further education. Today represents the start of your next step on your individual paths. I hope you will begin life here at Tokyo Tech with a fresh mind. It is important for you, first and foremost, to set high goals and to continue to train and discipline yourselves each day.

Tokyo Tech has six graduate schools on our three campuses: the Ookayama, the Suzukakedai, and the Tamachi Campuses. In the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, however, two graduate schools, science and engineering, are operated separately. What this means, therefore, is that with the addition of the other five graduate schools - the Graduate School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, the Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and Engineering, the Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering, the Graduate School of Decision Science and Technology, and the Graduate School of Innovation Management - you will be pursuing your graduate studies at a university that effectively contains seven graduate schools. Your activities in the laboratories will be centered on your department and graduate school. However, the exchanges you will have with students outside your particular graduate school and campus will be a major plus for your future. By all means, I hope you will expand the range of your activities outside your specialized area.

Some of you graduated from the undergraduate program here at Tokyo Tech, and are advancing to the master's program. You have already established a level of specialization with your graduation thesis, and your basic task will be to further deepen your knowledge in your field of specialization. Some of you have graduated from undergraduate programs at other universities and you are entering the master's program here at Tokyo Tech. I think that many of you are departing from your former specialties and are taking on the challenge of new fields in science and technology. Whatever the case may be, it is standard for a master's program to take two years, so you will need to have a positive attitude and move forward toward your chosen goal. For those of you who plan to seek employment after finishing your master's program, in particular, I hope that you will embark on your degree while giving serious thought to how you can develop yourself during this two-year period. This includes consideration of how you will spend your job-hunting period. Corporations are looking for science and engineering personnel who have a solid fundamental grasp of their specialty, who understand the purpose and significance of master's thesis research, who have the knowledge and positive attitude needed to make use of their capabilities in the international community, and who are able to clearly describe their visions for their futures. Of course, it is not possible to achieve all this completely in the short time you have before employment examinations. What corporations will be looking for at that time, however, is how much you have done toward acquiring these capabilities, and whether you are taking action in pursuit of your vision. Employment is not your life goal. I would like to see you continue embracing the challenge of higher aims and working with confidence as graduate students at Tokyo Tech. Bring enthusiasm toward the task of actively acquiring capabilities of various kinds with a steady view toward your future.

Some of you are thinking about advancing to the doctoral program once you have finished your master's program. I hope you will consider joining one of the four new integrated master's and doctoral degree programs we have set up at Tokyo Tech. From tomorrow on, you will be provided guidance from the Academy for Global Leadership, the Academy for Co-Creative Education of Environment and Energy Science, the Education Academy of Computational Life Sciences, and the Academy for Global Nuclear Safety and Security Agent. These academies were selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to be part of its Program for Leading Graduate Schools. There are 44 programs underway at 24 universities throughout Japan. These programs were founded with the intent to shift doctoral education in Japan away from merely drilling down into an area of specialization which was not necessarily producing the human resources that society needed, to creating leaders with broader perspectives. This project seeks to develop leaders who can act globally, move beyond the narrow framework of their areas of specialization, and lead across the lines of industry, academia, and government. They actively incorporate collaboration with industry and are fully endowed with financial support as well. Recruitment and selection will take place during the first six months of the master's program. I hope you will consider applying to one of these academies.

For those of you who are advancing to or entering the doctoral program, I would ask you, first and foremost, to engage in research that will lead the world in your field. As you do so, please give careful thought to where you would like to pursue your activities after receiving your degree. Your future aim may be to engage in the world's most advanced research in science and technology at a university or research institution in Japan or in another country. Or perhaps you aim to find a place for yourself in industry as a technology expert, working with global awareness on environmental and energy problems, on food problems, on prediction and countermeasures for large-scale disasters, or on other such problems that the international community faces. You might even become an entrepreneur who starts a company. These and various other possible arenas are open to you. It is extremely important that you discover your own strengths and weaknesses, examine them, and become aware of where you would like to be in the future while you are still in school.

Tokyo Tech will inaugurate the Innovator and Inventor Development Platform starting this April. We will draw on our career education know-how which has been built over the years through the experience we have gained from our many human resource development programs. In addition to the expertise in your specialty, we provide guidance to doctoral students regarding career paths and the capabilities needed to launch successful careers. Please take advantage of this guidance. People with doctorates should be the highest-quality human resources that Tokyo Tech produces for society. Please act with confidence and with enthusiasm as you aim for a doctoral degree from Tokyo Tech, and in that spirit, I hope you will embrace the challenge of discovering how far you can develop and refine yourself.

I will conclude by expressing the hope that, in the atmosphere of freedom and openness at Tokyo Tech, you will grow as people of character and integrity who care about others.

April 3, 2013
Yoshinao Mishima
President, Tokyo Tech