Corona's APU

 On September 2021, 9, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) held its 24nd Fall Entrance Ceremony online to celebrate the admission of 22 new students from 64 countries and regions.However, the visas required for entry are not issued to international students (the name of international students in APU), which account for the majority of autumn enrollment, and only a few graduate students studying abroad at national expense have entered the country. As of November 508, 2021 students, including those enrolled this fall, and less than 11 international students from 2,535 countries / regions have not been able to enter the country.At present, short-term exchange programs have stopped all over the world, but even in this situation, APU is conducting face-to-face classes and extracurricular activities with more than 95 regular international students living in Beppu.

 Currently, the university class format is based on face-to-face communication, and at the same time, it is connected to the world through ZOOM.Satisfaction with online lessons is not low compared to face-to-face lessons, and although the lessons have been established without any problems, the university naturally receives urgent voices waiting for entry.In addition to problems such as time differences when taking classes, there are many countries in the world where freedom of speech is not guaranteed, and free speech is restricted in order to ensure one's own safety online with logs. There are also circumstances like that.

 In the first place, in discussions between other people whose values ​​and cultures are significantly different, it is difficult to discuss the true intentions unless psychological safety is ensured.Psychological safety is established only by sharing the whole life such as dormitory life and club activities.This is the limit of online, and I just hope that entry will be allowed early.One African student states that students from all over the world can freely exchange opinions, at least because it is a peaceful Japan where freedom is not restricted by force or state power.The place of Japan can be more appealing to the world as a place for students from all over the world to learn.



 Every year, about 200 international students remain in Japan after graduation and start their careers in business or as researchers.If innovation is the creation of new value through a new combination of different wisdom, the role of highly-skilled foreign human resources in Japanese society is immeasurable.According to a McKinsey report, ethnically diverse businesses perform 35% better than those that do not (Why diversity matters, 2015).The existence of international students enriches the quality of students' learning by making the learning space of a valuable university where they can freely exchange opinions into a diverse environment.


Multinational dialogue dramatically changes domestic students

 It is a scene that is often seen not only in classes but also in cafeterias on campus, but imagine, for example, a scene where students from Uzbekistan, Indonesia, the United States, Samoa, etc. have a loud discussion at a round table.The definition of the word "freedom" given by someone is not the same for everyone.

 In a space where no one forms an overwhelming majority, we repeat "why" and search for the optimum solution.It is this process of multicultural dialogue that makes us question our experiences and knowledge and make us aware that there are biases and frameworks in our thinking, while everyone feels somehow uncomfortable. ..So to speak, it leads to strengthening the metacognitive ability that is the basis of learning. At the beginning of the school in 2000, the ratio of international students, which is unparalleled in the world, was set at 50% in order to create a forum for discussion that is not dominated by Japanese values.Students undergo dramatic changes when placed in this environment.

 In 2012, when the relationship between Japan, China and South Korea deteriorated, not only students from the country concerned but also students from various countries participated in the discussion.Bangladeshi students raised their hands and spoke as students from each country talked about their position. "Developing countries like Bangladesh recognize the three countries of Japan, China and South Korea as leaders in Asia. What role and responsibilities are you trying to fulfill for Asia and the world?"The inward discussion between the parties also made me realize that the wind direction changed in an instant.


International community literacy

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Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

Fostering global leaders who will contribute to the creation of the future in the Asia-Pacific region

Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University embodies the basic principles of "freedom, peace, and humanity," "international mutual understanding," and "creating the future of the Asia-Pacific," and trains human resources who can contribute to the international community.Build a world-class global learning community where one in two students is an international student.Diverse values ​​[…]

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