The inaugural ceremony of SDU-ANU Joint Science College (JSC) was successfully held at Shandong University, Weihai (SDUW) on Nov. 30, 2019. President Fan Liming of Shandong University (SDU), Deputy Party Secretary of CPC Weihai Municipal Committee and Mayor of Weihai Zhang Haibo, and Provost Mike Calford of Australian National University, attended the ceremony and delivered their speeches respectively. Ms. Brooke Hartigan, Australian Minister-Counsellor Education and Research, sent her message of congratulation via video.
The ceremony was hosted by Vice President Liu Jianya of SDU and President of SDUW. Kiaran Kirk, Dean of ANU College of Science, President Roger Li of Australian Education Management Group (AEMG), Director General Wang Jing of AEMG, Yin Zuosheng, SDUW’s Party Chief, Sang Xiaomin, Member of Standing Committee of SDU’s Party Committee and Director of Office of Publicity of SDU, and Assistant President Jia Lei of SDU were present at the ceremony.
Fan Liming stated in her speech that SDU had actively served the overall situation of China’s opening-up to the outside world in recent years and strived to pool world-class experts, cultivate world-class talents and produce world-class research achievements so as to promote the university’s historic transformation “from large (in scale) to strong (in academic competitiveness)” with higher education internalization as a key move and breakthrough. She emphasized that Australian National University was a world-class university with high reputation. The establishment of SDU-ANU JSC, a milestone event in Shandong University’s advancement of joint degree programs with top global partners, was a major achievement of renewed long-standing friendship and deepened pragmatic cooperation between the two universities, as well as an active response to the call of taking up missions and meeting the demands of the times. She also said that SDU would give full play to the positive role of JSC, explore the SDU mode of high-quality development of joint-ventures, and make SDU’s way to cultivating top-notch innovative international talents. She called for concerted efforts from both sides to create a new height of innovative talent cultivation, top-level faculty exchange and joint scientific research to actively promote the people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, set a good example for international cooperation in higher education, and make positive contributions to embracing exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations and building a global community of shared future.
Zhang Haibo conveyed his congratulations to the establishment of JSC. He said that JSC, jointly built by SDU and ANU and settling down in Weihai indicated win-win cooperation between the two prestigious universities to take advantage of each other’s strengths. It represented a useful effort of Shandong University’s exploration into strengthening international cooperative education as well as a major achievement of cooperation between and co-building by the university and the local government. He expressed his hope that JSC would make full use of the advantages and resources of both universities in academic and scientific research and provide strong intellectual support for the urban internationalization of Weihai and inexhaustible source of power for the construction of fine Weihai. He stressed that the municipal government would follow the past and herald the future by continuing to join hands with SDU to build a community of shared future for the development of the city and the university. The government would provide more effective support for SDU in Weihai to grow in strength and contribute to SDU’s realization of its centenary goal of “taking root in China and building the university into a world-class one with Chinese characteristics” while building in synchronization the city into “Fine City, Happy Weihai”.
Mike Calford said that ANU and SDU had achieved fruitful results through years of sincere cooperation. The establishment of JSC symbolized a big step forward for both sides on the path of cooperation. ANU would work hand in hand with SDU to develop JSC by every means and impel the college in its high-quality teaching and research. He held great expectations of the first cohort of students starting in September 2019 encouraging them to seek nourishment from the distinguished scholars of both SDU and ANU to improve themselves so as to make their contributions to the social development with their knowledge and skills learned in JSC.
Brooke Hartigan stated in her congratulatory video that the educational cooperation between China and Australia played an important role in bringing the two sides closer. She hoped that SDU and ANU would take the establishment of JSC as a good opportunity to further deepen the educational collaboration and keep developing new teaching methods of high quality to improve the learning experience. Through cooperation the two universities would increase their scientific and research capabilities, strengthen the commercialization of scientific and technological achievements and accelerate innovation in science and technology.
Li Xinqing reviewed the work done by each side for the establishment of JSC and expressed his hope that JSC students would be not only participants and practitioners in the Chinese-Australian cooperative education, but also goodwill messengers of cultural and educational exchanges between the two countries. Prof. Paul Francis, Professor of the Research School of Physics of ANU, shared his teaching experience at JSC and praised the students for being “keen and enthusiastic, curious and creative, wonderful and crazy, as well as a diverse bunch of young people with great passion and understanding on science”. JSC student representative Wang Jiguan shared her learning experience at college and expressed her hope that she would start her exciting new life journey as one of the first class of students of JSC.
At the ceremony, the distinguished guests together unveiled the plaque of SDU-ANU Joint Science College. In the end, they watched a brilliant performance of folk music by the Symphony Orchestra of SDUW Art School.
The heads from ANU International Strategy & Partnerships, ANU College of Science, ANU College of Health and Medicine, Research School of Chemistry, Research School of Physics and Engineering, Research School of Biology, AEMG, the concerned divisions of the Foreign Affairs Office of Weihai Municipal Government, the concerned departments and schools of SDU and SDUW, the whole leadership team of SDUW, and JSC faculty and student representatives attended the ceremony.