Q&A for Continuing Students about Spring 2020

To AIU students and to their parents:

On March 19th President Suzuki announced the closing of all AIU dormitories for the 2020 spring term along with the postponement of the start of AIU classes to April 20th. Additionally, he explained that all AIU courses will be conducted online during the 2020 spring term.

As President Suzuki stated in his announcement of these decisions, AIU was planning to receive about 130 international students from our affiliated schools around the world, as well as about 200 freshman from all over Japan. We had intended to start their international liberal arts educations on campus.

However, and unfortunately, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been spreading rapidly since the beginning of the year. Of particular concern are “cluster infections.” Cluster infections occur in environments where the virus spreads quickly through a segment of the population or an isolated group. As AIU is a residential university where students from around the world gather to study and live together, the risk of a cluster infection is much higher for the AIU community in comparison to a typical Japanese university. If one student is infected the infection could easily spread throughout the university community. Additionally, in the case of even one infection, AIU would have to isolate all the students, faculty, and staff and disinfect all the classrooms, dormitory rooms and common areas, and the cafeteria. To accomplish this, the university would have to close. The impact on our students, faculty, and staff would be enormous. The decisions of President Suzuki were based on an understanding of these circumstances and were made for the sake of the university’s mission to provide a safe and enriching study environment. We ask for your understanding.

Implementing online courses for the 2020 spring semester will allow AIU to support its students to stay on course for their graduations and employment without any disruptions. Also, we recognize that some students might be worried about the quality of their learning when it is done in an online format. Everyone should rest assured that AIU is preparing diligently to deliver the best quality of education through online formats.

The spread of the coronavirus is filling the world with anxiety and confusion. But having the wherewithal to overcoming this type of hardship is a quality that we want our AIU students to develop. We want our students to be steadfast and ambitious in pursuit of their educations.

We know that you have questions regarding the courses and classes. Below, we have listed some of them along with our answers. As we receive more questions, we will provide more answers. We want you to have all the answers and information that you need in order to be secure in your understanding of the path AIU is taking and how instruction will take place during the spring semester.

We have also provided additional, separate guidance directly to AIU students who are currently abroad.

Prof. Yoshitaka Kumagai
Vice President
Akita International University

Q&A for Continuing Degree-Seeking Students about Spring 2020

Q&A for Exchange and Study Abroad Students about Spring 2020