Orientation for 2019 Record Enrolment of Sasakawa Fellowship Students
The Orientation for the new Sasakawa Fellowship Students in the Class of 2019 was held at WMU on 21 September in the Sasakawa Auditorium. The event is hosted annually by The Nippon Foundation to promote connections between the graduating Class and the incoming Sasakawa-sponsored students and to build the foundation for future collaboration. The record enrolment Class of 2018, with 30 Sasakawa Fellowship Students who will be graduating in November, welcomed the matching record enrolment of 30 Sasakawa Fellowship Students in the Class of 2019.
The Sasakawa Fellows Programme provides a global network for Sasakawa Fellows to enable them to support their countries in addressing maritime policy challenges and to develop excellence in leadership as well as promote international cooperation. Sasakawa Fellowship Students are expected to take advantage of the experience gained at WMU to resolve challenges that their countries may face, and to build strong human networks to implement positive change in the maritime world as well as society in general.
The Nippon Foundation was represented by Mr. Atsushi Sunami, President of the Ocean Policy Research Institute and Executive Director of The Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Mr. Shinichi Ichikawa, Manager of the Ocean Research and Development Department at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, and Ms. Schiko Sumitomo of the Ocean Policy Planning and Management Department at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation.
The orientation included opening remarks by Mr. Sunami who emphasized the importance of making connections with other Sasakawa Fellows to advance the network. Mr. Ichikawa then made a presentation on the history of the Sasakawa Fellows programme, its administration and funding arrangements.
Presentations by senior students were made on the different MSc specializations and their experience of studying at WMU as well as by the new students. A reception followed in the WMU World Bistro where WMU President, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, thanked The Nippon Foundation for their extraordinary, and ongoing support for maritime capacity building through providing fellowships to WMU students. The President extended special thanks to Mr. Ichikawa who has coordinated the Sasakawa Fellowship programme and network for the past 14 years and is retiring from the Sasakawa Peace Foundation at the end of this month. Overall, the event enabled the students to set the foundation for expanding the Sasakawa Fellowship network.
The Nippon Foundation’s contributions to WMU began in 1987 providing fellowships for WMU students from Asia and Africa. The WMU Sasakawa Fellowship Programme began in 1988. The Nippon Foundation is the largest fellowship donor to the University, providing 25-30 new awards on an annual basis. The 2019 Class of Sasakawa Fellowship Students brings the total number of students funded by The Nippon Foundation to 611, coming from more than 60 countries.