On the evening of July 2nd, the University Immersion Program 2017 was kicked off at the gymnasium of Jiang’an Campus, Sichuan University. Over 200 professors and nearly 500 students from over 120 world-class universities, including the University of Oxford, Harvard University, Columbia University (New York), Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Queen Mary of the University of London, London School of Economics and Political Science, National University of Singapore, and University of Tsukuba from 27 countries or regions, together with the faculty and students of Sichuan University, witnessed this exciting moment. Wang Jianguo, Board Chairman of SCU, President Xie Heping, and all other university leaders as well as heads of relevant departments attended the opening ceremony. Vice President Yan Shijing hosted the ceremony.
President Xie Heping delivered a speech on SCU’s behalf. Firstly, he extended warm welcome to the teachers and students from all over the world. In 2016, SCU explicitly put forward a goal of building itself into a world-class university; the “University Immersion Program” is a major carrier for SCU to carry out high-end internationalized education and cultivate talents with international competitiveness, he said. Since 2012, this program has been held for five consecutive years, during which over 500 foreign experts from world top universities, like Harvard University and University of Oxford, have been invited to offer nearly 700 English-based courses, and more than 1600 international students have made special exchanges in SCU. In this way, SCU students had opportunities to access the classes taught by world-renowned scholars, and also exchange with the students from world-class universities. He specially pointed out that, this year will witness further enhancement of the “University Immersion Program”, which has gathered over 200 celebrated scholars and about 500 students from more than 120 world famous universities to explore frontier academic issues, enlighten innovative thinking, and share experience of study and life, together with the faculty and students of SCU.
Simon Gaskell, President of Queen Mary of the University of London, was the first international representative to address the ceremony. He remarked that, SCU’s “University Immersion Program” (UIP) has strengthened international understanding and exchanges among universities and students, facilitated cross-disciplinary integration, and erased the dividing lines of teaching and research, thus it can be deemed as a journey of self-discovery for these teachers and students.
Scott Alan Snyder, Professor of the University of Chicago, U.S., made a speech as a teacher representative of foreign institutions. He said that it is a great pleasure to visit SCU and Chengdu, hoping that in the next two weeks, all participants could get to know each other, help each other appreciate cultures of different countries and regions, improve their global awareness and promote trans-cultural communications.
Michael Frommel, Professor of Universiteit Gent, Belgium, noted that, under the backdrop of internationalization, SCU’s UIP program makes it possible for the participating teachers and students to communicate with the professors from around the world without traveling around the globe, hence all teachers and students should seize this opportunity to learn about each other through exchanges.
Teresa Chahine, representative of young teachers of Harvard University, stressed in her speech that, SCU has made fruitful achievements in innovation entrepreneurship & education-oriented education; its entire campus is immersed in the atmosphere of innovation and entrepreneurship. The UIP is conducive to broadening students' horizons and stimulating their innovative thinking, she added.
Perry Arrasmith, representative of international students and Harvard University students, said that the visit of a growing number of students from Harvard University and other global universities to SCU is bound to promote cultural exchanges between China and other countries, intensify exchanges between young people of various nations, and deepen mutual understanding and mutual trust.
Chen Yuqing, student representative of Wu Yuzhang Honors College of SCU, expressed a warm welcome on behalf of SCU students to the teachers and students from all around the world, looking forward to exchanging ideas and sparking inspiration with the guests in the next two weeks.
Later on, Wang Jianguo, on behalf of SCU, presented Gopalan Jayant Raja, a student from Harvard University, and Dan Ya, a student of Wu Yuzhang Honors College, with the flag of UIP 2017 and the flag of SCU, and announced the official launching of “UIP 2017”.
A Grand Party:
Following conclusion of the opening ceremony, “Face-changing”, a Sichuan opera with strong local cultural appeal, unveiled a feast of art show of Chinese and foreign teachers and students. “Free Style”, jointly performed by Chinese and foreign students, fully conveyed the theme of blending Chinese and foreign cultures together. Male solo “Swan Goose” demonstrated the broadness and profoundness of Chinese culture. The party reached its climax when“A Whole New World”, sung by students of Harvard University, the “Glory” and “Grateful Heart” by the family of a teacher from the University of Notre Dame were staged. Tibetan Dance “Zhuo Mo” exhibited the colorful culture of the Chinese nation, while the song, “Welcome to Sichuan University”, voiced the heartfelt welcome to foreign guests. The art show full of brilliant performances spreadyouthful breath, songs and laughter to every corner of Jiang'an Stadium.
A Feast of Knowledge and Culture:
In the next 2 weeks, more than 200 professors and experts from over 120 world-class universities in 27 countries and regions, including USA, UK and France, will offer 250 English-based courses and several academic lectures for students and teachers of SCU. This program covers multi-disciplines in liberal arts, science, engineering and medicine, making available to the latest academic information that can satisfy diverse demands of students through colorful courses. At the same time, SCU will also launch a series of international exchange camps, consisting of 32 themed activities organized by 30 colleges and departments of the university. In this feast, nearly 500 international students will share knowledge and culture with SCU studentsin an interactive manner.