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President's New Year Greeting

Happy New Year to everyone in the Chuo University community and beyond!

Currently, with COVID-19 spreading on a global scale, many people all over the world are fighting the life-threatening infection and facing serious difficulties in managing their everyday lives. My thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected. I would also like to express my deepest appreciation and respect to all the workers in healthcare and other fields who have been making great sacrifices in order to provide essential services throughout the crisis.

During the early onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chuo University began to provide online classes to all its students, strengthening its ICT-based education and research support systems and utilizing on-demand content to secure the best remote learning environment possible.   

Financial resources of over 1.3 billion yen were employed to ensure all the students could continue to study effectively in this new environment. Our support included giving hosting accounts to students for remote conference systems, providing scholarship grants, and preparing more generous student loans for students suffering financial difficulties in paying tuition and living costs. on our traditions and long-standing achievements, we would like to commit Chuo University to working in partnership with all those facing difficulties. We believe that now is the time to confidently articulate the value of universities for their contribution to the sustainable development of the human race, and to pursue the new roles and responsibilities our institutions must take on in this era of unavoidable paradigm shifts. Chuo University’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) declaration makes our stance clear and announces it publicly to society at large.

During its history of 135 years, Chuo University has stayed true to its founding spirit of “Fostering the Ability to Apply Knowledge to Practice,” and has remained committed to nurturing students who will go on to work for the betterment of society as pioneers of the future. The practical education Chuo University proudly offers refers to the quest to master theory, open up practice, and, by fusing theory with practice,  sharpen knowledge- and skill-based intellect, with all our knowledge utilized for the sake of society. While continuing this tradition of practical education, Chuo University is committed to using its educational systems to cultivate modern global competencies. We aim to nurture individuals who can become global professionals, able to lead the mission to create a developed and sustainable society.

Let me next introduce the plans and challenges we will take on during the year 2021.
In the second phase of a ten-year development plan Chuo Vision 2025, starting in the AY2021, we will further speed up our initiatives in the fields of digital transformation (DX) as well as education, research, societal cooperation, and international exchanges.  The university-wide provision of AI and data science education is an important part of such initiatives. As part of our plan to design Tama Campus as a next generation campus, able to function as a global standard hub for education and research, a new building for research and education will open in April 2021, following the Global Gateway Chuo and the International Residence Chuo which opened in April 2020. In this new building, we will develop and provide education that meets the needs of the new era, based on the accumulated results from the Chuo University Projects on Promoting Educational Power carried out over the past 10 years. At our central Tokyo campuses, we will strengthen ties among the Faculty of Law, the Graduate School of Law, Chuo Law School and Chuo Business School, and construct new buildings on Myogadani Campus and Surugadai Campus. Through these endeavors, we will lead a new Japanese system for nurturing legal professionals, enabling students to acquire legal qualifications within a shorter period and promoting effective lifelong education.   

Along with unceasing reform efforts at each faculty and graduate school, we will also use our uniqueness and strength to continuously implement measures for developing the university as a whole. We aim to strengthen university-wide educational cooperation through a number of different initiatives. These include the Faculty Linkage Program (FLP), which offers interdisciplinary and interfaculty education for problem solving and resolution; the preparation of various programs to cultivate global talent; the improvement of  our research environment through the expansion of diverse financial resources; the enhancement of student support systems through scholarships and domestic and international internship opportunities; the provision of challenging educational activities as part of the Chuo University Projects on Promoting Educational Power; and the promotion of cutting-edge activities by organizations such as the AI Data Science Center and the Diversity Center.
The application of tradition and long-standing achievement can work hand and hand to create a new future. We will actively work toward the fulfillment of the SDGs and contribute to building a sustainable society, so that Chuo University can become a university which is valued by society in all ages and times. We are also committed to creating new traditions, determined to implement measures that will make the university best suited for the new age.

In closing, I would like to express my gratitude for your continued understanding and support, as well as your sharing in our dreams for the future. To all of you, I wish a year filled with peace, good health, and happiness. 

Tadahiko Fukuhara
President, Chuo University
January 1, 2021