Lin Jianhua, president of Peking University; Zhang Xiangchen, deputy China International Trade representative of the Ministry of Commerce; and Fang Jun, deputy director of the Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges of the Ministry of Education; Lin Yifu, economic professor and dean of the ISSCAD and honorary dean of the National School of Development of Peking University attended the event. Li Yansong, vice president of Peking University hosted the ceremony.
Lin Jianhua also gave a warm welcome to the students. Peking University has over a century’s history and is renowned for providing around 40,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students a multi-disciplinary environment to pursue knowledge, he said. Since China is a large country with massive population, Chinese culture covers a vast geographical region where varied customs and traditions coexist. Lin encouraged the students to learn more about China and Chinese culture, and to make friends with each other. He expected that what the students learn at Peking University should help themselves not only for their own careers, but more importantly for their nations’ development.
Zhang Xiangchen explained that one of ISSCAD’s primary goals is to provide an experience-sharing platform and to cultivate high caliber leaders for developing countries and to promote the 2030 sustainable development agenda. ISSCAD has designed a China immersion program to present the students with an overview of China’s political institutions and national governance, helping them understand China’s practices and path of national development. Students are expected to learn how to address issues and seek solutions during their studies, he added.
Ever since President Xi Jinping made the official announcement to the United Nations, the Institute has been granted a special meaning. On top of being a symbol of cooperation, the establishment of the Institute is also seen as a solid milestone in China's history of education. Fang Jun, deputy director of Department of International Cooperation and Exchange of the Ministry of Education remarked at the ceremony.
As the dean of ISSCAD, professor Lin Yifu expressed his hope that the day would mark a new path in the journey for prosperity around the world and that the 49 students would all devote themselves to the modernization and prosperity of their countries. He strongly believes that for developing countries, poverty is not a destiny and change is possible. When China started the transition from inward looking economy to market economy in 1979, it was extremely poor. Now China is a high-medium income country, with per capita GDP of about 7,960 USD in 2015. Lin is also confident that China will become a high-income country within five to ten years. ISSCAD will learn from the experiences of different countries and promote the understanding of different kinds of economic models. He hoped the students, during their studies in the program, will acquire insight, learn lessons, and help their countries achieve modernization and prosperity.
As the student representative, Willie Davison Ganda, a new Ph.D. candidate from Zimbabwe gave a speech at the event. He said, for the pioneering student beneficiaries, the opportunity to be part of the program is at the same time a great honor and immense responsibility. The weight of expectation from their respective countries and governments, the families and themselves is palpable, which will compel them to be great scholars during studies and continue to be great leaders in their own countries.
Willie Davison Ganda
After the opening ceremony, Fu Jun, professor and academic dean of ISSCAD chaired the new student orientation. He briefly talked about the program design and the logic behind the curricula and then introduced to the students the staff team.
Yang Zhuang, dean of BiMBA business school of NSD and professor of leadership management, presented the importance of the concepts of Duty, Honor and Leadership. He also elaborated on the characteristics ISSCAD students should possess.
Yao Yang, professor and executive dean of ISSCAD, dean of NSD, gave his welcome speech through a recorded video and presented his expectations and best wishes to the students.
It is a long and exciting day full of hopes and energetic spirits, for the beginning of the new academic year, as well as the start of the journey for the common dream.