- Address by the Dean at the 2021 PEAK & GPEAK Welcome Ceremony
- October 1st, 2021
Diversity of Knowledge at the College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Dear New Students of PEAK and GPEAK, Dear Colleagues and Friends,
It is with great pleasure that I warmly congratulate you upon your entrance into the University of Tokyo.
The College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in which you have just enrolled can be well characterized as an interdisciplinary educational and research organization, as they encompass the natural sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. Moreover, this organization forms the basis of UTokyo’s liberal arts education, mainly in the Junior Division of the College but also in the Senior Division and the Graduate School.
As the Dean of the College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, I hope you will make the most of this advantageous academic environment, not only to deepen your knowledge in a specific field of study or research but also to broaden your interests and perspectives. It is true that you are committed to a specific field, such as Environmental Sciences, East Asian Studies, or Global Society Studies, but the College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences provide you with many additional stimulating academic opportunities where you can encounter various fields of research and different ways of viewing the world and of thinking and talking about it. This academic environment will help you to broaden your outlook, and I am sure that it will also help you to develop networks among different kinds of knowledge. In this respect, you will become able to relativize your own fields of interest, so that you may view them from a more objective point of view and explain them more clearly to other people, thus stimulating the exchange of viewpoints with others. The networks of your knowledge will lead to expanding networks of your human relations as well, enabling you to understand better the different viewpoints of other people. This is thus how I would like you to acquire this attitude in our College and Graduate School: by enlarging your own perspectives and views, by relativizing your own areas of interest, and by respecting the positions and ideas of others.
Secondly, I would like to mention this challenging time, caused by the spread of COVID-19, when you have entered UTokyo. Under these difficult conditions, our College and Graduate School continue to strive to keep our research and education active and to ensure that our students’ lives on the campus remain safe and secure. It is true that the current situation necessitates certain limitations upon our campus activities, especially the substitution of online teaching for normal face-to-face classroom education, and some restrictions on extracurricular activities. We believe firmly that the most important thing now is to make sure that the learning and research on our campus continue. Moreover, we also believe that we must design and be ready to implement a new educational model for the “post-COVID” era. To that end, we need diverse forms of knowledge produced through many specialized fields of education and research and a comprehensive form of understanding that brings those fields together by integrating them. Our College and Graduate School, which form the basis for the liberal arts education at UTokyo, and include interdisciplinary educational and research programs, truly embody the diversity of knowledge and its integration. I hope that each of you will make positive contributions to the development of this integration of diverse elements, and show us ways to realize a new educational model so that we may build our future campus together.
Thank you for your attention.
Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
The University of Tokyo