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President Zhou Qifeng's address on "Peking University Day at NTU"

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Peking University, May 12, 2011: Peking University President Zhou Qifeng gave an address on "PKU Day" at Taiwan University (NTU) on May 9, 2011. The theme was "Join hands towards excellence." Excerpts follow:




PKU and NTU, both as influential universities across the Taiwan strait, have many similarities in educational ideals. In President Lee Si-chen's lecture “Time-space Convergence between the Culturally-Diversified NTU and PKU” last year, he vividly described the historical origin of the two universities, and was warmly welcomed and admired by PKU faculty members and students. The reasons why the two can stride across the strait and join hands together today is because of the existing friendly exchange as a bond of affection, and the present common mission — face the challenge and march for the goal of world class university as basis in reality.


Since the centenary celebration in 1998, PKU has carried out its plans of becoming a world-class university. The strategy of development consists of several aspects: dealing well with the relation between Chinese characteristics and the world standard; handling well the relation between teaching and research, inheritance and creation, reform and stabilization; sticking to the development strategies of comparative advantage and quality first. With the support of state and society, PKU will finally become a world class university. Over the past years, PKU has made great achievements on the development of disciplines, teachers, social service and international exchange. Its comprehensive strength has improved a lot. According to the world university ranking 2010 published by American Essential Science Indicators (ESI) in the U.S. News & World Report , 16 disciplines of PKU have entered the top 1% in the world. At present, PKU has signed agreements of academic exchange with 12 Taiwan universities, six of which established regular student exchange program with PKU. There will be new agreements with more Taiwan universities during the visit of PKU delegation in Taiwan. PKU was the first university that accepted Taiwan students to study on the Chinese mainland in 1979. There are about 300 Taiwan students studying at PKU now, including 288 registered students and 12 exchange students. These students leave strong impressions on PKU with their fresh vigor and enthusiasm.



In the course of PKU’s development, NTU is considered as its important cooperation partner. Since the signing of academic exchange memorandum in the 1990s, PKU and NTU have always kept a good and close relationship of communication. I will talk about my several expectations for the future cooperation between them solely from the perspective of a university manager.


First of all, the present trend of cross-straits relationship is peace and development. I sincerely hope we can make the most of this opportunity and explore a way to establish a platform where academic cooperation and personnel exchange can be conducted freely. President Lee Si-chen and I have always been looking forward to such prospect: students and faculty at both PKU and NTU can work together free on both campuses and benefit from their close academic relationship. Since the “NTU Day” some departments of both universities have already initiated such a platform. Upon this visit, President Lee and I determine to expand the scale of intercollegiate exchange and sign a series of cooperation agreement aimed at deepening communication.


Secondly, I hope we can give full play to scientific research and personnel advantages and use these resources to serve the people and accelerate social progress. A university is not only a place for higher education, but also an important force in promoting and leading social reforms. Both PKU and NTU have the time-honored tradition of serving and making contributions to society. Faculty and students are earnest to regard social affairs as their own duty. Given the fact that PKU and NTU are both famous for their colorful campus activities, student organizations of both universities can work together to carry out activities which reflect greater sense of social responsibility. Today, we are going to sign a memo recoding our cooperation plans for social service. I expect students from both universities to participate in the practice of social service and learn from each other in this process.


Thirdly, I hope we can join hands to promote Chinese culture in the world. As the trend of economic globalization and world multi-polarization prevails, culture has emerged to be an important power in the world competition. Since the establishment of PKU, cultural inheritance and innovation has always been part of its historical missions. NTU’s world-renowned humanities and social sciences departments also have a long history. As essential bases for cultural inheritance and innovation, Chinese universities should undertake the historical responsibility of awakening Chinese people’s consciousness and confidence in traditional Chinese culture. To achieve this goal, universities from both sides of the Strait should actively play their role in passing down our cultural legacy.


Both PKU and NTU bear important missions and have always been deeply involved in the social development of China. Students from these two universities are the best of youths on both sides of the strait, demonstrating great curiosity for knowledge and extraordinary, liberal spirit. Both the mainland and Taiwan are experiencing a prosperous period, which is an invaluable opportunity for both PKU and NTU. In the meantime, we also confidently believe that the cooperation between these two universities will bring forth a new phase of development, which would contribute in facilitating further and more significant communication across the strait in the field of higher education.


Extended Reading:

Accross the Strait, libraries linked

PKU-Taiwan Business Networking Luncheon held in Taipei

PKU delegation visits Cheng Kung University

PKU, NTU expand student exchange program

PKU delegation banqueted in Taiwan

PKUers to Taiwan: A trip for academic, cultural exchange

NTU cooperating closely with PKU

Full text of President Zhou Qifeng's address



Written by: Cao Yixing and Yan Binghan

Edited by: Chen Miaojuan and Li Xiaomeng

Source: PKU News (Chinese)