A More Open and Confident Tsinghua in 2019-President’s Message for Tsinghua’s 108th Anniversary

The campus of Tsinghua University glows in April, the beautiful school river winding, willows billowing over green ripples, splendid flowers blooming revealing brilliant shades of purples and reds. Tsinghua University, which will celebrate its 108th birthday, presents a vibrant scene. On behalf of the university, I would like to extend my cordial greetings and sincere wishes to all students, faculty and staff, as well as alumni, at home and abroad, and at the same time expressing my heartfelt appreciation to those who have showed their concern and support towards the development of Tsinghua University over the years.

As Tsinghua University moves forward it never ceases to innovate, and its people always stay driven. In 2018, new progress has been made across the university. As the leading research institution, Tsinghua University has won 15 State Science and Technology Awards, including one State Natural Science Award first prize, two State Scientific and Technological Progress Award first prizes, and one State Scientific and Technological Progress Award (Innovation Team). Twelve Major Tsinghua Projects were approved by National Social Science Fund of China, while a total of 142 individuals from the university were selected for prestigious programs, including the Thousand Talents Program, the Ten Thousand Talents Program, and honorary titles of the Yangtze River Scholar, Outstanding Youth and Excellent Youth. Alongside this, three university faculty members won first prizes in the National University Young Teachers’ Teaching Competition, and the Tsinghua student supercomputing team won all three top international student cluster competitions, the second time to do so since 2015. In sports, the university won the Beijing University Students Track and Field Games championship in the group A men category, group A women category and team category – making Tsinghua the nine-time consecutive champion of the total score of team category. Moreover, the Tsinghua female basketball team successfully defended the national championship title in the CUBA finals and won the 3x3 FISU World University League – 2018 Finals.

Tsinghua University in its reform continues to showcase new achievements. Reform is the driving force of Tsinghua’s continuing development. As it develops, Tsinghua carries forward its strong cultural tradition, upholds its core values and stays committed to long-term, meaningful goals. The university also introduced the compulsory course of Writing and Communication, focusing on improving students’ abilities in writing and expression, communication and critical thinking. The Language Center of Tsinghua University was also established to improve students’ learning of foreign languages. Based on the successful implementation of the faculty reform, a new reform was initiated for staff with the aim to establish a more professional administrative system. Furthermore, Tsinghua also continued to promote a more interdisciplinary research environment, and established the new Institute of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data Research Center. Tsinghua also initiated a new round of campus planning to create a more humanity-oriented, green, inclusive and smart campus.

A more open Tsinghua will embrace the world. The vision of a university determines the vision of the talents she trains. Tsinghua University is embracing the vision of being a global university, as well as promoting and representing the development of higher education in China. The university continues to further implement its global strategy, which strives to enhance the global competence of its students, conduct high-end research for the benefit of both China and the world, promote international exchanges and cooperation, and strengthen global impact. In 2018, the Tsinghua University Southeast Asia Center laid its foundation in Bali, Indonesia in October; the Asian University Alliance (AUA) initiated by Tsinghua University released its first research report – Asian Higher Education Outlook 2018 – in November; the Tsinghua University Latin America Center was established in Santiago, Chile in December; and the International Competence Initiative (also known as the 2020 Initiative) was successfully implemented. In 2019, Tsinghua University initiated the Global Alliance of Universities on Climate (GAUC) with seven other world-renowned universities during the World Economic Forum in January, while the launch of the Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School was held in March. Up to this day, the university has signed university cooperation agreements with 285 universities and research institutes in 50 countries. In 2018, more than 16,000 faculty and students went abroad for visits and exchanges, and more than 3,700 international students from 128 countries were studying at the university.

Through more than one hundred years of development, as well as under its new emphasis on reform and innovation, Tsinghua University has bestowed upon itself a unique confidence and strength. A more confident Tsinghua is a more open Tsinghua. With a broader global vision, higher standpoint, and more effective actions, Tsinghua will advance its development as a world-class university with Chinese characteristics.

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. This is the key year for securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, as well as achieving the goals set out during the country’s first one hundred years. Tsinghua University will unwaveringly follow its own development path, while striving to improve overall management of the university. Rooted in China whilst fostering an international perspective, Tsinghua will continue to grow and thrive.

The university anniversary is a truly special occasion for our Tsinghua community to celebrate and come together. I wish all Tsinghua students, faculty, staff and alumni at home and abroad good health. The 108th anniversary of Tsinghua awaits you. Welcome home.

Qiu Yong
President of Tsinghua University
President of Tsinghua Alumni Association


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