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First-Yearly Address by President Kazuhito Komiya

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Chiba Institute of Technology (CIT) is a university with quite a bit of history. Celebrating its seventieth anniversary last year, it is well known as Japan’s oldest existing private institute of technology. Additionally, I recently discovered that before the war the government did not permit university-level engineering training other than at imperial universities, so very few private universities were able to set up engineering faculties. I learned, moreover, that Waseda University’s School of Science and Engineering, established in 1920, Fujiwara Institute of Technology—the precursor of Keio Gijyuku University’s Faculty of Engineering—established in 1939, and CIT, established in 1942, were the only three schools allowed to offer three-year university preparatory and three-year regular courses of study. CIT possesses this sort of history, and in my position as president I believe the mission I have been assigned is to build the CIT that will head into a new era.

Professor Takehiko Kariya of Oxford University, a prominent sociologist, is critical of today’s Japanese society. He says: “It is as if society is trapped in a sealed cup and the people inside are clinging onto systems that worked previously. It is structured so people compete to become relatively better off under the system. They cannot quit or change, even though they understand that this yields substantially negative results.” Japan needs to get rid of its customary barriers, to become more global, to resolve these sorts of problems for Japanese society and for Japan to overcome international competition.

To achieve that, Japanese people first have to change. I believe that university education is serving a significant role in achieving that. It is indispensable to educate people to give them the intellectual capacity and problem-solving abilities to grapple with problems that have no apparent answers, training them to survive in global society. That is what I have been striving for since taking up this post. To achieve that, quickly turning tradition-laden CIT’s rudder toward globalization, I have emphasized decision-making and university management based on confidence between the chairman of the board and president, various policies implemented with mutual cooperation from faculty members, regeneration of the educational and research environment, and internationalization of the university.

Asahi Shimbun Company chose CIT as the university with the most drawing power in this year’s university rankings as it has enjoyed its highest increase in the number of applicants in Japan over the past four years. We attracted the largest number of applicants since CIT was established, 35,839, at this spring’s entrance examinations. Our campus is now full of students who entered CIT after beating out fierce competition. Additionally, we were ranked #25 among 783 universities around Japan in the general list of “truly strong universities” published in the latest edition of Toyo Keizai magazine. Nonetheless, CIT will by no means remain content with these numbers and will proactively implement substantial reforms.

The renovation of our campus is nearly complete, and new facilities have been installed so that the university has the most up-to-date equipment. A new dormitory will be completed next spring on the Shin-Narashino campus. I am very much looking forward to the new dormitory’s completion because of my experience with college education at the University of Cambridge. I want the dorm to be not just student housing, but also a nucleus for enhanced education and internationalization.

My thought is that people are indeed a university’s greatest assets, and providing research achievements and people who can contribute to society are important duties for universities. This academic year will be my second as president, and I would like to request your support and understanding as we promote even greater changes to enhance CIT’s educational and research capabilities.

29th June, 2013
President Professor Kazuhito Komiya, PhD