Tsinghua University began its Fall semester by holding the first university-wide lectures of the semester on Tuesday.
The first lectures in the 2020 Fall semester were held in the main building of the university and were broadcast live on various media platforms, including Tsinghua’s own online teaching platform “Rain Classroom”, in both Chinese and English.
Tsinghua University Council Chairperson Chen Xu and Tsinghua President Qiu Yong delivered their lectures, which were remotely attended by nearly 50,000 Tsinghua students, faculty, staff members, and alumni representatives, including more than 3,800 undergraduate freshmen who are all set to begin their Tsinghua journey.
Unlike the Spring semester, which was held completely online due to the pandemic, Tsinghua’s Fall semester is going to see classes being taught both online and offline.
Chairperson Chen Xu delivered her lecture, entitled “Unwavering Commitment to Our Sense of Duty and Our Endeavor”.
She spoke about the efforts made by the university in the previous semester in the global fight against COVID-19, and ensuring safety and quality online learning of the students, and urged the incoming students to take primary responsibility for their own safety and health. “Don’t take a chance. Don’t lose patience. Don’t lower your guard.”
“Tsinghua would refuel its efforts to lead the world at both university and discipline level, achieve organic growth, and honor its historic duty in this landmark year,” said Chairperson Chen.
“Let’s cherish the moment back on campus and waste no time in your study and research. Make the most out of every day and be bold in exploration and be sharp in innovation so as to make bigger strides in 2020,” she said to the incoming students.
While delivering his lecture, entitled “Tsinghua’s Profound Understanding in Education and Splendid Cultural Heritage Garnered over the Century,” President Qiu announced that the teaching model in the Fall semester would see a combination of both online and offline methods, as the pandemic is not over yet.
“As the outbreak prevention and control measures became a new normal, we continued to seek quality development of online education as well as the integration of online and offline teaching, furthering the comprehensive educational reform,” he said.
He said the success Tsinghua achieved in the first half year has laid a solid foundation for what the university would achieve in the new semester, and shared the key reasons that led to the success of the previous semester, which could be equally helpful for the success of the upcoming semester.
He noted that Tsinghua would forge ahead with its teaching, research, as well as the reform and development of the university without lowering its guard in the outbreak prevention as the safety and health of its faculty members and students always remained the university’s priority.
“Tsinghua also strived to build first-class education system for talent cultivation by launching programs for strengthening basic disciplines, with the aim of strengthening the foundation for talent development and national rejuvenation,” President Qiu said in the lecture.
He said Tsinghua will carry out more international exchange activities in the future. “We strive to make Tsinghua more open. During the pandemic prevention and control period, we have been keeping and strengthening exchanges with global universities.”
“Reforms will proceed at multiple levels. We want to change because we want to become even better in the future,” he said.
He mentioned that Tsinghua has established an online teaching research group and has been carrying out research on the policy, effect and cases of online education. “This expert panel has already started another round of research now that we are going to adopt online plus offline model.”
He advocated that future universities must be more open and integrated to achieve greater levels of inclusion and quality, and future learning must be more student-driven and smarter.
“At Tsinghua, we value the partnership between teachers and students, value the unfailing reliability of continuing education; and hold on to our fundamental duty to educate,” said President Qiu.
During his lecture, President Qiu announced that Tsinghua would celebrate its 110th anniversary next year under the theme “Strive for Excellence, Innovate for the Future.” He also unveiled the anniversary logo, which uses the Arabic numeral 110 and presents the first two digits in a vertical stripe pattern and the zero with the Tsinghua University emblem inside two circles.
Reporters: Sangeet Sangroula, Guo Lili
Editors: Guo Lili, John Olbrich