In accordance with the School Education Act, NIAD-QE is the only institution, other than universities, authorized to confer degrees in Japan. To date, NIAD-QE has awarded degrees to more than 87,000 individuals.
Presidential Award Ceremony is a system of commendations that recognizes a select number of Bachelor’s degree recipients who have demonstrated great diligence and commitment to lifelong learning. The system was launched in FY 2017 as ROKUSHU Presidential Award, in Japanese, Kikocho ROKUSHU Sho (where ‘Roku’ refers to the color green of our institutional logo symbolizing hope and ‘Shu’ meaning outstanding commitment to lifelong learning).
This year’s award winners included three of the Bachelor’s degree recipients in FY2019. The Presidential Award Ceremony has been put off due to COVID-19. Instead, remote interviews with the award recipients took place on November 10 and 18.
President Fukuda congratulated the three award recipients and the three expressed their delight and gratitude. The interviews offered a valuable opportunity to share their inspiration and motivation for studying as well as their experiences in lifelong learning with our staff members.
NIAD-QE accepts applications twice a year, in April and October. Information on application is available from our website (Japanese only).
Messages from three award recipients
KONISHI Michiko （Preliminary qualification: type 2, Major field of study: Health Science）
I am really honored to receive the Presidential Award.
When I got married, I devoted myself to raising children, being away from my career for a long time. My experiences along the way made me want to go back again in occupational therapy in the field of human development. To achieve this, I wanted to gain insights into the present occupational therapy, especially current situation and issues in the field of human development.
I looked into the possibility of becoming a registered occupational therapist in the country where I had been living but had to give up not just because of my long career break but also because I was not able to meet the educational requirements.
Upon returning, I decided to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Japan. I still remember how surprised I was to find out that I could study and gain credits online while abroad. Writing learning outcomes helped me see a clear career path as an occupational therapist, building upon both my occupational and private experiences.
We live in a time when learning paths are opened for everyone regardless of their age or where they live. Obtaining my degree means more than I have imagined, not only in terms of career development but also in terms of personal growth.
I would definitely recommend this system.
SAITO Tadashi （Preliminary qualification: type 2, Major field of study: Engineering）
I am thrilled and feel deeply honored to receive this marvelous award.
I had to give up continuing my studies after entering a university due to health reasons. Professors told me about this degree system, where credits that I have gained can be transferred. After leaving the campus, I continued my studies as a non-degree student. Even after started working, I also kept earning credits slowly but steadily through distance learning of a university.
Looking back on the various steps, from filing an application and submitting a report of my learning outcomes to passing a thesis exam and to finally getting my degree this spring, I realized that 18 years have passed since the beginning of my studies. I still remember the moment my diploma arrived. Although the time I spent on my studies was quite long, knowing that each credit earned is a step of the pathway to getting my degree was a big hope for me.
At the moment, I have left my job and I am leading a busy life as a graduate student. My plan is to give a presentation at a major international conference in my discipline and I really appreciate the time for my studies and research. I hope those of you who gave up your studies half way like I did would get to know about this system. The credits you have earned will never be gone. They have no time limit. There is no need for you to give up.
MIYAGI Ikuyo（Preliminary qualification: type 2, Major field of study: Art）
I am filled with delight and appreciation with receiving the Presidential Award. When I was in my early elementary school years, I drew a picture of a boy next to me. Everyone was amazed at my drawing, and I enjoyed the cheerful reactions of my classmates so much that I got even better at it. Years went by and I went to a local junior college to study international business and started working as administrative officer of the Postal Services.
Upon retirement, I decided that I would spend all my time for only what I wanted to do. I made my way through the entrance exam of an Art University and developed practical skills and understanding in history of art for three years. My interest in pursuing graduate studies to deepen my knowledge grew stronger. I gained credits as a non-degree student and applied to NIAD-QE, and I was able to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in the end.
I am currently following my heart, creating my artwork and working my way into a graduate program. The time I put into it has become part of my lifelong learning, leading to a great sense of learning. Getting a degree is the very first step toward your future, opening doors to your dreams such as promotion, career change, recurrent education and getting a teaching license. Follow your dreams at your own pace.