Greetings from the President
The term “modern democracy” is included in the founding principles of this University. This concept requires us to respect the individuality and intentions of others, while reflecting our own values through the process of consensus building. Therefore, strength, persistence, and cooperation become important competencies.
Societal needs and demands now require the “globalization of Universities”. This means that we must increase international competitiveness, build a foundation for enhanced international relations between countries, and develop human resources that can play a leading part on the global stage. In order to do this, people must enrich their understandings of the various cultures upon which languages, customs, and values are based. As part of the need for such adaptation, we at MDU are actively recruiting international students to provide an environment in which Japanese and international students can cooperate and work together in their studies. The newly established Center for Global Human Resource Development Education is to become a hub for clinical practice, short-term exchanges, and research exchange programs with overseas Universities and medical institutions from all over the world.
Additionally, the city of Shiojiri established a comprehensive cooperation agreement last year. Through mutual cooperation and strengthened relationships between the arts, industry, medicine, education, and academia, the University holds a vital role in contributing not just to globalization, but also to our regional and local communities. As a part of this agreement, students of MDU will have plenty of opportunities to contribute towards our goal to improve community health and the quality of life through volunteer activities and community events.
In terms of research, the Graduate school of Oral Medicine and the Oral Institute for Oral Science and High-Tech Center are leading the way as the center of scientific progress. World-class research is being conducted and our efforts are being recognized by the international dental and medical science communities. As a result of our international recognition, MDU boasts one of the highest acceptance rates of top class strategic research funds offered by the national government.
For those who have visited our campus recently, you will have noticed a new hospital, which was opened in 2008. This hospital has enabled us to observe the relationships between dental health and other fields such as internal medicine, optometry, and pediatrics. The medical facilities located here are establishing themselves as central building blocks of the community, and are also providing wonderful results as vital tools for clinical and practical education.
The current state of the national dental examination is currently controlled by an ideology that there is an abundance of dentists. A quota is first fixed as to the number of licenses to be distributed, before moving on to the design of selection methods; dental universities in Japan are under pressure to respond to these decisions. However, this method is not fair for the students, who require a deep and diverse form of education that will contribute to character building. However, in reality an emphasis is placed on the national exams, and as an educator this does give me some lament. It is important for the students to have a reasonable and rational understanding of their situation, and to manage their time wisely through proactive and effective studying habits. I hope that the students? With a certain level of courtesy, of course? Will thrust many questions about the learning materials upon their professors.
Some say that “medicine is benevolent healing supported by rigorous calculation”. For medical professionals, a sense of ‘kindness’ is required. In other words, a spirit of ‘service’ towards the patient is important. MDU aims of course to give students the necessary knowledge and skills to attain their dental license. However, we also strive to cultivate our students’ character, and we hope that through their efforts they become professionals that can earn the trust of any person, without ever losing a sense of kindness and gratitude for the people around them.
The field of dentistry is deeply connected to the overall health of the human body. With a rapidly rising aged population, dentistry will play a large and significant role in enhancing the health and well-being of our country’s citizens.
We see a bright future for our students as medical professionals and researchers. Please take pride in yourselves as you move forward in actualizing your hopes and dreams.