Induction lectures help students adapt to university life

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How to adapt rapidly to university life, transform from youth to young adults and then to global citizens are common questions for Year One Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University students who just entered university from high school.

To guide new students to address these questions three sessions of induction lectures were held, each attended by approximately 1,500 students, to introduce the educational philosophy of XJTLU, the value of university learning, the importance of active learning, and how to use various kinds of infrastructure and software around campus.

Professor Youmin Xi, executive president of XJTLU, delivered a speech entitled ‘Five-Star Education Model & Learning How to Learn’, in which he expressed his point of view that students can gain more from university apart from their degrees. The degrees can bring them employment opportunities with probationary periods, but whether they can stay in their jobs or not depends on their capacities.

“The most important thing in the coming four years is to improve your abilities,” he said.

XJTLU students, he said, need to constantly improve their professional qualities and cross-cultural leadership and become global players who are equipped with international competitiveness so that they can survive in a world full of changeability and uncertainty.

Professor Xi also emphasised the significance of learning how to learn, saying: “University learning is totally different from that in high school. Students need to change from a passive learner to an active learner and then to be a research-led learner. Meanwhile, you should find your learning interests and have a clear plan for your life.”

In addition, he suggested that new students communicate actively with international students and foreign staff in order to improve their English level, understand different accents of spoken English, and adapt to the complex and diverse environment.

Dr Minzhu Yang, vice president of XJTLU, then introduced several strict progress and assessment policies of XJTLU. “You need to work hard if you want to achieve success but to fail is very easy,” said Dr Yang.

He also pointed out several elements for becoming a successful student, including: fully understanding the unique features of XJTLU; treating oneself as an adult; being responsible for one’s own behaviour; realising the importance of learning and studying actively; setting personal goals; using the University’s resources effectively; and actively communicating with staff and classmates.

Professor Barry Godfrey, vice president for academic affairs at XJTLU, introduced the University’s unique teaching style and encouraged students to express their own ideas in class actively. He suggested new students use English as much as possible in their studies and daily lives.

He also introduced several new programmes that XJTLU plans to open, and welcomed all the students to continue on to do masters degrees at XJTLU upon graduation.

Chenwei Wang, a new student in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, said: “After attending the induction lecture, I'm more convinced that it was a smart decision for me to choose XJTLU. This University can provide students with such a good international platform.”

He also made plans for commencing life at university, saying: “I will work hard to improve my English fluency and well-rounded knowledge and capacities. I hope that as I pride myself on studying at XJTLU, XJTLU will also be proud of my success.”

(translators: Guojuan Wang and Yaqi Fu, editor: Jacqueline Bánki, photos by Xiaoxi Zhao)

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