Sasakawa Fellows Reception 2018

The annual Sasakawa Fellows Reception, hosted by The Nippon Foundation, was held at WMU on 3 November in the Sasakawa Auditorium. At the event, 30 students in the Class of 2018, who were sponsored by The Nippon Foundation, were honored as WMU Sasakawa Fellows. The total number of WMU Sasakawa Fellows now stands at more than 600 Fellows from more than 72 countries.  

Mr Tsutomu Akita, Senior Specialist for the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, welcomed the guests that included Ms Isabella Lövin, Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, Dr. Anders Wijkman, Co-President of the club of Rome and Chairman of the Swedish Association of Recycling Industries, Mr Kent Andersson, former Chairman of the Malmö City Council and WMU Governor, and Mr Leif Almö, Honorary Consul of Japan. The gathering also included distinguished guests, WMU faculty and staff, family members of the Fellows, and Sasakawa Fellowship Students in the Class of 2019. Mr. Akita congratulated the graduands and asked them to think about what they can do for their home countries, the maritime community, and the global ocean as newly educated leaders from WMU.

Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, WMU President, addressed the gathering noting that 2018 marks the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Sweden and Japan. The President thanked The Nippon Foundation for their continued support to the University since 1987 and for funding a record number of 30 Sasakawa Fellowship Students, from 23 countries, in the Class of 2018. Further, the President highlighted the expanded partnership with The Nippon Foundation with the inauguration of the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute earlier this year. To the graduands she stated, “For many of you, your studies at WMU would not have been possible without the generosity of The Nippon Foundation. You have had a privileged experience that has broadened your horizons and perspectives. It will have a profound and lasting impact on you personally, as well as enrich your career as you advance as maritime and ocean leaders.”

Mr Mitsuyuki Unno, Executive Director of the Nippon Foundation, addressed the gathering and congratulated the students on the completion of their studies. Emphasizing that technology will play a tremendous role in shaping our collective future, he stated ”Society is rapidly changing. What was normal in the past, will no longer be normal in the future. Cross-sector collaboration will be key in safeguarding our ocean. As you embark on this next stage of your career, make an active effort to connect with people outside of your field.” Mr Unno welcomed the gradunds to the family of Sasakawa Fellows and presented them each with a certificate. Upon receiving the honor of Fellow, each recipient also became a member of the Friends of WMU, Japan.

At the reception that followed, Michael Asiamah from Ghana addressed the gathering on behalf of the 2018 Sasakawa Fellows. He stated, “WMU has prepared us to return to our home countries and apply the new skills we have acquired to our respective maritime institutions. We pledge to do our utmost for the realization of a Blue Economy and advancement of the Sasakawa Fellows Network.”

With this ceremony, the Class of 2018 Fellows officially joined the global network of individuals whose lives have been changed by accepting their roles as Sasakawa Fellows. “Share the Pain. Share the Hope. Share the Future,” reflects The Nippon Foundation’s mission of social innovation to achieve a society where people support one another.

The Nippon Foundation is the largest fellowship donor to the University. In addition to the Fellowships, The Nippon Foundation has hosted a week-long field study to Japan for Sasakawa Fellowship Students and since 2001 has regularly hosted Sasakawa Fellow gatherings. The Nippon Foundation further supports the capacity building mission of WMU by substantially funding the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute, sponsoring five Professorial Chairs and an Associate Professor as well as numerous conferences and events connected with WMU.

Each year, a limited number of Sasakawa Fellowships are open to government employees from developing countries. The Sasakawa Fellowship Awards Committee looks for well qualified candidates with a strong academic and professional record, and aged between 25 and 40. Interested applicants should apply for admission to the University, and in tandem, should submit an Application for Donor Funding from their organizations, plus a Sasakawa Fellowship Motivational Statement, completed by the candidate. It is essential that both these forms are completed in detail and with reference to the University’s Academic Handbook and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation’s web site: https://www.spf.org/e/ Complete applications must be sent to the University by the end of January in the year of entry. For more information, click here.

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