The convocation ceremony started with the audience singing the national anthem.
In 2017, the development of SUSTech is spurring on more than ever, with the arrival of 1486 new students, reaching more than 4000 total students for the first time.
Chen Shiyi followed with a speech to the audience. He used six sets of student photos of the university to share his memorable moments at SUSTech. He hoped that the majority of students will be able to lay a good foundation for their future, develop their personality, contribute to the story of SUSTech and realize their lifelong dreams.
President Chen said that joining SUSTech was a once in a lifetime decision, a once in a lifetime chance to do something brave and special. Thousands of SUSTechers are gathered here today, a sign of the phenomenal rise of China and more particularly Shenzhen, because of the desire to build a world-class research university. SUSTech focuses especially on academic performance, exploring the forefront of scientific knowledge, in the hope of leading world-class research thanks to its exceptional scientific equipment and working conditions. President Chen said that he hoped the students were ready to fully grasp their opportunities here to provide unparalleled chances to be a part of the SUSTech story, to get in the laboratories early in their academic career and to always pursue excellence.
He went on to tell the students that they needed to think big, and take on the world, to use their strengths to make a difference and bear in mind the "family feeling, the global vision, the comprehensive literacy, and the innovation ability" mindset that is encouraged at SUSTech so that they can complete their life mission.
Prof. Xia Zhihong then spoke on behalf of the faculty members. In his speech, he emphasized the importance of mathematics in the study of large data centers and gave his own advice on how to make the most of the first year for the new students: "It will be important for you to develop good life and learning habits, as well as life skills. Incorporate physical exercise in your daily routine. I’ll set a challenge for you, the distance between SUSTech and Beijing Tiananmen Square is about 2080 km, let’s run together, 10 km per week, becomes 520 km per year. In four years of college time, you’ll have run from SUSTech to Beijing!"
Alumni representative Sun Jiao Nan followed with a speech. Currently based in one of the United States’ top research institutions of higher learning - Ohio State University - she is studying for her PhD. She is a 2012 class graduate and was involved in many activities on campus at the time. In her speech she said: "to come back to my alma mater, I found that the development of SUSTech is incredibly fast, and I am so happy for myself, for having been a part of it, and also for the university”. She suggested that the young freshmen should make the most of their time here, study hard and seize their opportunities, promising them that one day they will be very proud to have been a part of the univeristy’s story.
Zhiren Residential College representative followed to address the audience on behalf of the freshmen. He conveyed their vision of the university life that was awaiting them: “Being at SUSTech is like a dream for us, a dream of our youth and a dream for our future. We all gather together in SUSTech, and we are lucky to do so. Our professors are full of enthusiasm, our students and classmates full of youthful energy to explore the beautiful world and dig deep into our studies”.
Janka Komlos, a 2017 freshman from Hungary, took over to give a speech on behalf of the international students. "We have a reason to come to SUSTech: we are here to challenge ourselves. We came here not just to learn biology and chemistry, physics and finance, but also to understand this part of the world. I want to be a member of the big SUSTech family, I want to contribute my part, I want to live in a better world and I want my kids to live in a better world which I played a role in building.
SUSTech’s 2017 graduate student Han Zhiyan followed with his speech. "During my four years here I have seen the number of students growing from hundreds to thousands," he said, "I saw the number of degrees in the Department of Mathematics go from zero to one". Now he is a graduate student here and it is a new chapter for him as well "There is a huge wealth of resources here - as well as international perspectives. The constant pursuit of cutting-edge technology, innovation and research are what marks it apart from other institutes.
University Council Chairperson Guo Yurong then took over to address the audience. She welcomed all 2017 students on behalf of the university and underlined the importance to walk hand in hand to create a better future. She said that SUSTech was born at a time that was ideal to make it become one of the fastest growing universities at home and abroad, but also China's most contemporary and innovative university. SUSTech is moving towards the goal of becoming a world-class university, and to cultivate top-notch innovative talents as its mission, with more than 800 graduates. Deeply imprinted with the spirit of SUSTech, the students can fulfill their dreams once they have completed their studies be it in the business or the academic world.
She hoped that the students will learn and strive to pursue innovation and excellence in their studies; improve their communication, to develop a spirit of unity and cooperation; and that in the study of life, they will become responsible and take on their mission. She said: "Today, SUSTech benefits hugely from the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone development; tomorrow, the university will become the pride and the inspiration for the city, with an excellent track record of students and graduates."
The ceremony ended with the chorus of “Ode to the Motherland”.
Before the ceremony, a giant screen broadcast the short films produced by the 6 Residential Colleges. This was followed by a musical performance in which a number of orchestral musicians from the university gave a wonderful show, an inspiration for students and a symbol of SUSTech’s vitality. The band “Wood Crocodile” performed a romantic interpretation of "Spring Ten Miles", extending a warm welcome to the new students.
The venue then saw the SUSTech 2017 short welcoming film dubbed entitled "Youth, Dreams and Nation”, an inspiring moment for all the audience as it enshrined the notions of youthful energy, family feelings and lofty ideals. Accompanied by a poetry recitation, the audience broke into a warm and hearty round of applause.
This year, the undergraduate enrollment achieved a great leap forward, 1003 undergraduates joined the ranks from over 22 provinces and cities, with most of them among the top 2% students of their region. 465 graduate students also joined, hailing from some of the best universities in the world, while 18 international students from Russia, Hungary and 9 other countries joined the SUSTech family.
SUSTech’s numbers of faculty, professors and researchers also reached new records. Having already recruited high level international teachers, an increasing numbers have joined the university including top scholars and outstanding professors from China and abroad. There are now more than 300 professors, including 18 academicians , 45 members of the national "Thousands Talents Plan", 14 "Changjiang scholars program" attributed by the Ministry of Education, 14 winners of the "National Natural Science Foundation Outstanding Youth Fund", 61 "Thousand Young Talents Plan" as well as 229 awardees of the Shenzhen “Peacock Plan". In 2017, the National Natural Science Foundation of China received a total of 91 projects submitted by SUSTech, of which 38.24% won funding, surpassing the national average by 17.15 percentage points. SUSTech was recently ranked 31st in the Nature’s Index list of mainland Chinese universities, a substantial increase compared to the past 2 years. The discipline construction of the university has made huge progress with 14 departments established, and 22 majors on offer.
The opening ceremony attracted journalists from more than 20 media outlets from China and abroad to come and interview participants, and was broadcast live on the platforms network.
Edited by: Jeremy Welburn
Proofread by: Xia Yingying
The content is reproduced in SUSTech official website