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On November 16, 2017, at the School’s 143rd Anniversary Worship Service, our management publicized the “New Management Principles,” the key concepts of which are summarized in the following section.
The Principles describes a newly-thought-out development model of Aoyama Gakuin towards a promising future in order for us to further ensure recognition as a well-managed and praise-worthy educational institution.
The main goal of our New Management Principles is to empower every faculty and staff member at Aoyama Gakuin. The slogan ‘Be the Difference’ as explained below, underpins Management decisions to set the ‘code of conduct’ for all faculty members at the institution.
The Management has reorganized the donation and contribution system as the Mandai Endowment, as we must lay a solid financial foundation for the future of the institution so that we can strengthen our need-based financial aid to help a much larger number of students in addition to smoother implementation of the AOYAMA VISION projects.
The real value of Aoyama Gakuin can be seen in its achieving a perfect 10 out of 10-scale score in the Brand Loyalty Census, a statistical measurement of loyalty to our institution among students, both past and present, as well as guardians, employees, and supporters. Loyalty is thus measured and added to the core strategies, as it will constitute a most viable yet intangible asset that we all take pride in.
Like any other school, administrators and educators constitute two wheels on an axle, each side is important and cannot function alone. In our case, as a Christian missionary school, the Christian faith has helped facilitate Aoyama Gakuin’s growth from its begining. This faith provides the underpinning for both administrators and educators, supporting and bringing them together like the connecting axle between two wheels. Aoyama Gakuin’s management acts as the force and drives the institution forward. From now on, however, the management faces a new set of problems: coping with a diminishing population, especially, the rapid shrinking of the 18-and-younger age bracket, the costly investment of globalizing ourselves under a much severer competition all over the world, and the landscape changes in the education industry towards informatics, machine learning, all unprecedented and exponentially advancing. Aoyama Gakuin’s New Management Principles aims to establish a more competitive straregy for the future through the utilization of management resources and unique qualities to equip the next generation with the necessary skills and knowledge to take on the various problems engulfing the world. As a comprehensive institution with the ability to provide education on one campus from kindergarten, through elementary school, junior and senior high schools, a women’s junior college, college, university and graduate schools—an educational entity rare in the world—it is our aim to support group dynamics and further enrich our world-class education and research.
The slogan ‘Be the Difference’ was inspired by the Christian adage ‘We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us’ (Romans 12:6). This slogan and this adage are highly valued in all management-level decisions at Aoyama Gakuin. It highlights our understanding that diversity exists in every aspect of human lives so that we must value every person’s individuality. We must promote the idea that we should tap into our inherent courage to think and behave differently from others. Now, more than ever, every person’s unique abilities can help bring about meaningful changes in the world. In all spheres of work and fields of research, the effective utilization of diverse resources, cultures and personalities has given birth to creative values that are evident in work and research achievements. The slogan, ‘Be the Difference’ represents our commitment to focusing our goals in managing Aoyama Gakuin.
It can be argued that, on a fundamental level, the quality of education that an institution can provide is proportionate to its financial prowess. Given that a significant portion of funds come from student tuitions, declining birth rates and wealth division can negatively impact on an institution’s education quality. As early as 60 years ago, Junshiro Mandai, one of Aoyama Gakuin’s celebrated graduates who left an undeniably large mark on Japan’s industrial sector, showed great foresight in anticipating the financial need of our school, so that he donated his fortune, creating a fund—currently operating as the Mandai Scholarship Fund. In respect of his wishes, we have decided to revise our donation and financial aid systems and to reorganize them into a larger system called Mandai Endowment with a funding target of 100 billion yen. We believe this to be a necessary step forward in enabling us to operate a world-class education system, to support needy students and thus to open new avenues for pioneering challenges and improving the quality of our management.
When attempting to identify the real value of an institution, support received from customers should be considered. Consequently, Aoyama Gakuin’s real value lies in the support it receives from all the stakeholders, including students, faculty members, guardians, alumni, and supporters. Our 350,000 alumni are depended on to remain passionate about the institution, and the support we receive from them is of utmost significance. This conviction of ours comes from the results of a series of brand loyalty surveys. After poring over copious positive and sometimes harsh responses from past and present students of all ages and faculty members, we learned that the real value of Aoyama Gakuin tends to lie in the overwhelmingly large number of alumni who are dedicated to the institution and continue to support it long after graduating. When we see our students on campus, whether they are kindergartners or graduate students, we have a renewed conviction to offer them the best possible educational experiences so that, no matter how many years pass, all will remember their time at Aoyama Gakuin as a perfect 10 out of 10 educational experience. The alumni of Aoyama Gakuin are our pride and joy. We commit: we never forget them.