2015 Graduation Ceremony Speeches

31 Jul 2015

2015 Graduation Ceremony Speeches

(In order of presentation)

Professor Janet Beer’s Speech

It is a tremendous honour and privilege to be here with you today at your Graduation Ceremony.

And it is wonderful to see so many graduates, their families and supporters.

Today is a day of great celebration of considerable academic and personal achievement. This is the sixth year that we have held graduation ceremonies at our Universities in Liverpool and Suzhou and it is truly heart-warming to see the continued success of Xian Jiaotong-Liverpool University. The reputation of the University and its students stands high all over the world.

And, of course, it is you the students, who are the heart of the University and its success. Graduates – this is very much your day; a public recognition of your determination, hard work and talent. You are taking away with you from XJTLU a highly prized degree from a world class university and this qualification will serve you well as you develop your careers. You now hold a very valuable asset - your degree will be a passport to future success.

Of course, we also recognise that our graduates have not attained their qualifications alone, and it is only right that we should also thank everyone here today who has supported you throughout your studies. Thank you to all the academic and professional staff and to your proud families and friends for their encouragement. Everyone here is very proud of your achievements, as you yourselves should be.

Liverpool has a long history of connection with China through trade and immigration, which continues today through the exchange of knowledge, ideas and learning between our two great universities.

Liverpool’s Chinese community is one of the largest and oldest in Europe stretching back to the 1860s and it plays an important role in the dynamic make-up of the City of Liverpool. Since the 1920s, when the first Chinese students came to study with us, the University of Liverpool has been developing links with China. These days more than 65% of the University of Liverpool’s overseas students are from China and Hong Kong.

The opening of XJTLU in 2006 and the establishment of a Liverpool Confucius Institute have cemented the University of Liverpool’s bond with China. The Confucius Institute acts as a hub for Liverpool’s growing relationship with China, working closely with schools, businesses and the community.

The Institute is a partnership between the University, the Hanban – or Office of Chinese Language Council International–in Beijing and Xian Jiaotong University in Xi’an. The Institute teaches Mandarin and promotes Chinese culture. Liverpool students travelling here to XJTLU on exchanges are supported through language and Chinese cultural background teaching provided by the Confucius Institute.

I have been excited on my first visit to Suzhou to see the development of a new XJTLU motto, with thanks to the families of students who contributed to this excellent idea. The joining together of our Liverpool motto, ‘Fiat Lux’ – let there be light – with Professor Xi’s vision of XJTLU degrees giving you the ‘wings to fly’ is truly inspiring.

It is certainly a source of great pleasure to see how quickly a student body with a distinctive identity has developed at XJTLU – and this is a major strength of this University. Students who have transferred from XJTLU to the University of Liverpool have demonstrated self-confidence in the lecture theatre, in their activities within our Guild of Students, and in the wider Liverpool community.

XJTLU students are tremendous ambassadors for China and have made a wonderful contribution to life at the University of Liverpool, as well as achieving very high academic success. Your excellent attainment as XJTLU students has contributed significantly to the popularity and rapidly-growing reputation of the University.

As we look towards celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the establishment of XJTLU next year, we are well on our way to achieving our ambition of creating a new kind of Chinese University combining the strengths of the Chinese and UK systems. With your support and commitment we continue to shape a new kind of world-class Russell Group University with a distinctive Chinese culture. We look forward with confidence to a long and successful mutual partnership as XJTLU grows, while continuing to nourish and develop a close relationship with the University of Liverpool.

XJTLU is a key part of our vision to be a global university offering a high quality international experience for our students that is distinctive in the higher education sector. We continue to strengthen the links between Liverpool and XJTLU by developing joint research projects in areas such as renewable energy sources, new materials, environment and sustainable development, whilst also broadening the range of subjects offered jointly by the two institutions.

With around 80% of XJTLU students going on to take Masters Degrees, this is a strong indicator of the high quality of your degrees and their strong recognition internationally.

We welcome you as new graduates applying to our Masters and PhD programmes, both at the University of Liverpool, and at XJTLU where you would be joining a growing number of high quality Masters students’ and a healthy population of PhD researchers

We are also pleased to be the first Russell Group University to open a branch campus in London. The University of Liverpool in London is based close to the financial centre of the City and is another key hub in a global network with a global attitude that complements our pioneering developments here in China as well as through our portfolio of Online degrees.

Our students in London are already benefiting from a suite of vocationally focused programmes in Accounting, Finance and Architecture and the first students to graduate from the London campus this summer have already found roles with leading organisations such as Deloitte, Grant Thornton and the Bank of East Asia. I hope our London campus will also offer a superb base where the expanding network of XJTLU graduates can meet.

The world into which you are graduating will be increasingly multi-cultural, multi-national, and multi-ethnic, and at XJTLU you are well placed to become global citizens, having benefited from an international curriculum and experience that will lead to opportunities in the global market place.

We live in an era of lifelong learning and I hope that you will return to our University to refresh your knowledge and skills - you will always be very welcome as graduates of XJTLU and its extended family at the University of Liverpool, so please do keep in touch and let us know about your progress.

I wish you all every success in the future. We are very proud of your achievements. Thank you!

Professor Janet Beer

Vice-Chancellor of University of Liverpool, UK

2015 Graduate Representative Hongying Li's Speech

Professor Beer, Professor Tao, Professor Xi, tutors, distinguished guests, fellow graduates, ladies and gentlemen.

It's an honor to deliver this speech today. I feel humble to be given such an honour. I look around my friends, classmates and see so many talented individuals who are equally deserving of this honour and I know there are many from other graduating degrees, whether they be from an Industrial Technology or a Science major, having studied here in Suzhou for 4 years or shared their study with a couple of years abroad in Liverpool, or even our postgraduate companions. I am not a wise man; I cannot reveal a philosophy of life, so I have wracked my heart and mind for what I can share with you today. Instead I’d like to share something you can relate to, my experiences during the four years at XJTLU, and I hope you can draw inspiration from this.

As I think back on the four years I spent at XJTLU University, my heart is filled with emotions - some happy, others sad, frustrating, and even humorous. However, I start with the memories of becoming an engineering student. When I selected this major, someone thought I was crazy. Engineering has a reputation for being extremely difficult and requiring great intellect. Actually, I shared the doubts of my friends & family. For the first time in my life, I was making a decision about what job and future I would have. It’s not a decision taken lightly, but it is one forced upon us to be made in haste soon after finishing the Gao Kao exam.

However, whatever your choice, I hope you found the same joy as me once you started here at XJTLU. I found the acquisition of knowledge intoxicating, whether it be math, physics, English or computing. Learning the logic of each subject but more importantly developing an understanding of how they work together is a beautiful thing. Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Curiosity is lying in wait for every secret”. XJTLU has inspired this curiosity in me. Once I recognized such interest, I had discovered my motivation to study and a passion for a subject I was previously uncertain about.

From motivation and passion comes another important element – endeavor. It is said that diligence is the decisive factor of a genius. While Chinese students are far from strangers to studying hard, at high school it is all under the instruction of teachers. However, university unveils a new perspective. We are given freedom to control our lives. But with this freedom comes responsibility for our own studies, self-study. We are not left alone to learn this skill. My tutors were patient to answer questions and encouraged attention to the process of learning instead of final results. They stimulated us to think and learn by ourselves, to solve problems and to become individuals who are not only now ready to become a part of society, but ready to change the world.

So, to conclude, to the class of 2011, I wish you joy. I wish you health. I wish you happiness. And I wish you success. Aim high and when, just for a moment all else but this target disappears. You will be able soar with the wings of an eagle, wings that you have been provided in your last four years. This moment may end as quickly as it came, but you’ll never lose the experience. Sadly today, our XJTLU experience ends, four years gone in a flash it seems. However, the experience, the lessons, the skills and knowledge will stay with us forever.

Hongying Li

2015 Graduate Representative

2015 Graduate Representative Cheng Cao's Speech

Professor Xi, Professor Beer, Professor Tao, tutors, distinguished guests, fellow graduates, ladies and gentlemen. I am so honored to be here to deliver this speech today.

Before I start my speech, I want to say congratulations! My classmates and friends, we have passed the strictest tests of both XJTLU and the University of Liverpool. We are now ready to continue chasing our dreams either at world leading universities or with world-renowned companies. This is an exciting time for us all so savour this moment. However, we could not have done it alone. On behalf of my classmates, I would like you to join me in thanking our teachers, our parents and other officers of XJTLU. Without their efforts, we wouldn’t stand here today. Thank you.

During my four-years in XJTLU, I have learned many things. However, one thing that has impressed me most is the spirit of sharing. It’s similar to the spirit of inheritance but I think the spirit of sharing more precisely reflects the principles of the 21st century because it is more open, more diverse and more equal.

I first really realized the power of sharing when I organized the Student Union’s iForum event in 2011. This was an idea sharing activity, where students and teachers could share their ideas, knowledge and experience. I noticed an interesting fact: while most of speakers were nervous at first, they gradually relaxed and by the end they could enjoyed the process of sharing almost as much as the audience enjoyed hearing them.

But we are financial math students. Most of you know the traditional rule of the financial industry: that a shared successful financial strategy, will quickly become a failed strategy. So it doesn’t work if it is shared. But we are in the Internet era and the big data era is arriving. Success here requires us to be more open and more cooperative, including seeking more trans-border opportunities. While not explicitly taught, XJTLU has encouraged us to recognize the importance of sharing. We have buddy programs, external mentoring programmes, iForum and, perhaps most importantly, we have Professor Xi. This man, so important and so busy, and yet a wonderful role model for us. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was the most active Weibo communicator among all presidents of Chinese universities. So, take a leaf out of books and share your knowledge and your ideas with your mates. After the exchange of ideas, we may come up with excellent ideas that may change the world.

We are so lucky! XJTLU is such an open-minded and youthful university. It has shared so much with us, but think for a moment about what we can share with XJTLU. Indeed, now we are XJTLU. If XJTLU is better, then we are better. If we are better, then XJTLU is better. So, perhaps don’t ask what XJTLU can do for us after graduation, but rather what we can do for XJTLU. What experiences can we share with new students? What impression can we leave for our bosses and graduate schools?

By sharing and contributing, the entity you contribute to benefits, but ultimately, you will benefit more. You see, that’s a win-win situation. But for now, share your success with your classmates, share your thanks with your teachers and share your happiness with your parents. I wish all of you a bright future and a happy life.

Thank you so much.

Cheng Cao

2015 Graduate Representative

2015 Graduate Representative Yirong Li's Speech

Dear Professor Beer, Professor Tao, Professor Xi, Distinguished Guests, Fellow graduates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today is a significant day. It marks the ending of an era, it’s the end of our undergraduate lives. As a result, please let me start by saying that it is my great honor to be representing such a fine group of students, but also simply an honor to be addressing you today as a student of XJTLU for the last time. I believe that most of us have been eagerly anticipating this moment, when the strain of deadlines is finished, and the degree is in our pockets. Now we’re here, please look around and remember this moment. Look at your classmates, your tutors and even this lovely building. Four years ago, we come together from all over the world by an offer. But now we will scatter around the world, having achieved a certificate. We’ve done great things here, so give yourself a round of applause.

How can I compress 4 years of wonderful memories into five minutes of speaking? I’d like to summarize it as ‘LOVE’, which in this case stands for Lessons, Optimism, Valiance and Enjoyment.


Everything at XJTLU is a lesson, an opportunity to learn and develop. Naturally the programmes from which we graduate, but also the life lessons shared by tutors from all over the world. Even the growth of the university has an impact - when we first arrived, there were two lively buildings, and a construction site. From modest beginnings greatness grows, and XJTLU is a place where students are forced to grow up.


I clearly remember a senior student once telling me “苦不苦想想西交利物浦”, which means life is never easy here in XJTLU. For Built Environment students, how many times does the laptop crash, taking all your hard work with it? For Maths students, how many lectures and exams can you realistically deal with before insanity takes over? But to both, after one of those all nighters, how beautiful is the twittering of birds at dawn, and the sight of the rising sun glinting on the trees. How romantic is the Cardioid (r=a(1-sinθ)), which makes Swedish Princess fall in love with poor René Descartes.


To achieve an optimistic perspective to overcome the challenges requires valiance. Challenges start from our first step onto campus. Here, pursuit of academic achievement was mixed amongst life changing decisions: 2+2 or 4+x? Work or further study? Should I go out with this boy or that boy? Should I do academic reading, or learn the new policies announced by President XI? Err… I mean the big one. Such decisions require valiance to make with confidence in order to ensure they can be achieved to their maximum.


With all this discussion of hard work and difficulty, you might be thinking that this experience was not fun. However, indeed, it is the achievement of overcoming these difficulties, combined with genuinely wonderful experiences, which makes this time at XJTLU as enjoyable as it has been. The key to this enjoyment is our friends and fellows, those who we shared all night study sessions, tears and laughter in completing this achievement. Please join me in thanking our peers.

Before I finish, there are two other groups of people who should be thanked. In the past 1430 days, it is the staff in XJTLU and our parents who have witnessed our transformation from high school students to young adults. Let’s thank our tutors for their help and guidance in the four-year study. Let’s thank our parents for their support and encouragement, especially in the last 4 years, but indeed over the past 22 years.

We are now standing on the threshold of adult life. From now on, we invent our own path. Nevertheless, no matter what path you choose to follow, we are all graduates of one university, and we share the common concepts of XJTLU: knowledge, freedom, self-confidence, determination and commitment. I consider, with all these concepts, we are destined to succeed.

I wish you, my fellow graduates, the best of luck! Thank you very much.

Yirong Li

2015 Graduate Representative

2015 Graduate Representative Xin Yin's Speech

Professor Xi, Professor Beer, Professor Tao, tutors, distinguished guests, fellow graduates, ladies and gentlemen.

Good morning everyone, I am so honoured to deliver this speech on behalf of the other graduates at this graduation ceremony. To start, I’d like to say a word to my peers, Congratulations! Today, we have successfully graduated from XJTLU.

Four years ago, we all came with expectations and dreams. Please cast your mind back for a minute. What were your dreams? I think many of us came with the hope to become a global citizen as described by Professor Xi. But when we stepped into the campus, the first problem we encountered was the English learning environment which we found difficult to adapt to immediately. You know, for at least most of us Chinese students, we had little experience of having lessons in English. However, we all understood that it was the first step towards our goal. Fortunately, the teachers helped us remove this barrier. Then, we achieved the most essential competence to become an international citizen.

At the same time, we were provided the opportunity to communicate with our foreign teachers as well as our foreign classmates. We got a comprehensive understanding of cultures, customs, and lifestyles in other nations all over the world. Gradually, we formed the global awareness.

As I talked, the life in XJTLU cultivated us the global awareness, and broadened our horizon. In classes, the teachers not only imparted academic knowledge, but also shared us their life experiences. We could also receive guidance from our own personal tutors on our career plans so that our career destinations are better determined. Meanwhile, it also provided us the ability to chase our destinations and to succeed in our future career. Besides the English competence, we were also given access to rich knowledge and practical skills which are useful in our future career. So when the school motto, ‘Light and Wings’, was announced, I found it so suitable in that XJTLU did give us the light to see far and to see our life path clearly, and give us the wings to fly to our destinations.

To us, XJTLU is not just a building, but rather it is values which dictate the service it can provide. It is the international approach that distinguishes XJTLU from other Chinese universities and which presents such a varied learning environment. It was these values that make us different and better than other graduates. These values are shared by people and we should express our gratitude to our teachers who have provided education, advice, guidance and perspective to ensure we enjoyed but also got the most out of college life that we could. I would also like to acknowledge my peers, partners in a journey where our support and friendship was essential to success. And most importantly, I need to thank our parents for sending us here and supporting our college lives both physically and psychologically. Without you, we couldn’t have got so much achievements and so much unforgettable memories.

Today we farewell XJTLU. We enter the next phase in our lives. Some of us will continue studying and others will enter the workforce. Regardless of your choice, XJTLU has provided a solid foundation for our futures. Carve what XJTLU has taught you into your mind and carry the values you’ve learnt here in the following stages of life. By doing this, we can meet our own self-expectations but also acknowledge the efforts of our teachers and friends.

Xin Yin

2015 Graduate Representative

2015 Graduate Representative Tongjie Bian's Speech

Professor Beer, Professor Tao, Professor Xi, tutors, distinguished guests, fellow graduates, ladies and gentlemen.

Firstly, I hope you’ll excuse me if I share a moment with my colleagues: congratulations, we did it. But before we get too excited, we need to stop and realise that graduation is not the end; it may be the completion of a goal but it is only a part of a larger dream. Like Jack London said life is a journey, and all our accomplishments here at Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University are starting points for further goals and ambitions.

Let’s ponder the journey so far. We expected university to be different, but probably not as different as it has been. XJTLU’s international education model introduced new perspectives and approaches that took much getting used to. We had to adapt to an open academic environment and increased freedom but we flourished in our colourful campus life. We might stay up late to get coursework done; we might rack our brains to organize club activities; we might conflict with team mates; and we might waste time playing online-games or watching American dramas all day and night; but importantly we never stopped growing. XJTLU taught us to be adaptable, and to find a balance between tertiary education and society. When we compare ourselves to four years ago, we’ll realise that our time here has created real young adults with the self-confidence and self-reliance to succeed in this complex and challenging world.

So we do not stop here! As life continues, let us meet each new challenge with confidence, knowing that we have achieved great heights already and are equipped with the necessary tools to tackle anything the future throws at us. Even though the road that lies ahead won’t be easy, we’ll keep pushing, because we know we can achieve our dreams. Those dreams are worth it. We are worth it.

Many of us know our next step – perhaps further education, perhaps starting a career, perhaps travelling. Whatever your choice, I’m sure we all agree that XJTLU was a perfect place to foster our minds in this critical learning phase and to improve our abilities to leap into our futures.

Before I finish, to everyone who has shared this journey with us so far, we thank you. To our dear parents, who stood by us no matter what. To our valued teachers, who worked valiantly to instill in us a passion for learning. To our patient advisors, who helped us make vital decisions about our future. And finally to our wonderful friends, who were there for the parties, the study sessions, and everything in between. Without each of you—without each other—there would be no purpose to being here, no way to advance. Thanks to all of you for these four years. Four years in which we have grown together with XJTLU. After today, we are graduates of XJTLU and each of us will be another name of this rising university.

Sincerely, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you all and best of luck in the journey that lies ahead.

Yirong Li

2015 Graduate Representative

Professor Wenquan Tao’s Speech

Prof. Janet Beer, Professor Youmin Xi, distinguished guests, and graduating students:

It has been such a privilege to be here and share this special celebration of our students’ achievements. Congratulations to the graduates, parents, guests and academic staff at XJTLU for making this day possible. For the graduates particularly, I want to say well done for having the determination to reach this point. Today marks the first day of a new journey in your lives, be it continuing your studies or starting your career.

The University recognises how much all of you have grown both academically and individually in the past four years. I hope you can continue to maintain justice, integrity, courtesy, modesty, and a magnanimous mind. Please continue to be responsible in the future by keeping the motherland in mind and being mindful of the common people.

Although we say our farewells to many students at today’s ceremony, we look forward to continuing a close relationship with them in the years to come. As our students grow and move on, so does Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University develop every year. We are a family here and it is only through the achievements of our graduates’ that the University can realize its vision and mission.

Please accept my warmest thanks for all coming together for today’s ceremony. On behalf of the University, I wish you every happiness and success in the future!

Professor Wenquan Tao

President, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University

31 Jul 2015


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