Waseda University’s Financial Support for StudentsTue, May 5, 2020
Waseda University’s Financial Support for Students
May 5, 2020
Dear Students of Waseda University, and their Parents or Guardians,
On behalf of Waseda University, I would like to explain how we are trying to support our students financially during this time of hardship due to the novel corona virus pandemic. Before starting my explanation, let me first express my sincere sympathy to those who suffer from the corona virus and my sincere condolences to those who have lost their loved one(s).
This corona virus pandemic is expected to inflict the worst damage to the world economy since the Great Depression starting in 1929. This threat to our lives and our economy gives us the impetus to unite in the fight against this pandemic.
Waseda University announced that we are going to provide 100,000 Japanese Yen in “Emergency Financial Support” to those students who suffer financially, either from an inability to find part time jobs to earn sustenance income, or because their parents have suffered dramatic financial loss. Please do not hesitate to apply for these funds if you are suffering financially. In addition to “Emergency Financial Support,” another source of funds, the “Waseda Emergency Scholarship” of 400,000 Japanese Yen is also available to students whose parents or guardians face financial difficulty. You may apply to both of these funds simultaneously. You need not repay money provided by any scholarship from Waseda University. In addition to these Waseda University funds, we also can point you to scholarships provided by the Japanese government.
We will also provide the following support to students who face difficulties in taking online classes due to internet communication expenses. First, we will lend, at no charge, 500 mobile WiFi routers and 500 laptop PCs to students who cannot afford to purchase this equipment. You are eligible to apply for internet support as well as for the financial support mentioned above. We began accepting applications from May 1, 2020 so that the routers and/or PCs will be available to you by May 11, 2020, the first day of online classes. In addition, we will provide mobile WiFi routers without charge to international students who cannot contract with internet providers on account of their foreign citizenship.
Furthermore, we are planning to introduce very inexpensive smart phones with free internet communication for a year to any student, including to students without demonstrated financial need. We are in the process of making these arrangements with a company now, and will begin accepting applications from May 7, 2020.
We have prepared “Emergency Financial Support” for 3,000 students for the time being, and will increase the number of financial packages should that be required. Depending on how long the Japanese Government’s State of Emergency continues, we will make financial support available in a second round.
Waseda University has begun preparing a special budget for these several types of emergency support. We are asking faculty members, staff, alumni and other friends of Waseda to donate to save our students, because all of us are determined to enable every single student to continue her or his education irrespective of finances. Many of our alumni, even among the younger generations in their 20s and 30s without a high income, have begun donating at the most generous pace we have ever seen. We really appreciate their kindness to help their fellow Waseda students.
May I ask you to understand that Waseda University is determined to help students who financially suffer due to the corona virus pandemic, but cannot cover all Waseda students, who number 53,000. Let me explain our philosophy behind this policy.
We respect and hold up for emulation the ideals of our founder, Mr. Shigenobu Okuma. Those are: (1) achieving scholarly and intellectual independence, (2) applying scholarship to real world problems, and (3) becoming model citizens. The third ideal was translated by Okuma into “Please be ambitious to contribute to the world without regard to the benefits to yourself, your family, or your country.” Okuma wished the students of Waseda to be altruistic, and to help others who suffer.
This ideal of our founder is in accordance with one of the ideals of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) of the United Nations, that “No one will be left behind.” We have decided to support our students, because we wish that “no student should give up her/his education at Waseda due to financial difficulty caused by the corona virus pandemic.”
We faculty members and staff of Waseda University strongly support our students experiencing financial difficulty. These include students who need and receive scholarship to continue their education; students whose parents or guardians have now fallen into financial difficulty and cannot provide the expected levels of support; and students who continue to receive financial support from their parents or guardians for their tuition and/or rent but need to earn their living expenses. Many of these types of students have lost their part time jobs due to the corona virus pandemic, and we are eager to help these students.
We humbly ask your understanding of the philosophy that lies behind our policy. Please give your sympathy and love to those students who financially suffer now, and please understand that we are committed to help them but that we cannot help all of our students.
As I mentioned at the very beginning of this message, we now have to be united to fight against this pandemic. It is necessary, and in keeping with our founder Okuma’s philosophy, for all humans around the globe to help and respect each other in order to combat the crisis we now face. We are determined to help those most in need, who otherwise could get left behind.
Lastly, I have a message to all Waseda University students. Since the inauguration of my presidency, I have advocated two new goals of education at Waseda. One is to foster “intellectual resilience,” with which to tackle problems that have not yet been solved. This corona virus pandemic is such a case. The other goal is to foster “flexible sensibility,” with which to understand how other people, with different nationalities, ethnic origins, language, religion, culture, gender or sexual orientation, think and feel. May these two goals of education, “intellectual resilience” and “flexible sensibility,” empower you to solve as yet unknown problems, such as the one we face now.
Aiji Tanaka, President