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Lin Jianhua: Rethinking Graduate Education at Peking University

OCT . 10 2016
Peking University Oct. 10, 2016: Sep. 30 saw the 500th session of “Xingda Scientific Report,” during which Lin Jianhua, president of Peking University, gave a speech about “Rethinkfing Graduate Education at Peking University.”Professor Yang Xuqing, alumnus of PKU, along with nearly 400 students and teachers attended the lecture.


The lecture
At the beginning of the lecture, Professor Wu kai, host of this event, introduced the history of “Xingda Scientific Report.” He mentioned that it was of special significance to have President Lin as a guest speaker again, since it was he who lectured at the 1st session of “Xingda Scientific Report.” Wu also expressed his gratitude to Academician Yan Chunhua for hosting every lecture of “Xingda Scientific Report” over the past 20 years.
During the lecture, President Lin said that graduate education was a crucial part in a research-oriented University, for it represents the academic level and management quality of a university. Therefore, improving the quality of graduate education is vital for the comprehensive reform at PKU.

President Lin Jianhua lecturing at the 500th “Xingda Scientific Report”
Lin then emphasized that university is like an ecosystem. On one hand, its fundamental mission is to cultivate more talents and produce new knowledge; on the other hand, it should be responsible for social service and culture promotion. The former mission should be backed up by the university’s core resources, while the latter needs vast resources from the society.
Lin looked back on the history of graduate education, from the forming of Sorbonne in the early 13th century, the establishment of Universität zu Berlin in the early 19th century, to the development of Johns Hopkins University in the late 19th century. Lin also combed through the history of graduate education at Peking University since it enrolled the first student in 1917.
He also pointed out that it was of great significance to cultivate excellent graduate students and reform graduate education from three aspects: teachers’ international competitiveness, choice of research topics and reasonable funding system. He added that Peking University would adopt more flexible educational and administrative systems in the future, for example, encouraging interdisciplinary cooperation, or allowing students to do gap years.
At the end of his speech, Lin answered some questions regarding some popular issues, such as Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School, science and technology, academic foreland, curriculum system, research funds, college life and so on.
After the lecture, Professor Yang Xuqing donated 50,000 RMB to “Xingda Scientific Report.”

Professor Yang Xuqing looking back the history of “ Xingda Scientific Report”
Written by: Li Xiaotong
Edited by: Xu Penghang