By Li Jing and Margaret Liu
An opening ceremony to launch a training program in public administration co-sponsored by Tsinghua and Harvard universities was held here May 12.
The class has an enrollment of 51 students, ages ranging from 34 to 49, who are all public servants with extensive administrative experience from departments of local and state governments.
The new program was authorized by the Organization Department of CPC and the Ministry of the State Education, and will be run jointly by the Development Research Center of the State Council, the School of Public Policy and Management of Tsinghua University, and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Course content contains the most up-to-date theory in the field of public administration which can then be tailored to suit the various conditions in China. Students will benefit from a mix of domestic and foreign training as they discuss policy, theory, and analysis.
The program is divided into two parts, the first taking place in Beijing, where professors from Tsinghua's School of Public Policy and Management and visiting professors from the Kennedy School will teach courses on fundamental theories and domestic policy. In addition, lectures will be given by experts from the Development Research Center of the State Council. The class will move to the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts for the second phase, studying the latest theories and methods used in public administration.
President Summers delivered an address on "How to Become a Qualified Public Servant" to the students, faculty and distinguished guests at the opening ceremony. He noted that he had visited China many times since his first trip in 1979, and the changes he saw in that period of time were miraculous.
"What has happened to China in the last 23 years represents the greatest change in the lives of the greatest number of people in the history of the world," Summers said.
When looking to the future, he said, " What stands between China and growth is not money, not intellectual capital, not ability to communicate, not contact with the rest of the world. The most important determinant is how wisely it is led by its public officials, and how wisely challenges of growth and opportunity will be met."
This means that China's public servants will play the most important role during the process of development, he said, and pledged Harvard would help maximize this growth.
After the speech, President Summers answered questions from Tsinghua students in the audience.
Tsinghua Vice President Hu Dongcheng presided over the ceremony. Vice President Gu Binglin gave a short address. Leaders from the Ministry of Education, the State Council, and the chairman of the board of Amway Company also made remarks.
After the opening ceremony, President Summers and other guests visited the Beijing Biochip lab. Lit, a high-tech company operated by Tsinghua. Later, Summers had an informal discussion with some Tsinghua officials and department heads on further cooperation between Harvard and Tsinghua in the field of environmental protection.