Dual degree graduation celebrations in Japan

Graduation ceremony on 20 March 2024 at Ritsumeikan University – Iberaki Campus in Osaka, Japan.
Graduation ceremony on 20 March 2024 at Ritsumeikan University – Iberaki Campus in Osaka, Japan.


Last month, Bell School Director A/Prof Julien Barbara visited Osaka, Japan to celebrate the graduation of 25 students from our dual degree program which we run together with Ritsumeikan University. This is a unique undergraduate dual degree program between the College of Asia and the Pacific at The Australian National University and the College of Global Liberal Arts at Ritsumeikan University in Japan.

Students study a Bachelor of Asia Pacific Affairs (BAPA) from ANU, and a Bachelor of Global Liberal Arts from Ritsumeikan, spending time at both the ANU Canberra campus and Ritsumeikan’s Osaka Ibaraki campus. On successful completion of their studies, students receive degrees from both universities.

In 2019 we admitted the first students into this innovative dual degree program - the first program of its kind between an Australian and Japanese institution. The program is a great collaboration between ANU and Ritsumeikan, and also reflects the ongoing deepening of ties between our two countries.

For this cohort, their educational journey was interrupted by travel restrictions, lockdowns and remote learning. Throughout this upheaval, they maintained focus on their studies, and demonstrated incredible resilience and determination.

Graduation celebrations took place at Ritsumeikan’s Osaka Ibaraki Campus, with speeches from Associate Professor Julien Barbara, the Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at ANU, and Ichiro Maekawa, Dean of the College of Global Liberal Arts.

A/Prof Barbara told the students,

“The world you are inheriting confronts many challenges – climate change, growing global instability, and phenomenal technological change. We must collectively find a way to navigate these changes, and work together to create a sustainable and equitable world. Doing so will require a bringing together of different disciplines to discover solutions and understand how to adapt them to different contexts.

"Your dual degree will help equip you, our next generation, with the kind of skills and capacities needed to play a productive, successful and positive role in society.The Bachelor of Asia Pacific Affairs from ANU helps students develop a deep and rich understanding of the Asia-Pacific region, and the Bachelor of Global Liberal Arts from Ritsumeikan equips you with the kind of critical, interdisciplinary thinking you’ll need in this rapidly changing world. Together I am confident that this dual degree program has given you the skills and knowledge to succeed in your chosen fields of endeavour.

“You’ve also had the wonderful opportunity to live and study in two different countries, and create a trusted network of classmates, colleagues and friends from around the world. … Our students and graduates are our most important ambassadors. It’s graduates like you who will take the knowledge and skills you learnt here, and spread them throughout the world, connecting into business, government and civil society. You are our next generation of leaders, and we see you as intellectual partners who we can work with to try to create a better and more sustainable world.”

Find out more about the dual degree program here.