New graduates and their families celebrated this week at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, with 1,982 undergraduate, 271 postgraduate, and nine doctoral students receiving their degree certificates.

More than 30 percent of all undergraduate students attained a first class honours degree, with more than 80 percent planning to continue on to postgraduate study at famous universities around the world.

Yuan Yu, graduate of the MRes Advanced Chemical Sciences programme, was overjoyed to be graduating, saying: “I’ve loved Chemistry since I was in high school. Now, I plan to apply to do a PhD.” Her mother added that she was very happy her daughter could study at and graduate from XJTLU.

Shengxi Xin, a graduate of the BA Urban Planning and Design programme, waited outside the graduation hall with a bunch of roses for his girlfriend. “I’ve had a great time studying at XJTLU,” he said. “Now, I’m applying for masters programmes at Cambridge, and the London School of Economics.”

During the graduation ceremonies, Professor Youmin Xi, executive president of XJTLU, advised graduates to cultivate a complexity mindset: “We must adopt a complexity mindset in order to thrive in the current uncertain, ambiguous, complex, and changeable environment,” he said.

“Society can never progress if we are stuck in old mindsets,” he continued. “But if we approach problems with a complexity mindset, we may see the truth behind the mess, and develop solutions, pulling people out from their traps and helping them find hope,” said Professor Xi.

Professor Gavin Brown (pictured above), pro-vice-chancellor for education at the University of Liverpool, congratulated the graduating students and welcomed their families and supporters. “This is a great day of celebration and one of life’s most significant milestones,” he said. “It is the pinnacle of your academic career to date and we congratulate you on your achievements.”

Yuchen Wang and Yifei Huang, graduates of the BEng Architecture programme, are now applying for masters programmes and internships. “We’d like to thank all the staff of the Department of Architecture for their support and encouragement,” they said. Yifei also delivered a speech during the first graduation ceremony (pictured above).

Randy Rizal (pictured below with family), from Indonesia, another graduate of the BA Urban Planning and Design programme, is now applying for a masters scholarship at the University of Sussex, UK. He said: “I’d like to thank everyone in the Department of Urban Planning and Design, particularly my dissertation supervisor Dr Hyung-Chul Chung.”

Professor Wenquan Tao, president of XJTLU, gave the closing address for each graduation ceremony, saying: “The University recognises how much all of you graduates 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.”

One thousand one hundred forty-five XJTLU graduates have been accepted onto postgraduate courses at top 100 worldwide universities, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018-2019, including the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Sydney and Hong Kong, as well as Harvard University, Imperial College London, Columbia University and Nanyang Technological University.

Prizes for this year’s Learning and Teaching Awards were also given during the graduation ceremonies, with Dr Bing Chen from the Department of Urban Planning and Design winning this year’s Outstanding Teacher award; Dr Ominda Nanayakkara from the Department of Civil Engineering, Dr Ying Chang from the Department of Urban Planning and Design and Dr Wei Wang from Computer Science and Software Engineering winning the Highly Commended for the Outstanding Teacher Award; Dr Gangmin Li from Computer Science and Software Engineering winning the award for Most Innovative Teaching Practice; Peipei Wang from Chemistry winning Outstanding Laboratory Teaching Technician; Jian Chen from Architecture winning the Highly Commended for the Outstanding Laboratory Teaching Technician, and Hang Dong from Computer Science and Software Engineering winning the Highly Commended for the Outstanding Teaching Assistant.

To mark the graduation ceremony, Suzhou SIP's landmark The Gate of the Orient will light up with a message of congratulations for XJTLU graduates at 19:30 tonight and at the same time for the next two evenings. XJTLU is the first university to receive this honour.

By Danny Abbasi; photos by Yuanyuan Du

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