‘Quit Using Smartphones Or Quit University’, Says Principal

An entrance ceremony at Shinshu University.

An entrance ceremony at Shinshu University.

The principal of Shinshu University has made the news for telling the incoming students during their matriculation ceremony that they should either quit using smartphones, or quit university altogether.

His comments have generated a debate over whether universities need to embrace technology and move with the times, or whether students should put their smartphones down and pick up a book instead.

What do you think? Are smartphones compatible with university education?

From Asahi Shimbun:

“Either Quit Using Smartphones Or Quit University”, Says Principal Of Shinshu University During Entrance Ceremony

“Either quit using smartphones or quit university”. That’s what Principal Yamazawa told around 2,000 new entrants into the University’s 8 faculties when the entrance ceremony was held in the Matsumoto City Gymnasium on April 4.

Principal Yamazawa expressed concerns over the trend in recent years for the younger generations to attach too much importance to the use of smartphones, and to become dependent on them: “You become students full of creativity by turning off your phones and reading a book, speaking to friends, getting into the habit of thinking for yourself and thinking about things from their very foundation, by giving your all”.

As representative of the incoming class, Kurata Yusuke (18), from Kamiina Agricultural Higher School, who is entering the University’s department of Agricultural Life Sciences, part of the Faculty of Agriculture, told of his determination: “I don’t just want to study agriculture, but I also want to study the fields of economics and law, and see the bigger picture by having a global outlook. I want to contribute to society by expanding my understanding of agriculture. The knowledge that we acquire here will become a significant driving force for us, as we carry on the next generation”.

After studying for one year at Matsumoto, the new university entrants will be transferred to campuses according to their faculties, which include Nagano, Ueda, and Minamiminowa, as well as Matsumoto.

Of the 2068 new university entrants, excluding exchange students, 552 students (26.7%) originate from the University’s home prefecture — 27 fewer than in the previous year — and the proportion of women entrants was 33.9%. (Matsumoto Eiji)

Comments from 2ch.net:


OK then, I’ll quit Shinshu University.


Only option is to quit Shinshu University, then.


Best thing to do would be to quit both.


This is exactly the kind of speech you’d expect from a principal from a low-level, shit university.


I’m not too bothered about your philosophy, dude.
I bet you just don’t like people who use smartphones.


You’re a university student now, time to put away such things.
They’re too spoon-fed.
If you get to a good age, and you want to waste your life by being dependent on smartphones and the Internet, then that’s your own responsibility.


Listen up you old fool, this is what you should say when they’re doing the entrance exams, not during the entrance ceremony.


There is merit in walking around carrying a load of books.


Shit, don’t push your way of thinking on others.


He’s quite persuasive.


He’s more or less right.
I’m really glad that when I was a student we didn’t have them.


Seriously, people everywhere are fiddling with their smartphones too much.


“”You become students full of creativity by turning off your phones and reading a book, speaking to friends, getting into the habit of thinking for yourself and thinking about things from their very foundation, by giving your all”
What is he saying about digital assistants…
Get rid of all the PCs in Shinshu University, then!
This is why their generation is getting left behind…


Final answer: Don’t quit either.
Instead, question why you have to quit one or the other.


Ultimately, they’re just not changing with the times, are they?
You should show people how to use smartphones in a meaningful way!

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  • FYIADragoon

    He’s right though. I even feel a bit happy that I only had a feature phone back when I was in school. My focus was always spot on. There’s nothing wrong with ignoring the phone for a few hours while you study.

  • takasar1

    yes because innovation and creativity thrive under restriction….

  • vonskippy

    It is up to the user how distracting or not a smartphone is – apparently worldwide the current generation is to weak willed and lacking self control to be in control of themselves and the tools available to them. Smartphones aren’t the problem – having no self control is.

  • lonetrey / Dan

    I’m a bit divided on this.

    I had a flip-phone without smartphone capabilities back in college. Other students had them, aced tests where they cheated.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Phone’s only as distracting as you allow it. I have to trouble with my studies, and I still had a phone. Yeah I put it in my vault in my closet and put the key on the second floor so it’d be too much of a hassle to get it back out, but that was only during the finals. Rest of the time I had it out no trouble.

  • Comebackkid13

    Comments below state this guy is off base because with self control, smart phones don’t become a distraction. I think getting rid of the phone so that it doesn’t become a distraction displays quite a bit of self control.

  • Guest

    And this is exactly why Japanese tech companies are going down.

  • iGleaux

    This is wild. I was active as hell and had a smart phone in college. I used it a lot organizing and promoting events and stuff but whatever.

  • KKoreanPPeninsula

    Crazy Japanese.

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