Let’s Step Forward! ~upon starting the second semester~
The second semester is finally about to start.The university has lifted some admission limits before the starting day, September 23 (Wed), and let students come to the campus.It has been 5 months since we closed all campuses on April 10, according to the State of Emergency Declaration.We still have to be very careful about the spread of the COVID-19 infection.However, with all preventive measures against it, we will start face-to-face experiments, practical training, and comprehensive exercise classes.I have been waiting for this day.
We have started the first semester without the entrance ceremony and ended it with only conducting Online Classes.I understand that you must have thought, “Why only universities cannot open the campus, while elementary, junior high, and high schools have started the classes?”Especially those new students must have had great anxiety and discontent in the circumstance where you cannot even enter the campus nor meet new friends.It was an unprecedented situation, for not only the Tokyo University of Agriculture (Tokyo NODAI) but also for all universities over the world.We, faculty and staff of the Tokyo NODAI, faced a question “What is it to study at a university?” as you must have done.
Needless to say, face-to-face experiments and discussion in a small group are the ideal states of university education.Students learn from talking with faculty and friends, extra-curricular activities, and seeing local and professional people.We could not offer any of those opportunities during the first semester.
The face-to-face classes start in the second semester, although we conduct most of the lecture-based classes remotely.Besides, there are some restrictions and rules, such as checking the body temperature at the gate, wearing a mask, sanitizing hands, and avoiding 3Cs.Those rules make the campus life far from its ordinary style. However, you can meet or see your friends and faculty.We can see your smiles on campus again.This is the only, but a big first step.
We have recognized that our society is now at the turning point of civilization history.The spread of the COVID-19 infection showed the limit of the globalized society.It asks us what is essential for our society, what we should maintain to hold.The entire world including the society of Japan needs to seek new initiatives.What is the answer to this question?The study at Tokyo NODAI, where we have saved the wide range of knowledge of Agriculture and Life science, offers you an opportunity to think about it.Let’s seek the answer together.
September 16, 2020
President, Tokyo University of Agriculture