Strive for Excellence; Innovate for the Future
--Message for the 110th Anniversary of Tsinghua University
President Qiu Yong & Chairperson of the University Council Chen Xu
The effervescence of April brings budding flowers and green leaves. On behalf of the university, we extend our greetings to all faculty, students and alumni at home and abroad as Tsinghua approaches its 110th anniversary. To all members and friends of the Tsinghua community who are long term supporters of Tsinghua and its development, we express our heartfelt gratitude.
Eleven decades ago, in a time fraught with deep civil unrest and international aggression, Tsinghua was born. Since its establishment, self-improvement for the betterment of the nation, and an unyielding character, have been deeply ingrained into the mindset of Tsinghua people. Adhering to the ideal of saving the country through promoting scientific development, Tsinghua, starting as a preparatory school for those students who were sent by the government to study in the United States, was transformed into a university for the people – an autonomous modern university for education and learning. Since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, Tsinghua became a multidisciplinary technical university, embracing the spirit of times in the opening up and reform period to become an outward-looking, globally-engaged university. Through its wealth of experience and history as an institution, Tsinghua has formed as its own a deep culture and strong tradition of continuous reform. The University motto of "Self-discipline and Social Commitment", its ethos of "Actions Speak Louder Than Words", its style of "Rigorous, Diligent, Truth-seeking, and Creative", and its spirit of "Dedication to the Country and Pursuit of Excellence” define Tsinghua people, shaping their values, quality and essence. They make our community what it is. As generations of Tsinghua people contribute their vital knowledge, energy and spirit for the motherland and the people, the University, with its strong roots and foundations, progresses along the road to being a world-class university with Chinese characteristics.
For Tsinghua, education has always been placed at the heart of all its endeavors. In 1911, the Charter of Tsing Hua Imperial College stipulated the "cultivation of all-round talents and enhancing of national strength”. University President Mei Yiqi emphasized the importance of faculty’s guidance in the development of students’ moral character and learning, the "development of the whole individual", and being "general knowledge-focused." After the People’s Republic of China was founded, University President Jiang Nanxiang advocated the educational concept of “being professional and devoted, and all-round development” and "teaching students according to their aptitude", as well as promoting the construction of "three student representative teams": political counseling teams, scientific mountaineering teams, and arts and sports teams. After the period of reform and opening up, Tsinghua adhered to the goal of training high-quality, high-level and diversified creative talents. It dedicated itself to the fostering of students’ all-round development, innovative thinking, global vision, and social responsibility, to train and prepare outstanding talents to contribute to the betterment of society, the nation and the world. In the tranquil, beautiful and vibrant campus that is Tsinghua, students from across the world come together, sharing precious moments of their youth and making unforgettable memories. They come together in the place where the nation needs them most, to learn, develop their careers and bravely lead the nation forward.
In 1925, in order to “reach the highest realms of academic exploration”, Tsinghua established undergraduate programs and set up the Research Institute of Chinese Literature. Whether it was the bringing together of different academic traditions of China and the West, of ancient and modern, of science and the humanities, or “targeting the vanguard of academia, attaching importance to fundamental sciences and serving national development, and cultivating talents”; whether it was participating in major national engineering projects, such as the “two bombs and one satellite” project and the Miyun Reservoir project, or the creation of important designs such as the national emblem and the Monument to the People’s Heroes, as well as innovations such as high-temperature air-cooled reactors and large container inspection systems; whether it was being at the forefront of academic fields in science and technology and arts and culture, the setting up of new majors required to carry forward national development, or defining comprehensive, research-oriented and open concepts for university management, throughout its magnificent history, Tsinghua has made countless vital and enduring contributions to China’s national development strategy and academic fields worldwide, developing itself into a major base for technological and innovative thinking in China.
Entering a new era, Tsinghua University has embarked on mission-driven reform. The University will approach its university management by bringing together a global mindset, Chinese characteristics and the Tsinghua ethos. Leading from its breakthrough faculty reform, Tsinghua continues to place the retaining and fostering of talent at its core. Tsinghua will deepen the reform of education and teaching, establish the tripartite educational approach to “foster values, develop competence, and impart knowledge” and improve all round-education for all members of the Tsinghua community.
We will improve the construction of discipline classification, enhance academic innovation, accelerate the development of philosophy and social sciences, and strive for leading international achievements and innovation in low-dimensional quantum physics, structural biology, cryptography, neuromorphic computer chips, quantum computing and other fields. The University has reformed its social service system and mechanism, and has done a solid job in targeted assistance and poverty alleviation. We have established and implemented a global strategy, as well as international bases and institutes including the Global Innovation Exchange Institute (GIX), the China-Italy Design Innovation Hub, the Tsinghua Southeast Asia Center, and the Tsinghua University Latin America Center, as well as Schwarzman College and the Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School. We have initiated and chaired alliances, including the Asian Universities Alliance, the Global Alliance of Universities on Climate, and the Global MOOC Alliance, putting Tsinghua on the global stage. The University further advanced the "Double First-Class" initiative, realized the "three nine-year, three-step" overall strategic objectives as planned, and made a historic leap in becoming a world-class university.
During the momentous year of 2020, Tsinghua always put the health and safety of faculty, staff and students first. While adhering to the COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control measures, the University ensured that teaching and scientific research went on and reform and development continued. It led the way in online education reform, engaged in scientific research on the pandemic and strengthened international cooperation and dialogue. Through concrete actions, Tsinghua demonstrated the responsibility of a university in the face of crises and challenges, and pioneered a transformative era of teaching and education.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said that the field of higher education is inseparably linked with the development of the country and the future of the nation. In striving to become a leading world-class university, Tsinghua University will embrace the opportunities of today to make a better tomorrow. Our comprehensive reform mission strives to harness the evaluation and assessment mechanisms, build a world-class innovative competence, strengthen academic ecology and culture, improve governance capabilities, and embrace a new leading role in making greater contributions to our national development and humanity’s progress.
"A university should serve its country and keep the unique characteristics of its generation." Strive for excellence, innovate for the future. Tsinghua people will remain dedicated and committed to the pursuit of excellence and innovation. We will remain steadfast and spirited in our mission to advance the university’s development and in writing a new chapter in Tsinghua’s history.