SUZHOU, China, July 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly 2000 new graduates celebrated their academic success with Suzhou's landmark Gate of the Orient building lighting up in their honour during the 2018 Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) graduation ceremonies this week.
XJTLU is the first university in China to send a message of congratulations to its graduates on the iconic building, which is the highest in Suzhou, standing at more than 300 metres tall.
More than 80 percent of the graduates plan to go onto postgraduate programmes at the world's top 100 universities, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018-2019, including Oxford, Cambridge and Harvard.
Professor Youmin Xi, executive president of XJTLU, congratulated the graduating class, telling students that regardless of their future plans, their education at XJTLU was the first major step in their exploration of the world. He encouraged the new graduates to continue to develop a complex mindset in order to thrive in uncertain, ambiguous, complex, and changeable environments. "A 'mindset' refers to our deep-rooted assumptions, images, and stories about ourselves, others, institutions and our surroundings," Professor Xi said. "Our mindsets have a major impact on our behaviour, the way we look at things and our ways of thinking. We must always be expanding and improving our mindsets."
Architecture graduate Yifei Huang, who also spoke at the graduation ceremony, said that while students graduate with new skills and knowledge, they also leave with important stories and experiences. "Four years ago, when we stepped into this university, we were told that we are now young adults," Yeifei said. "A new page in the stories of our life has been turned in front of us since that time, and now, as the time comes to turn this page over, we have a chance to look back. Through our experiences at the university, we are not simply planners, architects, designers, or engineers; we are story tellers."
Professor Wenquan Tao, president of XJTLU, and Professor Gavin Brown, pro-vice-chancellor for education at the University of Liverpool, also addressed the graduates and their families.
The XJTLU graduations will run from Monday July 30 to Wednesday August 1 with the Gate of the Orient building lighting up for XJTLU graduates at 19:30 each night.
XJTLU is the largest international collaborative university in China, a partnership between Xi'an Jiaotong University and the University of Liverpool.