2017 graduates reflect on their time at XJTLU


Graduates have been celebrating with their parents and supporters and reflecting on their time spent at the University.

Over 2,000 undergraduates, 196 postgraduates, and five doctoral students received their degree certificates at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University this week.

Ping Lu (pictured above, left) from the Department of Civil Engineering, said: "The library and other facilities at XJTLU are very good, and the quiet environment and academic atmosphere really enabled me to devote myself to study, and to enjoy it."

Having graduated, Ping plans to go to the University of Melbourne, Australia, to pursue a masters degree in civil engineering and to follow XJTLU Executive President Youmin Xi’s advice to strive to become a ‘global player’.

Ruba Kellow (pictured above) from Syria graduated from the MRes Advanced Chemical Sciences programme and has already began working on a PhD in pharmacology at XJTLU:

“I’m continuing to work with the same supervisor – Magdalini Matziari. To say that I’m grateful to her is really an understatement. She really helped me a lot. My undergraduate degree was in pharmacy, and she helped me to adapt to studying chemistry at a high level.”

Zach Stueven (pictured above, centre) from Wisconsin in the U.S. also completed a masters degree with the Department of Chemistry at XJTLU. He shared his reflections and plans for the future:

“I’m going to write up the work that I was doing as part of my masters degree – on anti-parasitic drug development - for publication. After that, I plan to look for a job. I’ve really enjoyed my time here, and I’m grateful to my supervisor Professor Rudi Marquez for his support.”

Zach’s father (pictured above, left) said: “It was a really great opportunity for my son to gain some international experience by studying at XJTLU.”

Architecture graduate Peng Yu (picture above, right) wants to go to University College London to study for a masters degree. She said XJTLU’s rigorous academic atmosphere and free learning environment helped her to enjoy learning.

Peng chose the 2+2 study route, completing the final two years of her undergraduate degree at the University of Liverpool, UK, and returned to XJTLU to attend the graduation ceremony. She said:

"For me, XJTLU feels like home. I feel a sense of belonging coming back here, and I’m over the moon about graduating. The academic staff here are unreserved and impart their knowledge freely and they feel more like family members than teachers”.

She added that she is full of confidence and hope for the future development of XJTLU.

Peng’s mother (pictured above, left) helped her daughter to choose XJTLU four years ago. She was impressed by the facilities and the strong academic staff, and felt the University could follow the pace of China’s economic development giving Peng a good platform to improve her English and expand her outlook to an international scale.

Fan Bu (pictured above, centre) completed a PhD with the Department of Biological Sciences at XJTLU, receiving a prestigious travel grant to present his research at a forum in Glasgow, Scotland, last year.

“As a researcher at XJTLU, you have a lot of opportunities to communicate with researchers at universities in other countries and to attend international conferences,” said Fan. “It’s an English-speaking environment, so we can polish our English language skills which helps a lot with international collaborations.

Most importantly the professors here, including my supervisor Dr Minyan Wang, are familiar with universities and education systems in other countries and know how to train PhD students to conform to those systems, which has been extremely helpful to my future career,” he added.

Fan will take up a position as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Texas, U.S.

His mother (pictured above, right) commented that XJTLU was an excellent choice for her son as the ‘educational concepts here are very advanced’. She said that Minyan Wang has been an excellent mentor to Fan and has really helped him to improve his academic level.

“As a normal Chinese student, your personal contact with the world is limited and the opportunities to go abroad are few,” she said. “But at XJTLU, students can receive the influence and the thinking of internationalisation, and I think the combination of Chinese traditional culture and education and Western education is very good. I’m very optimistic about the future development of the University,” she added.

(photo by Weiqian Zhang, writer: Danny Abbasi, Shuqi Li, editor: Jacqueline Bánki)