PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE FOR TSINGHUA’S 109TH ANNIVERSARY
President of Tsinghua University
President of Tsinghua Alumni Association
Tsinghua University, Onward to a Brighter Future
This April, the joyful enthusiasm of spring reverberates in anticipation of the 109th anniversary celebration of Tsinghua University. On behalf of the University, I extend my warm greetings and best wishes to all members of the Tsinghua community at home and abroad – the students, alumni, faculty, and staff. I cordially express my appreciation to all friends of Tsinghua for continued support for the development of the University.
From the outset of 2020, we encountered the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic. Tsinghua has stood steadfastly with the nation and made concerted efforts to tackle this severe challenge. Tsinghua immediately responded with proactive measures to cope with the outbreak while maintaining educational excellence. Through technologies that enable real-time, interactive and remote online teaching, the University delivered 3,923 spring semester courses on schedule, marking the beginning of a profound transformation in teaching methodology. To minimize disruption to the graduating students, the University has extended additional efforts and support.
Tsinghua has shouldered additional responsibilities by expanding its social engagement. Through XuetangX, the University’s online education platform, Tsinghua has offered over 1,900 courses free of charge to the public. The University has provided 147 “Clone Classes” to several universities in Wuhan and other areas. Tsinghua partnered with 126 universities in Wuhan to organize a number of recruitment sessions online. Tsinghua faculty and students have contributed to the fight against COVID-19 with significant scientific and technological achievements, including structural studies of coronavirus-receptor interactions, the development of a nucleic acid detection kit, the creation of an intelligence-assisted diagnosis system, and the efficient isolation of antibodies against the coronavirus.
On March 2nd, President Xi Jinping visited Tsinghua to inspect the University’s research on COVID-19, and delivered an inspiring speech. One month later, on April 2nd, Tsinghua established the Vanke School of Public Health, to reinforce the nation’s public health emergency management systems. This reaffirmed the University’s commitment to safeguard global public health security and improve human health.
Tsinghua continues embracing the world with open arms and confidence. The vision of the university shapes the kindred minds of its talents. In 2019, Tsinghua was re-elected to hold the Asian Universities Alliance (AUA) Presidency. The Global Alliance of Universities on Climate (GAUC) was established by twelve world-leading universities from nine countries, with Tsinghua as its inaugural Chair.
On January 6th, State President Xi Jinping replied with a letter to the GAUC student representatives, expressing his anticipation for the students’ joint efforts in playing an active role in taking care of planet Earth. On March 27th, the AUA organized an online forum entitled “Universities Combating COVID-19”, which was attended by leaders from fifteen universities worldwide. At this event, Tsinghua announced the launch of the Spring Breeze Fund program to support joint research with international partners on COVID-19. Universities are lighthouses for human civilization. With genuine and tenacious cooperation, universities illuminate the path to making the world better.
Tsinghua continues to pursue innovation and creativity. In the past year, Tsinghua celebrated a range of ground-breaking achievements, including Tianjic, the world’s first hybrid AI chip, and the world’s first memristor-based computing in memory system that overcame the memory wall. In 2019, Tsinghua received eleven national awards on technology advancement. Serial research on Tsinghua's collection of bamboo slips from the Warring States Period (475 B.C. - 221 B.C.) received the first prize of the Guo Moruo Chinese History Awards. Tsinghua initiated the joint construction and operation of the China Jinping Underground Laboratory (CJPL), the deepest underground lab in the world.
As for the overall academic planning and strategy, the University established two new entities, the Department of Astronomy and the School of Vehicle and Mobility. Tsinghua continues to promote the development of humanities, engineering, and science disciplines through a series of comprehensive implementation plans. Tsinghua launched the International Innovation Center of Tsinghua University in Shanghai to support China’s national strategy of integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta. At a new age that presents us with unprecedented opportunities and challenges, innovation is the best course of action.
Year 2020 marks a milestone for the nation, as China approaches the completion of its first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. For Tsinghua, 2020 marks the conclusion of its third nine-year plan and comprehensive reforms for building a world-class university. In 2020, the University will convene its 18th Research Seminar to formulate the 2030 Innovation Action Plan, in hopes to enhance the academic ethics and evaluation system, and to escalate the building of a modern university governance system. 2021 will witness the 110th anniversary of Tsinghua, which represents the start of a new phase of the University’s development.
Year 2020 may well mark a historical watershed in human society. It is an undeniable truth that our thought-processes, decisions and actions will be etched in living memory and collective history. To overcome these unprecedented challenges, people must rely on the spirit of scientific rationality, the power of solidarity, and the belief in victory over challenges great and small that hinder the advancement of humanity worldwide.
Crises generate uncertainties while testing the willpower and beliefs we share as humans. As people across the world join hands in pursuit of the true, the good and the beautiful, mankind will be unstoppable and win this fight against the virus we face today and the challenges we face tomorrow.
The 109th anniversary is a special one in Tsinghua’s history. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, I will miss the in-person participation of the alumni. I hope the online commemorative events will bring the community the same warmth as usual and a memorable experience. Tsinghua will always be the home for our students, faculty and alumni.
Reunion won’t be far away. I look forward to meeting you again when the pandemic is behind us. I believe, in the brighter future that awaits us, Tsinghua will be better, China will be better, the world will be better. Thank you!