Multiculturalism in APU: The Future of the World*
By Iqra Anugrah, APS 2
Congratulations on your entrance on APU! Hope that this small university located on the top of the mountain in Beppu will be your home far away from home.
There are a lot of good universities worldwide, with established reputations, great academic qualities, excellent performances and strong networks and links with other institutions, but why you end up in the middle of nowhere in provincial Japan? Probably the best reason behind your decision is the attractiveness of multiculturalism in APU.
This new university is founded on the fundamental principles of freedom, peace and mutual understanding. Why these three values and ideas have become the soul of university? It is simply because those three are the basic human natures that will drive our society towards a better direction. The first principle of freedom guarantees freedom of thoughts, speech and exchanging ideas, which will lead to the advancement of knowledge and thinking about our society and current situations within the academic environment. The second principle of peace is the prerequisite goal of freedom. Peace cannot be achieved without freedom, and freedom loses its essence in absence of peace. The last principle of mutual understanding is the framework for this whole concept. Free exchange of ideas toward perpetual peace can only be achieved in the environment which embraces the value of tolerance, pluralism and multiculturalism.
This is why APU is founded. By gathering domestic students and international students from more than 80 countries at the same time and same place, an epic society based on the values of freedom, peace and mutual understanding can be achieved. Perhaps we may not see the result immediately, but if we imagine in the next 5, 10, 50 or 100 years, it is also not impossible. Our society will be driven by the dynamic, young, talented and skillful human resources with high degree of open mindedness and tolerance to other cultures, which will lead to a peaceful and prosperous world, a world with trade and growth instead of war.
By entering APU, you will see multiculturalism in every sphere of your life-when you are enjoying AP House, attending lecture classes, doing circle activities or even in daily lives. Yes, this is a newly established university, but it does not mean it has nothing to support your future and dreams. You can be a part of change for world’s future, by defining and shaping university culture based on the framework of multiculturalism. This highly multicultural environment will offer you infinite opportunities, from art performances and traditional festivals to academic seminars and international conferences, so do not waste your time here at APU, but make it the best of your life. Friendship and knowledge that you will get at APU will be beneficial for the society beyond Asia Pacific.
So, welcome to APU. This is not the end of your achievement, but rather, this is the beginning of your future pathway. Let us enjoy our time during learning in APU, let us nurture our friendship, expand our networks, advance our knowledge and broaden our horizon. This is an investment for our future, which will reap fruit of a free and peaceful world with mutual understanding. Let us optimize this rare opportunity. Live APU life the most!
*Published at The APU Times Vol. XI April 2009, an independent student newspaper of APU