United Graduate School Entrance Ceremony for 2016
Congratulations on your admission to the United Graduate School of Veterinary Sciences and the United Graduate School of Agricultural Science. We are extremely pleased to have 16 graduate students to the former and 21 to the latter today, and on behalf of the faculty of the Gifu University United Graduate Schools I welcome all of you. I would also like to take this opportunity to give our congratulations to all the people who have supported you in your academic careers up to this point.
Each United Graduate School has over two decades of history, and both have traditionally had high ratios of international students and mid-career professionals among their students. Many of these have been asked or encouraged to attend graduate school by foreign governmental agencies and educational institutions, or by private-sector companies and local governments in Japan. Yet regardless of your motivations and backgrounds, this course also includes students proceeding directly from undergraduate programs to master's or doctoral programs. It is my hope that all of you complete your graduate courses here as highly-skilled professionals capable of making contributions commensurate with your professional duties wherever you are employed, as well as "glocal" contributions. Those who have earned advanced degrees at our United Graduate Schools are expected to be able to function as highly-skilled professionals. Therefore, the contents that you must study and the goals you must attain in your dissertation are set at a more advanced level.
Thus, I would like to impress upon you that what you gain as a result of your graduate school studies will probably not translate into practical results immediately after you earn your degree. There are many cases where it takes around a total of 20 years before advanced degree holders are able to contribute to the local community or make "glocal" contributions. Hence, you should also give plenty of thought to the skills you should acquire during your graduate studies that you will need to survive as a skilled professional during that "incubation" period. As members of the faculty at the United Graduate Schools, we are always ready and willing to offer you guidance and advice for such purpose.
In addition to making "glocal" contributions to society, some of you may find that continuing your studies at the University is a very attractive option. In fact, we hope that a growing number of people aim to become researchers. Most research that goes on to win the Nobel Prize is in fact completed when the researcher was around 30 years old, which means that in many cases it was done when the laureate was in graduate school, and the ideas that he or she developed in that period then led to breakthroughs in various areas of natural science, social science, etc. Regardless of the field, the key to developing such ideas is the continuation of study and research.
In conclusion, as graduate students, I want you to take a proper look at your future career as a skilled professional, or if you wish to be a researcher, to hold onto a dream. In doing so, please enjoy what the United Graduate Schools at Gifu University offer and make good use of them. Again, I congratulate you.
April 8, 2016
President of Gifu University
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