A New Beginning – UCAS School of Physical Sciences Opening Ceremony 2012

The 2012 – 2013 session of the UCAS School of Physical Sciences has officially commenced with an opening ceremony held on September 3rd, chaired by the Executive Dean, Prof. Ni Mingjiu. Speeches were given by some of the top UCAS leadership, including Prof. Su Gang (UCAS Vice-Principal), Prof. Chen Jia’er (School of Physical Sciences Dean and CAS Member), Prof. Gao Hongjun (Chair of the Physics Degree Committee, Vice-Director of the Institute of Physics and CAS Member) and Prof. Qiao Congfeng (Head of UCAS Research Division). Also in attendance were Ms. Xia Yun (School of Physical Sciences Party Secretary), Prof. Zheng Yangheng (Vice-Dean), and representatives from the School teaching body.

Prof. Ni, on behalf of the School of Physical Sciences, warmly welcomed the new students, and gave them a short introduction to the School. Students from each of the CAS Institutes represented were asked to stand and give a greeting, to warm applause. Finally, Prof. Ni encouraged the students to persevere in studying hard, to gain good grades.

Prof. Su Gang, in his speech, outlined the history, development and achievements of GUCAS, as well as explaining the reasons for the change of name to UCAS. He then explained the University’s procedures for student recruitment, training, curriculum design and so on. Finally, Prof. Su expressed his three hopes for the new students: first, that they would study hard, improving their creativity and problem-solving ability; second, that they would develop a balanced lifestyle, leaving time for exercise and activities conducive to physical and mental health; third, that they would develop a spirit of collaboration with others. He encouraged the students not to waste too much time on online entertainment, but rather to make the most of their youth, studying diligently to make a greater contribution to society.


The platform was then given to Prof. Chen Jia’er (CAS Member), who pointed out the differences between undergraduate and postgraduate study. He encouraged the new students to adjust quickly to their new life; to study hard, collaborate with others, take care of their health, overcome obstacles, achieve their degrees and repay the country for the opportunity given them. Prof. Chen told two stories from his own experiences, illustrating that a country’s strength depends on its science and technology and exhorting scientists to love their country and people. In his first illustration, Prof. Chen described how he grew up in Japanese-occupied territory, and saw his father suffer persecution for resisting the occupation. In his second example, he told of how, while he was studying in the UK, China detonated its first atomic bomb, and he felt people’s attitude towards him turn from sympathy to respect. Finally, Prof. Chen again exhorted the students to dedicate themselves to the service of their country, establish a correct worldview and value system, leading to healthy bodies, healthy families and productive work.

Prof. Gao Hongjun, recently returned from Europe, then spoke. He also discussed how in the recent decades since the founding of the People’s Republic, science and technology in China has developed greatly. Although there is still some discrepancy between China and more developed nations, the new generation of young scientists should rise to the challenge and work on closing this gap. At the same time, there is an unprecedented amount of government investment in science and technology, making this the best time in China’s history for scientific development, so today’s young scientists should make the most of this opportunity.

Prof. Qiao Congfeng then gave a humorous and witty speech, giving students two pieces of advice: one, to learn how to behave as an upright person; and two, to learn how to deal with things. To behave well, one must learn to co-operate; to deal with things, one must learn how to practice devotedly. He then added a word from Mao Zedong’s advice to young students: “The world is yours. It’s also ours, but in the final analysis, it’s still yours.”

On behalf of the new students, student representative Wei Yaochi then spoke, saying how much they looked forward to life at UCAS, embodying their determination to work hard and courageously in their future research.

Ms. Xia Yun (School of Physical Sciences Party Secretary) then introduced each of the class teachers and subject teachers present at the meeting. She gave the new students her heartfelt welcome and congratulations, and also asked student members of the Party to set an example to others in their study, work and lifestyle.

Details of the procedure for choosing classes was then given by Ms. Hu Jinxu, Teaching Secretary, and Mr Yang Meng gave an explanation of matters related to student management.

Over 660 new students from CAS and other participating institutes attended the opening ceremony and listened attentively to the speeches. Afterwards, many students expressed how much they value the opportunity to study at UCAS, facing this new challenge full of an upbeat, positive attitude.