Distinguished guests, Dear faculty and students,
In this balmy season with clear sky and delightfully cool breeze, I am so glad to meet all of you at 2013 opening ceremony of International College of UCAS. Let me begin by extending, on behalf of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences and also in my own name, heartfelt welcome to your new students from 42 countries and warm congratulations on the opening of International College.
Dear students and faculty, I think I can make one determination this afternoon with absolute confidence. You are without a doubt among the pioneers of one of the future world-class International colleges.
The world is changing—it has become increasingly globalized over the past decades. The spread of the Internet has enabled people around the world to communicate easily and instantaneously; Knowledge is expanding—creativity is often sparked by the collision of ideas from different disciplines and cultures. Science and Technology has long surpassed national boundaries. As a result, education needs to be updated and university also must reform.
As China’s largest higher education institution for graduate education, UCAS actively involves itself to the tide of internationalization. The establishment of International College aims to expand the university’s internationalized cultivating model, attract excellent overseas students and create a multinational academic atmosphere. It implements the UCAS guiding principle of “unified enrollment, education management and degree conferment; faculty-institute’s fusion on leadership, faculty, management and cultivating system”. It will further expands and improves the “two-phase” cultivation mode in which language and cultural study and professional courses teaching are centralized in Beijing campuses, and scientific research were primarily done at the various CAS institutes. This sound education system has enabled international students to combine theoretical study with practical research as well as learning language and understanding art and culture.
The mission of International College of UCAS is to make unremitting efforts to establish an internationalized platform through top-quality research, pioneering education and continuous renewal. It will provide good learning materials, individual academic and professional support, effective administration and logistics, and teaching rooted in research to each student. The students of International College will be responsible, broad-minded experts to act as future visionaries in the world. We will make use of our unique profile to stimulate innovations by surpassing national boundaries. We will build an open community of students and supervisors, scientific research and humanistic study, for free exchange of ideas to impact the society at large.
Today is a memorable day for International College, because it welcomes its first group of students from all over the world. This young and brilliant college will mark a new milestone in the history of the International student education of UCAS.
Today is also an unforgettable day for all of you because you stand out from thousands of candidates for your excellent credentials and scientific career to date. You will be in no doubt documented in the first page of the history of International College.
However, in just 4 to 5 months, most of you will leave this campus and pursue the rest of your Master’s or doctoral study in your host institutes. How can you get the most out of your time here?
William Butler Yeats once said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” (威廉•巴特勒•叶芝: “教育不是把桶灌满，而是要把火点燃。”) If I have but one expectation on you, it is that in the coming years, you be set on fire, that your mind be captured not only by scientific theories but by some fields of human understanding, that your own passion for knowledge, for progressing, which is the quality of all successful people.
Let me give you some advices as you embark on your journey here at International College of UCAS.
First, adapt yourselves to the new environment as soon as possible.
I believe that for most of you, it is the first time you’ve been in China. So, UCAS will be the starting point for your studying in China. Not only does each one of you bring fresh talent to the university, but you each have an interesting story to tell of why you are here today and the journey you have traveled to get to this point. Hope you can respect different religions and customs and help each other to overcome or encountered on your journeys has only increased your will to continue towards your academic or academic goals.
Second, acquire knowledge and skills.
Whether your research interests lie in the humanities or within the science, medical or engineering fields, you all bring unique talents, skills and valuable experiences to the university well known for fostering and developing scholars, scientists, engineers and leaders of the future. At UCAS you will come to learn from prominent scholars and academicians in addition to extending knowledge in each of your respective fields. I hope that you make full use of the rich resources of CAS and UCAS, work hard for acquiring professional skills to fill yourselves.
Last but not the least is to experience the Chinese culture.
China is one of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations with more than 5,000 years history but also a modern nation with 30 years of rapid development. Tradition and modernity are mixed here. There are so many traditional cultural heritages such as The Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and also modern buildings like bird nest and 2013 World Garden Expo. I know you are good at English, but an important step to adapt to your new life in China is to learn the language. I hope that you take a walk and look around in the coming years, and get more chances to communicate with Chinese people.
Dear students, in the traditional but modern city of Beijing, at this international College of UCAS, I hope you will cherish your time here, be active in study and creative in thinking!
Finally, I would like to end my speech with the words from one of the most important philosophers of ancient China:
“A thousand-mile journey starts with one step. (千里之行始於足下)
I wish you all wisdom, happiness and courage on your journey at International College.