Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Beppu, Japan | CruiseBe
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Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

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Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (立命館アジア太平洋大学, Ritsumeikan Ajia Taiheiyō Daigaku), or APU, is a private institution inaugurated April 2000 in Beppu, Ōita, Japan. APU was made possible through the collaboration of three parties from the public and private sectors: Ōita Prefecture, Beppu City and the Ritsumeikan Academy.

As of 1 November 2013, the university has an enrollment of 5,272, including approximately 3,000 domestic, and 2,300 international students (a 56-44 domestic-international ratio) originating from 84 countries and regions. Half of the 162 full-time faculty members are foreign nationals who come from 27 countries and regions.



APU is at Jumonjibaru in the City of Beppu, Ōita Prefecture on the island of Kyushu.


Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University is a member of the greater Ritsumeikan Academy which includes APU, Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto and Lake Biwa and primary, junior and senior high schools throughout Japan. In the early 1990s the concept of creating an international university in the city of Beppu was first raised by the governor of Ōita Prefecture, Morihiko Hiramatsu, with the then chancellor of the Ritsumeikan Trust in Kyoto, Mr Kawamoto. A chief proponent of the concept and design was Professor Makitaro Hotta. The university opened at Jumonjibaru, north of Beppu City in April 2000.

Campus features


There are two four-month semesters in one academic year. One semester is divided into two quarters lasting for seven weeks. Most of the classes in APU are carried out on a quarter system. Unlike many other universities, students are accepted for enrollment and graduate twice a year, in spring and fall.

APU offers undergraduate studies in subjects including liberal arts such as media studies, language subjects, and Japanese traditional arts. It offers special lecture subjects, which are added to and may change every semester. Students select their own classes and are not restricted to classes in their majors. However, students can only choose classes in their respective curriculum according to their enrollment year, for the curriculum has undergone changes three times since the university was founded.

The current undergraduate programs are conducted in the College of International Management and College of Asia Pacific Studies. The College of International Management (APM) consists of four areas of study: Accounting and Finance (会計・ファイナンス), Marketing (マーケティンク), Strategic Management and Organization (経営戦略と組織), Innovation and Economics (イノベーション・経済学). The College of Asia Pacific Studies (APS) has also established four areas of study: Environment & Development (環境・開発), Hospitality & Tourism (観光学), International Relations & Peace Studies (国際関係), Culture, Society & Media (文化・社会・メディア). Furthermore, students must complete compulsory language education credits in either English or Japanese.

Specialized post-graduate programs are conducted in the Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies and Graduate School of Management. The graduate programs are conducted exclusively in English.


The university receives an average of 20,000 applications every year and only around 3,000 are successful. As of 1 November 2014 the university has a total enrollment of around 5,800 students, down from the 2009 figure of 6,162. Currently there are 5,517 students in undergraduate programs, 167 at postgraduate level, and 112 non-degree students. The students are fairly equally distributed between the College of Asia Pacific Studies (2,786) and the College of International Management (2,731).

While 3,137 of these students are domestic Japanese, 2,659 (about 48%) are international students from 75 countries and regions. This ratio is a feature unique to APU amongst Japanese universities; APU is second only to Waseda University in the absolute number of international students enrolled. In terms of country of origin, the majority of international students come from eastern Asia, namely China (542 as of 1 November 2014), South Korea (499), Vietnam (423), Indonesia (261), Thailand (222), and Sri Lanka (60).


The library provides paper-based as well as electronic media including, academic databases, magazines, newspaper, textbooks, and DVD. Visitors can request media from other Ritsumekan campuses which will be delivered to the library counter. Recently the library has included other services such as a writing center and meeting spaces for collaborative work.

APU has designated smoking areas around campus and near the student dormitories. The rest of the university is smoke-free. As of 2013, APU will implement a new regulation that aims to make the entire university campus a smoke-free environment.

Intercultural awareness

APU has regular country cultural weeks, which help students to learn more about foreign cultures, for example, Japanese Week, Chinese Week, Vietnamese Week, Korean Week, Indonesian Week, Nepali Week, Bangladeshi week,Taiwanese Week, Sri Lanka Week, Thai Week, Uzbekistan Week, American week and African Week.

Extracurricular activities

There are over 100 student organizations (known as clubs or circles) available at APU, which cover categories of sports, academic research, arts, and social organizations (such as volunteers). Students are free to join clubs they are interested in, and they can create new ones, too. Examples of student organizations include APU Yosshakoi (Japanese traditional dance group), PRENGO (volunteer group), APU Wind Orchestra, Muay Thai (Thai boxing), and Global Business Leader.

On-campus housing

The on-campus housing, AP House, offers international students the opportunity to live next to the campus for their first year as they learn the ways and customs of life in Japan. Single and shared rooms are available.

Support faculty and staff members are on site in addition to resident assistants (RA) recruited from the resident student body. RAs play an important role at AP House by supporting residents and promoting interaction and exchange. AP house provides shared facilities and borrowable items to the residents.

They also hold some events such as AP House Entrance Ceremony & Welcome Dinner Party and The AP House "World Festival."


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