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Tsinghua Global Summer School 2022 kicks off

At 9:00 am on July 4th (Beijing time), the Tsinghua Global Summer School 2022 (GSS 2022) officially started. A total of 1,160 outstanding students from over 300 universities and 71 high schools in 94 different countries and regions worldwide gathered online for the opening ceremony. Professor Yang Bin, Vice President and Provost of Tsinghua University, and Ms. Beate Trankmann, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Resident Representative for China, delivered opening remarks.

Tsinghua Vice President Yang Bin delivers a welcome address

Yang Bin welcomed the students to the GSS 2022. He pointed out that we now find ourselves in a period that demands great actions as the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. Global health, climate, and challenges to international exchange and cooperation, require us to join hands to find global solutions. He emphasized that, on the High-level Dialogue on Global Development held on June 24th, President Xi Jinping called for a “united, equal, balanced and inclusive” global development partnership. As a global university that shoulders international responsibilities, Tsinghua is committed to achieving greater levels of SDG-oriented global collaboration and education programs.

Yang noted that Tsinghua University is resolutely motivated to address the challenges of the new era. It is an era of opportunity and action, and one that requires us to promote global engagement and cooperation, embrace the digital and green transformation, and strive for sustainable development. It is with these missions that the GSS embarks on a new journey and extends Tsinghua’s fundamental commitment - to educate and cultivate talents. Young students worldwide are expected to participate in this program and explore innovative ways to solve critical challenges.

Yang believed that the GSS will play an essential role in responding to global challenges and realizing the goal of sustainable development by imparting knowledge, serving the future, and cultivating youth leaders through masterclasses, workshops, SDG Hackathons and other events. He encouraged every participant to get involved, take action, and collaborate to apply knowledge into practical solutions for the future. He looked forward to seeing the fruitful outcomes and contributions of students and wished every participant, and the program itself, a great success.

Ms. Beate Trankmann delivers her opening remarks

Ms. Beate Trankmann, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Resident Representative for China, said in her speech that our planet is facing a severe environmental crisis. While we have learned a lot about our environment since then, we have not done enough to protect the Earth – our only home. She was glad that the theme of GSS 2022 – “A Healthy Planet for Sustainable Development” – addresses the urgent need to collectively rebuild our broken relationship with nature. She encouraged students to spend part of their summer thinking about how to make a greener, more sustainable, inclusive and equitable future a reality for all, and meanwhile attempting to master skills and expertise required to address today’s multiple planetary crises and realize sustainable development.

Ms. Beate Trankmann extended her appreciation to Tsinghua for its dedication to the SDGs. This annual summer school is a unique and engaging program to foster the next generation of change-makers and build a more sustainable world. With that, she wished the students an exciting and rewarding summer school experience and hoped they could use their energy and intellect to contribute for the realization of UN SDGs.

During the performance segment of GSS opening ceremony, spectacular online footages were presented, showcasing the 24 solar terms on Tsinghua campus, the style of bringing together the different traditions of China and the West, of ancient and modern, of science and the humanities, as well as Tsinghua’s open, inclusive, international, friendly and progressive atmosphere.

To follow, Professor Li Jinliang, Dean of the International Office, and Professor in the School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, gave an insightful lecture entitled “The Chinese Economy: Prosperity and Prospects”, marking the first of the Masterclasses to be held during the summer school.

Professor Li Jinliang launches GSS Masterclasses

Li introduced the overall situation of China’s recent economic development from three key aspects: achievements, challenges and opportunities. He guided students to explore key factors behind China’s rapid economic rise, and stated that since 1978, China’s economic rise has been mainly the result of industrialization and urbanization. Today, the Chinese economy has stepped onto a new stage, and is also facing new opportunities and challenges.

Li believed that despite multiple challenges such as maintaining economic equilibrium, financial stability and environmental sustainability, as the Chinese economy steps onto a new stage, its economic development has shifted from “high-speed growth” to “medium-high-speed growth”. China’s economic structure has become more optimized, with the fruits of development benefiting a wider range of society, and has moved from factor-driven and investment-driven to innovation-driven.  At the same time, China has unswervingly adhered to the principle of common prosperity and inclusive sharing of development outcomes. In the 40 years of growth since 1978, these changes have strengthened China’s social and economic foundations, and have also enabled its economy to maintain a vision of strong and sustainable development. Li Jinliang concluded his Masterclass by emphasizing that continued reform and opening up is the way forward for a robust Chinese economy, in which innovation is key. In the Q&A session that followed, he provided detailed responses to questions asked by participants.

The GSS 2022 will be held from July 4 to July 10. With the theme: “A Healthy Planet for Sustainable Development,” GSS 2022 is a seven-day program organized collaboratively by over 20 Tsinghua academic institutions and four non-academic institutions, with the aim of “independent learning, intelligent teaching, universal schooling, and high-quality education.” The courses cover a wide range of fields including education, economics, sociology, the humanities, artificial intelligence, and leadership, and come in diversified forms such as masterclasses, workshops, SDG hackathons, and cultural experience activities. Student associations have been invited to co-organize workshops, and students are encouraged to host workshops and activities, in order to enhance their sense of participation, inspire opinions on health and sustainable development from a student perspective, and facilitate the cultivation of innovative thinking and the introduction of sustainable development concepts to integrate academics with innovation and interaction.

This year marks the third year of the Tsinghua Global Summer School online. Reviewing the past, more than 3,000 outstanding young talents have participated in the program. With openness and inclusiveness, Tsinghua Global Summer School is committed to helping young talents worldwide acknowledge a deeper understanding of the world and China in the post-COVID era, encouraging them to cooperate, innovate, and contribute to creating a better world.

For more details, please visit the website of Tsinghua Global Summer School:

https://www.tsinghua.edu.cn/gss/

Source: Office of International Affairs

Editors: John Olbrich, Li Han, Guo Lili

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