2022 Tongji University New Year Message

January 01, 2022

Working together for a leading first-class university

Party Secretary FANG Shouen, President CHEN Jie

When spring returns, life starts for everything. We are about to bid farewell to the unusual year of 2021. On behalf of Tongji University, we would like to extend our holiday greetings and New Year blessings to our students and staff, including those who are retired, to our alumni both at home and abroad, and to all those who showed their concern for, supported, and helped Tongji University with its development.

The Year 2021 marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the University fully implemented the Party's educational policy and led the construction of the world-class universities with Chinese characteristics. We emphasized moral education in cultivating students, and promoted the new era Tongji culture of "helping the world, advocating science, leading innovation, and pursuing excellence". We started a new round of "double first-class" construction and made a good start in realizing the University’s "14th Five-Year Plan" to bring the development of a world-class university with Chinese characteristics to a new level.

The past year witnessed carefully planned activity series along with education of the Party's history in celebration of its centenary. The teachers and students took active parts in the celebration of the Party’s 100th anniversary, demonstrating our determination in "following the Party forever". We promoted and spirit when establishing the Party through reading and comprehending the essence of the important speech made on "July 1", the day when the Party was founded 100 years ago. Both students and staff realized further the power of the Party's thought, improved our understanding of the Party's theoretical innovation, and acted in response. Various ways were designed and practiced in our education of the Party's history with Tongji's characteristics, which were covered in over a hundred reports by mainstream media. We made great efforts to solve the problems which were "urgent, difficult and worrying" for teachers and students. We improved the development of "One Network for All Needs", and provided optimized services for teachers and students in their obtaining academic resources. Free wireless Internet access was made available in over 16,000 student dormitory rooms. At Jiading campus, the green and safe renovation project of the sidewalks was completed; the lighting of the student dormitories improved, and six student assistants to the university affairs were hired to work. Students and teachers felt secure and happy when more and more things were implemented to meet their needs. We had a better understanding of our political positions as a result of learning the Party's history and pushed forward the development of the University by creating better opportunities and opening favorable situations in writing a new chapter of the University. With a strong political responsibility, the University demonstrated its rectification results in the "second half" of the inspection and sped up the reform and development of the University.

In the past year, the University achieved outstanding results in building high-level teams by adhering to the "personnel management by the Party" and the "talents strategy of the University". The University put talents as the first priority in developing resources, insisting on “recognizing, appreciating, motivating, tolerating and gathering talents”, and emphsizing “attracting talents with platforms, motivating them with career development, keeping them with benefits, and touching them with true feelings”. A total of 68 people were added to the list of national high-level talents and 103 to the list of Shanghai high-level talents. Five professors: LI Jie, JIANG Changjun, ZHU Hehua, Otto Herzog, and Dimitri Beskos, became members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), inspiring more people at Tongji University in our pursuit for excellence in research. Professor LU Xilin was elected an International Fellow of the Engineering Academy of Japan, and Professor LI Fengting a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences. A number of international experts with Tongji University also won significant honors and prizes.

In the past year, the University made steady progress in educating people for the Party and the nation. We continued to make synchronous operations in implementing "enrollment by broad category, teaching administration by broad discipline", which had brought about positive results. The freshmen won nearly 200 national, provincial and ministerial awards. Six training bases of basic disciplines for top students were approved; national first-class undergraduate program development points increased to 41; the seventh edition of "Advanced Mathematics" won the Special Prize for National Excellent Textbooks; two Demonstration Center for Ideological and Political Teaching Research were authorized by the Ministry of Education, and four courses were selected as the Ideological and Political Demonstration Courses. The University initiated discussions of "ideological education" for the development of a high-quality education system. During the previous year, Tongji students participated in a range of competitions and won numerous prizes and trophies. Two student teams won two gold medals and the Best Software award for the first time in the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition; students won three golds, one silver, and three bronzes, a record high in the "Internet+" College Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition.

During the last year, the University adhered to the "four aspects" and comprehensively improved the quality of scientific and technological innovation. We strengthened basic research, promoted cross-disciplinary integration, developed scientific and technological power for the national strategy, and kept improving the original innovation ability and the ability to serve the nation's major strategies. Five scientific and technological achievements won the National Science and Technology Award 2020; six research projects headed by the University won the Ministry of Education Science and Technology Award, and 31 projects (persons) headed by the University won Shanghai Science and Technology Award 2020. We also won the National Educational Scientific Research Outstanding Achievement Awards for four teaching projects. We succeeded in our applications for a large number of major scientific research projects, among which breakthrough progress was made in the number of the major projects of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the number of major projects of the National Social Science Fund reached a record high. A large number of original and high-quality achievements were made, including the publication of nearly 100 high-level papers in top academic journals. Significant progress was made in the construction of scientific research bases, and a batch of basic science and cross-disciplinary research platforms were established. The University was approved to build another frontier science center of the Ministry of Education - the Independent Intelligent Unmanned System Frontier Science Center, and to set up seven key innovation bases in Shanghai, including three frontier scientific research bases and four collaborative innovation centers.

In the past year, the University composed a new chapter in its history by taking advantage of its knowledge spillover to serve the national strategy as well as the regional economic and social development. Tongji University consolidated its results of poverty alleviation and promoted rural revitalization. The authorization by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Education as one of the first batch of pilot units for the construction of specialized national technology transfer high education institutions (HEI) and by the local government agency as the Shanghai HEI Technology Transfer Center accelerated the transformation and application of our research results. We served the national strategy for the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta, leading the construction of the Yangtze River Delta Sustainable Development Research Institute, and initiating the formation of the "Yangtze River Delta Sustainable Development University Alliance". The University kept pace with the urban development of Shanghai. The construction of the Shanghai Independent Intelligent Unmanned System Science Center was well underway and the Shanghai New City Construction Research Center was established. We initiated the establishment of China (Shanghai) Digital City Research Institute and made the guideline for the digital transformation planning and construction of the five new cities in Shanghai. We served social governance, built the Shanghai Artificial Intelligence Social Governance Collaborative Innovation Center, and were successful in our application made in conjunction with Yangpu District, for the National Comprehensive Experiment Base for Intelligent Social Governance. Tongji's "circle of friends" kept expanding, and our cooperations extended to more provinces, cities, districts, and well-known enterprises.

In the past year, under the new normal of pandemic prevention and control, the University opened its education further to the outside world. We implemented the new international cooperation strategy of "focusing intensively, acting locally and thinking globally", improved our plan of international exchanges, and continued to strengthen the Sino-German cooperation by upgrading to Version 2.0 for the cooperation. In addition, we promoted interaction with "hardcore friends", and consolidated comprehensive strategic cooperation with our partner universities. We expanded our international exchange and cooperation network, joined the Association of Pacific Rim Universities and the World Alliance of Universities on Carbon Neutrality, and signed 53 inter-university cooperation agreements. We enhanced the capacity building for international communication and helped international students better understand China and told the world the true stories of China.

In the past year, we continued the development of the University culture to nourish the hearts of teachers and students with culture. We worked with the Shanghai Kunqu Opera Troupe to create the nation’s first student version of "The Palace of Longevity" for the excellent Chinese traditional culture to take root on campus. We created the original drama "Building Swords with Poems" by excavating the red gene in the history of the University, and reprinted "Tongji Heroes", thus inheriting the red blood and promoting the spirit of Tongji. Education embedded in culture made remarkable achievements, which gave rise to colorful culture-themed activities on campus. "Great Teachers" represented by the national moral model Professor Wang Pinxian, also a CAS member shone both in and outside the campus. Their names spread over the whole country, and their deeds showcased how to learn and how to teach, model roles for the whole nation to learn from.

Looking back on the past year, all Tongji people worked together to forge ahead with the Party and to greet the bright moments in the University's development. We feel proud of ourselves and inspired by the great cause of education and the mission of Tongji University to move forward with courage. Let us unite more closely around the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, live up to the people's expectations, and make all endeavors to submit "Tongji Responses" of high-quality development to welcome the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China!

Let us welcome the New Year together with hopes and longings! Let us wish our great homeland prosperity, and happiness, and well-being of our people across the country!

We wish all Tongji people a Happy New Year!