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Tsinghua SEM holds opening ceremony for the Class of 2027 undergrads


The undergraduate students of the Class of 2027 attend the opening ceremony and orientation at Tsinghua SEM.

The School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University (Tsinghua SEM) held the opening ceremony and orientation for Class of 2027 undergraduate students on the afternoon of August 24, 2023. The event was attended by BAI Chong-En, dean of the school, HE Ping, vice dean, GAO Feng, deputy secretary of the SEM's Party Committee, ZHANG Chen, assistant dean, and undergraduate program coordinators MA Hong, SHEN Tao, GUO Xunhua. Additionally, undergraduate head teachers QI Liangshu, LIU Chenyuan, FENG Yingjie, LUO Mei, SUN Jing, faculty representative LIN Zhijie, personnel for teaching and student affairs, and more than 200 undergraduate freshmen were present. The ceremony was presided over by ZHU Yujie, director of the school's Academic Affairs Office.

BAI Chong-En delivered a speech titled "Being Trailblazers in Times of Change" and said he hoped the students to recognize the immense changes and challenges faced by both China and the world. BAI encouraged them to grasp the concept that "heroes emerge and opportunities arise in times of change" and urged them to become leaders and pioneers of the new era.

BAI Chong-En, dean of Tsinghua SEM, speaks at the opening ceremony.

BAI Chong-En said the world is experiencing unprecedented changes and challenges, both economically and on a personal level. He discussed phenomena and international issues such as geopolitical decoupling, the impact on employment and society of risk reduction and reduced globalization, inflation post-COVID-19 pandemic, and decreased foreign demand due to the restructuring of supply chains and international investments. These global changes have brought forth new requirements for China, which is in a new stage of economic development. The global trends in digital intelligence and green transformation have also transformed the job landscape, requiring higher governance and regulatory capabilities for sectoral transformation and diverse development goals. These structural changes require further contemplation, he said.

There will be many changes and uncertainties in the future. Against this backdrop, BAI Chong-En asked students to consider their future choices: How should we respond to the current and future changes and challenges?

BAI Chong-En emphasized the primary objective is to contribute to the progress of human civilization and fulfill the "four developments": high-quality development, development that aligns with nature, coordinated development, and secure development. BAI encouraged Tsinghua SEM students to apply their knowledge to aid development through innovation and improved efficiency. He emphasized the importance of prioritizing people, creating more equitable opportunities to promote shared prosperity, and enhancing people's ability to participate in development.

BAI Chong-En underscored the school's objective of nurturing talent, aiming to mold each student into a well-rounded, modern, and cultured individual. He outlined several expectations for the students, hoping that they would embrace new ideas driven by the new development philosophy and acquire the necessary skills for the changing era. BAI also stressed the importance of defining personal and the school's goals in this new era. As 2024 marks the 40th anniversary of Tsinghua SEM, he discussed the role the school aspires to fulfill. BAI stated that the school should serve as a crucial multidimensional bridge, connecting various aspects such as theory and practice, technology and business, arts and science, as well as China and the world.

Lastly, BAI Chong-En said in times of such changes, becoming a trailblazer may not be a straightforward path. It involves contemplating how we assess our gains and what standards we use to define success. When entering new domains, financial returns may not materialize quickly. Nevertheless, the dedication we put into the creative process should be considered our own rewards. BAI consistently stressed the idea of "finding a silver lining in every cloud." He urged students to have the courage to venture into new fields, uphold their integrity, contribute to the society that nurtured them, and maintain unwavering optimism.

Dean BAI then presented the copies of ZHU Rongji on the Record to the representatives of the undergraduate freshmen of the Class of 2027 on behalf of the school.

BAI Chong-En presents copies of ZHU Rongji On the Record to the new undergraduates.

LIN Zhijie, representing the Department of Management Science and Engineering, spoke on behalf of the faculty. He shared stories of innovation and breakthroughs from Apple Inc, inspiring students to embrace an innovative mindset, hone their decision-making abilities, and cultivate teamwork skills. He urged students to maintain humility in learning and to keep an open mind throughout their academic journey, cherishing the educational opportunities at Tsinghua University. LIN advised them to expand their perspective, strive for higher horizons, and make outstanding contributions to societal development and progress.

LIN Zhijie speaks at the opening ceremony.

SEM Student Union president HE Yuqiao, a representative of the senior students, delivered a speech in which he reflected on his three years at the university and shared his experiences and insights as an upperclassman. He encouraged fellow students to maintain self-awareness and consistent efforts, and to find their own place within the school's diverse groups. HE suggested individuals should choose a direction with reasonable evaluation criteria that are aligned with their personal interests and pursuits. He emphasized the value of the process itself rather than solely focusing on comparing achievements with peers. He also emphasized the importance of curiosity and the courage to step out of one's comfort zone. He referenced the concept of "opportunity cost" from "Principles of Economics," and he encouraged students to explore various fields during their early years when the opportunity cost is relatively low. This approach will allow them to gain a broader understanding and facilitate their eventual choice of a field for deeper exploration of their interests.

Representing the Class of 2027 freshmen, LONG Zizheng used witty language to narrate his initial experience with Tsinghua University. He reflected on the enriching and passionate experience of participating in the backbone training camp, emphasized the warmth of the community and the spirit of perseverance he felt . LONG expressed his willingness to follow in the footsteps of previous generations of Tsinghua alumni who dedicated themselves to national development and China's economic prosperity. He said that, by the end of his journey, he expects to have no regrets about dedicating his youth and effort to serve the nation and its people.

SEM Student Union president HE Yuqiao (left) and LONG Zizheng (right), a Class of 2027 undergraduate, speak at the opening ceremony.

During the orientation session, HE Ping introduced the undergraduate education philosophy and program to new students. HE shared Steve Jobs' ideas about connecting the dots and following one's heart, and encouraged students to deeply reflect on their true thoughts, find their genuine desires, and then plan their own lives accordingly. HE said Tsinghua SEM offers a comprehensive curriculum system and nurtures a positive academic atmosphere. He urged students to think critically and express their ideas about the educational program. Finally, HE Ping expressed the hope that students would treasure their time in the university, value the learning process, strive for progress, and avoid becoming overly fixated on immediate outcomes.

HE Ping speaks at the opening ceremony.

ZHANG Chen presented the school's general education program and outlined its fundamental principles. ZHANG said the essence of general education lies in how and why to learn, with the ultimate aim of fostering personal growth. The school offers five core competency modules: Cognizing Civilization; Exploring Society; Debating, Communicating and Leading; Scientific Thinking; and Aesthetics and Creativity. Each module has specific learning objectives geared toward adult development, giving students a wide array of choices. ZHANG expressed the hope that students would always keep the goal of "developing as well-rounded individuals" and actively choose challenging general education courses. Students were encouraged to approach their studies with dedication, never underestimating their significance, and avoiding complacency or laziness. ZHANG also urged students to take control of their learning journey and embrace personal challenges.

GAO Feng outlined the requirements for new students. He emphasized the importance of complying with laws and regulations and mentioned the need to adhere to the student code of conduct. Then he encouraged students to excel in their studies. Finally, he stressed the significance of following university rules and maintaining discipline. GAO provided examples to make students aware of the consequences of violating regulations and rules. He highlighted the prohibition of academic misconduct, stressed the importance of daily safety measures, and raised awareness about preventing telecommunications fraud. He said he hoped students would maintain strong ethical standards and enjoy a pleasant university experience.

ZHANG Chen (left) and GAO Feng (right) speak at the opening ceremoy.

Later, KONG Yichun, head of the Party Committee Student Working Group, SUN Wei, director of the International Office, and GU Yingjie, director of the Career Development Center, introduced important information about school rules and discipline, student affairs and activities, opportunities for international exchange and external communication, and student career guidance.

After the opening ceremony and orientation, Tsinghua SEM's undergraduate freshmen will undergo three weeks of training and study so they can dedicate their full efforts in the upcoming semester.