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Xiamen University at 90

ICE    Public:ICE    Datetime:2012-5-22
The return of spring this year not only brought new life to Xiamen, it also heralded the 90th Anniversary of Xiamen University. The University was delighted to extend a very warm welcome to many distinguished guests and friends from all over the world to the anniversary celebrations on the 6th of April.
The celebrations were attended by several thousand people, including national, provincial and municipal leaders and officials, respected entrepreneurs, renowned academics, social celebrities and alumni from home and abroad. Xiamen University has launched joint research projects with governments as well as large enterprises. Entrepreneurs, alumni, faculties, students and graduates, inspired by Mr. Tan Kah Kee´s spirit of "donating one´s personal property to education", donated money and resources to Xiamen University, injecting new energy into the development of Xiamen University. Almost 3000 alumni came from all parts of the world to celebrate the anniversary of their alma mater, and put forward ideas and suggestions for the further development of the university and for the improvement of the work of the alumni association. A number of Nobel Prize winners and renowned scholars shared their insights on varied topics with teachers and students. More than 100 participants at the "Chinese-foreign University Presidents Forum" shared their views on the position and responsibilities of universities in a multi-cultural world. And the wide range of shows, exhibitions, lectures, forums and events attracted staff, students, alumni, and members of the local community and our fellow universities to celebrate this anniversary.
This year was a special milestone for Xiamen University-90 years of people, ideas and achievements that have transformed and continue to transform and benefit China; 90 years glorious history highlighted by the themes for the anniversary: "Gratitude, Responsibility and Devotion."
Gratitude-we owe a debt of gratitude to our nation. On the one hand, throughout its history Xiamen University has expressed its gratitude to the nation, to society, and to the founding father, Tan Kah-Kee, who gave his all to education, and to alumni at home and abroad. On the other hand, Xiamen University´s alumni actively express their gratitude to their motherland and their alma mater, by contributing money, ideas and suggestions.
Responsibility - supporting education is the responsibility of every citizen. Tan Kah-Kee stressed that education was the ultimate way to save the nation. The goals of the university are, on the one hand, to pursue scientific development through research, and on the other hand to promote social progress so that China can become one of the strong nations of this Earth. Xiamen University has always held this to be its responsibility and will continue to pursue excellence and strive for perfection.
Devotion - to glorify China with unswerving devotion. Over the 90 years of its existence, Xiamen University has played an important role in national liberation, industrialisation and the development of the nation. The University is now making great strides towards its goal of "Building a high-level research university well-known throughout the world".
The 90th Anniversary was marked with a variety of events and projects throughout the year, from the inspiring thinking of great philosophers, poets and artists to the world-changing ideas of Nobel Prize winners, from forums concerning significant issues concerning society to high-level seminars on cutting-edge science and technology.
As part of the celebrations a number of museums were renovated and special exhibitions put on. The Tan Kah-Kee Memorial Hall, the Luxun Memorial Hall, the Museum of Xiamen University History, the Campus Planning and Construction Exhibition Hall and the Xiamen University Gift Shop for Exchanges and Co-operation were re-opened following extensive renovations; an exhibition of Xiamen University´s scientific research achievements and an exhibition of paintings and calligraphy in Xiamen University´s possession illustrated the University´s history and development; the 5th edition of the "Nanqiang Collections" and a number of other books were published to celebrate the anniversary.
Throughout its 90 years of glorious history, Xiamen University has been inspired by the patriotism of Tan Kah-Kee to contribute significantly to the rejuvenation and prosperity of the nation.
As President Zhu Chongshi pointed out in his speech, Xiamen University owes its foundation to Tan Kah-Kee´s great ideal - of saving the nation through education. For 90 years, the University has adhered to its motto, "Pursue Excellence, Strive for Perfection", and thereby has accumulated rich experience in providing its educational programmes marked with distinctive features. It is now one of China´s top-level universities listed under the ´211´ and ´985´ construction projects.
To date, Xiamen University has produced more than 200,000 graduates and postgraduates for the nation, and more than 60 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences or the Chinese Academy of Engineering have studied or worked at Xiamen University. These include Lin Wenqing, Sa Bendong, Wang Yanan, Guo Dali, Lu Xun, Lin Yutang, Fu Ying, and Gu Jiegang.
Xiamen University has a graduate school and 25 schools or colleges with 64 departments, and 10 research institutes and centres. It offers 26 PhD courses and 40 Master degree courses in first -class disciplines. In all it runs 82 undergraduate programmes, 279 graduate programs, and 185 PhD programs. 14 subjects have been accredited as "National Key Disciplines". In addition, the University runs 15 post-doctoral research centres, 9 "National Educational Centres for Talents", and courses in 5 first-class and 9 second-class national key disciplines.
Xiamen University has a high level team of academic staff, including 2,475 full-time teachers and professional researchers, including 1,522 Professors and Associate Professors. 22 members of staff are Academicians of the China Academy of Sciences or China Academy of Engineering; 10 are on the State Council´s Academic Degree Appraisal Committee; 16 come under the national " Thousand of Overseas Top Talents Scheme"; and 14 are on the list of the "One-hundred plus One-thousand plus Ten-thousand Talent Project". 91 members of staff have taken part in the Ministry of Education´s training programme for "Leading Figures for the New Century" and 32 have received a State "National Outstanding Young Scientist Grant". 15 hold prestigious "Yangtze Scholar" professorships special and 13 are Lecture-Professors, 6 are have received the "National Tertiary level Teacher" award, 5 are members of the "National Innovation Research Team" and 5 of the "Education Ministry Innovation Group" .
The university has a current total enrolment of over 38,000 full-time students on campus, including 20,575 undergraduates, 15,590 Master´s students, 2,567 doctoral students, and over 2500 international students. In 2005, Xiamen University received a straight-A score in the undergraduate level Teaching Appraisal run by the Ministry of Education.
Xiamen University has set up over 150 research institutes, including 2 State Key Laboratories, 1 State Engineering Research Centre, 5 Education Ministry Key Laboratories, and 5 state key research bases in the humanities and social sciences. Over the last 5 years, 16 papers have been published in such top international academic journals as Science, Nature, and The Lancet, and 2 research findings have won Second Class National Natural Science Awards. Xiamen University has great potential in research into the humanites and social sciences; Taiwan studies, Southeast Asian studies, economics, and accounting are ranked at the highest level among China´s universities.
Xiamen University currently has cooperative relations with 32 of the global top 200 universities, including 14 of the global top 100 universities. It was a founder member of the G8 consortium of universities for multi-lateral educational co-operation in 2004. It is one of the universities under the European Erasmus Mundus External Co-operation Window programme. The University vigorously promotes the campaign for teaching Chinese as a foreign language and has co-established 13 Confucius Institutes with universities in North America, Europe and Africa. Because of its especially favourable geographical location and advantageous human resources, it is the key university most actively engaged in cross-Strait educational, scientific and cultural exchanges.
The flame trees on the Xiamen University campus are a notable feature, and every June, they burst into a riot of blossom as if they wish to express their best wishes to all those graduating, and again every September, they flame again to welcome new students to the University. In addition to the excellent academic staff, Xiamen University provides its students with first-class facilities, including libraries, the campus network and fully equipped laboratories. Furthermore, with its back-drop of hills and its face to the sea, Xiamen University students are able to enjoy both beautiful scenery and a delightful climate.
Over the last 90 years, graduates from Xiamen University have contributed enormously to the the liberation of the nation and its prosperity, to the development of society, and to the progress of science and technology. Many of their names have gone down in history. As we looking back at these eventful and difficult 90 years, we can say proudly that Xiamen University has shared the joys and sorrows of our nation and its people, has always been in the vanguard in the great cause of national revival, and has lived up to the expectations of society.
In his speech at the anniversary ceremony, President Zhu Chongshi said that Xiamen University took its motto of "Pursue excellence, strive for perfection" as a mandate, and patriotism, social transformation, self-reliance and the scientific spirit as an injunction; that it should manifest its unswerving dedication to the emancipation and wealth of the nation, to the re-invigoration and prosperity of the people. He said he believed that 90 years hence, he hoped forever, Xiamen University would continue to keep alive this philosophy and spirit, to display unceasingly its dedication to modernising the nation and invigorating the people.
The world today is undergoing major changes, reforms and adjustments, and China is playing an ever more important role in these developments. At this new starting-point in history, Xiamen University and its members are taking up their responsibilities towards the prosperity of China and of the world and making great strides towards achieving the aimed-for development.
Xiamen University Chairman Zhu Zhiwen said, "By adhering to its motto ´Pursue excellence, strive for perfection´, Xiamen University is now progressing, from this new milestone, towards its goal of ´building a high-level research university well-known both at home and abroad´. In this era of globalisation, Xiamen University will go out to the world with an open mind, solid foundation and influential research achievements."
When we open the book of history and dust off the past, we see generations of people of Xiamen University who have handed down our great inheritance and glory, the Xiamen University spirits of patriotism, social transformation, self-reliance and scientific outlook. The people of Xiamen University are shouldering their historical responsibility and visualising a better future, and keeping step with China´s drive for modernisation.
Our 90 years of glorious history is the past; the future of Xiamen University is even brighter.
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