About Tokyo Tech

2016 Spring Entrance Ceremony for bachelor's program students

2016 Spring Entrance Ceremony for bachelor's program students

The Tokyo Tech community is pleased to welcome new students, parents, the Board of Directors, deans, directors, and special guests to the 2016 Spring Entrance Ceremony for bachelor's students. Today, 1,135 bachelor's degree students are entering the Institute. Congratulations to you all and welcome to Tokyo Tech. You are now ready to start your new life with confidence and pride, high hopes, and big dreams. I would also like to express my respect to the students' families who have given so much to support the education of these young men and women.

Founded in 1881, Tokyo Tech celebrates its 135th anniversary this year as Japan's top university in science and technology. Throughout its long history, the Institute has trained outstanding professionals for key roles in industry and academia. This is the result of a distinguished education that equips students with solid fundamental knowledge in science and technology, and essential competencies in the social sciences and humanities. Tokyo Tech provides an opportunity to experience the pleasure of doing research at an early stage, encouraging students to continue into further education, develop individual specializations, and tackle cutting-edge research themes.

Building upon such a fine tradition of excellence, the Institute is now entering an exciting stage with the implementation of a new education system. You will be the first students learning under this new system. Equipped with a high-quality education, you will be free to deepen your studies in a flexible manner according to your desires.

Tokyo Tech established this new system in order to provide all of you with the best possible opportunities to move toward your goals and remain highly motivated. High motivation allows you to fully experience the pleasures of studying and a strong feeling of personal achievement when you graduate. When I finished my master's program in 1975 at Tokyo Tech, I entered the University of California at Berkeley in the US, where I took my Ph.D. It was a long road. However, the experience of overcoming challenges and achieving goals was highly rewarding. All of you are young, and therefore you can and should try anything and everything. Communicate openly with the brilliant people around you and continue to develop and improve yourself. This is a privilege that has been granted to you. Make full use of it.

Let me ask all of you. What do you want to study? What is your goal? What specialty would you like to pursue? Of course, many of you may not have clear answers to these questions yet. However, I ask that all of you, as students of Tokyo Tech, are aware of the doors that open through the power of science and technology, and that all of you contribute to the creation of a better society as you progress through your studies. You may want to change your goals along the way. Don't worry. It's OK to change direction. Our new education system is more flexible and allows for such change. What is most important for you is to consider why you are studying, and to move forward.

Tokyo Tech's new education system is based on an outstanding curriculum that allows you to understand the excellence and perceive the depth of science and technology. You can focus on the field that interests you, discover and develop a specialization, and acquire other capabilities that will help you to achieve your goals. Throughout this process, it is also important to make good friends and to communicate closely with your classmates, fellow club members, and academic advisors. Human bonds and communication are indispensable as you move toward your goals, as they help you to clarify issues, rebuild your ideas, and find new directions.

Finally, I would like to highlight the importance of diversity to which Tokyo Tech attaches high value. Diversity leads to flexibility and strength of mind, both of which are essential in preparing you for your role in society. One way to cultivate diversity is to interact with people overseas. If possible, I recommend that you travel overseas during your studies. Tokyo Tech offers a wide range of study-abroad programs. A one-month summer school experience at an overseas university is also available. Participation in one of these programs as early as possible will open your eyes to a new world. Your stage is not limited to Japan. Do not hesitate to see the world as you shape your own future. Be positive. Take chances. If you are motivated, the Institute will fully support you.

Today, you start your new life at Tokyo Tech. The enthusiasm and confidence you bring to your studies will richly enhance your experience. Remember -- a university is not a place for you to be taught, but a place for you to proactively think and learn. With this in mind, I hope all of you soon make new friends with whom you can learn, talk, and enjoy a fulfilling life at Tokyo Tech.

Once again, congratulations and welcome.

April 4, 2016
Yoshinao Mishima
President, Tokyo Tech