Tisato Kajiyama, D.Eng., Ph.D.
President, Kyushu University


It is my great honor and privilege to welcome you to Fukuoka for the gUniversity Summit in Kyushu 2007h.

In an era of globalization and proliferating information technology, contemporary societies have achieved remarkable progress across various fields of human endeavor. As a result of these transformations, we are now able to enjoy many material benefits unimagined by previous generations. However, it is also the case that we are confronted with a number of pressing challenges that require urgent attention. For example, global warming and pollution, which have caused widespread environmental destruction and climate change.

In this situation, societyfs expectations of universities have changed and there is an increased demand that universities take greater responsibility in promoting intellectual activities that will produce a rewarding future for the whole of humanity. As part of these efforts, dialogue and creative thinking on a global scale are correctly regarded as important in ensuring effective solutions to the difficulties that currently confront the world.

Kyushu University convened the first gUniversity Summit in Kyushuh in May 2000. In this conference, senior university representatives from eight countries met together and engaged in a lively discussion on issues connected to the research and education mission of a university in the 21st Century. Participants came to recognize that universities around the world were, in their own distinct way, striving to enrich their research and educational activities in order to become a center of intellectual excellence that would make a valuable contribution to society and the world. This theme of diverse paths to a common goal was a very meaningful achievement of the first summit meeting. In addition, for Kyushu University, this earlier summit marked an initial step in our long-term strategy of becoming a global institution that is open to the world.

Contemporary social problems are not limited to locales or nation states, but are common issues worldwide that influence the lives of all humanity in various aspects. I strongly believe that meaningful dialogue between universities on these common issues will be able to provide international society with the means to find a new direction for living together in a peaceful and sustainable manner. All universities should cherish this seed in order to develop the flower of a prosperous future. I do sincerely hope that this gUniversity Summit in Kyushu 2007h can further stimulate participating universities to make further contributions to society by finding solutions to some of the problems existing in the world today.

In closing, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all the people who kindly offered cooperation with this conference, particularly the participants from overseas who graciously accepted the invitation to participate in this event.

Thank you very much.

October 2007






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