Happy New Year to you all. I wish you all the best of health and happiness as we welcome 2021.
While feeling the full weight of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world changed dramatically last year and universities too were greatly affected. As a stopgap measure to cope with the crisis, at Keio University, we temporarily closed our campuses and switched to holding classes online. Similarly, at our affiliated schools, classes were taught in virtual classrooms and staggered attendance was implemented.
At Shinanomachi Campus, medical professionals quite literally and continuously put their lives at risk to treat and care for patients. Although the spread of infections continues unabated and the prospect of when life will return to the way it was is unclear, I hope that this year will be one in which we all can overcome our fears and prevail over this adversity, and furthermore, be a year in which Keio will grow to become even more resilient and robust.
Worldwide, people are all being forced apart and driven into isolation, but the internet, which allows for such activities as online meetings and sharing information and content on social media, has been instrumental in keeping us all connected. Universities too are searching for new educational and research models that will take advantage of this technology to simultaneously conduct both in-person and online activities. In the midst of this calamity, the role played by comprehensive universities with their rich tradition of amassing and imparting knowledge and learning that traverse the sciences and humanities is paramount to help restore human nature and create harmony between people and technology to achieve social stability and development.
As we set foot into a new year, we at Keio will continue to do our utmost to further develop education, research, and medical care by consolidating our integrated education system that spans elementary school to university and graduate school. We will also carry on promoting interdisciplinary research as well as those that blend the sciences and the arts. But for all that, we are ever mindful that little can be achieved on our own. With this in mind, we kindly ask for your continued guidance, encouragement, and support in 2021.