On February 21, 2019, the first Sakura Science Club Alumni Meeting was held at Renuka City Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka. 68 members managed to participate in the meeting co-hosted by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). After welcome speeches by Mr. Kazuki Okimura (Principal Fellow, JST) and Prof. Ananda Jayawardane (Director General, National Science Foundation), H.E. Mr. Akira Sugiyama (Ambassador of Japan to Sri Lanka) and Mrs. Noor Rizna Anees (Director General, Department of Development Finance, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media) greeted the audience with congratulatory remarks. Also, Ms. Ai Maeda from the Embassy of Japan introduced some basic facts about studying in Japan.
During a casual and lively cocktail lunch, four members had delivered their presentations on how Sakura Science had impacted their research and life. To note, five alumni coordinators have been selected on this day to voluntarily support future activities of the SSC Sri Lanka Alumni Association.
In the web-survey conducted right after the event, most people answered that they were very much satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the Alumni Meeting despite limited time. Other than reuniting with other SSC members, more than 70% replied that the main reason for attending was because they wanted to learn more about studying in Japan. More than two dozen of participants had specific Japanese universities in mind.
To improve future alumni meetings, our team would like to reflect all the valuable input directed to us through the survey. Once again, we thank all organizers and members in Sri Lanka for your warm cooperation which led this meeting to success! It was so nice to see all of you reuniting again!