Upgrade Yourself in a Crisis - ​Letter from the Executive President to Students, Staff and Alumni

03 Feb 2020

Letter from the Executive President to Students, Staff and Alumni

Upgrade Yourself in a Crisis

Dear XJTLU Community,

At the beginning of the Year of the Rat, I sincerely wish all of you, especially staff, students and alumni in Hubei province, a year that brings peace, health and family happiness.

The Spring Festival in 2020 has been distinctive because of the outbreak of the coronavirus. Each day as we saw information published on WeChat “Moments” regarding the coronavirus outbreak and the rising number of confirmed cases of those contracting the virus, we all became increasingly concerned. When the outbreak occurred, many students from XJTLU volunteered to make donations, contributing toward the fight against the epidemic in Wuhan, and XJTLU scientists are also actively participating in research designed to understand and combat the virus.

I am proud of the care, goodwill and responsibility members of the XJTLU community have demonstrated in wider society.

The XJTLU Working Group for Novel Coronavirus Prevention was set up early on to coordinate various departments and unite resources. Comprehensive epidemic control and prevention measures have been taken, including strengthening campus and dormitory management and implementing policies including adjusting teaching schedules and the timely publication of information – all aimed at ensuring the safety of our students, staff, campus and XJTLU as a community in its entirety.

The Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia Information Page has been created on Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University’s official website to provide information about university operations, communications and announcements during this period, as well as detailing the policies and official documents produced for the public by the government. There is also a section related to frequently asked questions and answers, as well as useful tips and reminders.

This channel was established to provide staff, students and alumni with the latest updates about the virus, including epidemic prevention advice and a focus on self-protection during this special period, in order to successfully tackle this epidemic with our joint efforts.

We are going through a period of constant risk, with elements of uncertainty. The epidemic poses threats to human health and adversely affects related industries. It has altered the usual Spring Festival atmosphere that everyone is accustomed to and is profoundly transforming lifestyles.

During this epidemic, feelings of fear, anxiety and worry are inevitable. But what is more frightening is panic, which puts us in a disadvantaged position, fighting a virus with vulnerable bodies, fragile minds and flawed strategies.

In fact, when facing the virus, keeping calm and taking wise actions promote stronger and more successful outcomes.

At present, scientists are stepping up research of the novel coronavirus and analysis of its pathogenic mechanisms and prevention methods. Governments and organisations at all levels have been taking the most rigorous and strict prevention and control measures. Under such circumstances, protecting ourselves and taking responsibility for ourselves is our greatest contribution to help combat the virus.

Crises are often opportunities to foster innovation and make the impossible possible. Therefore, in the face of crises and new situations, individuals and organisations are presented with valuable opportunities to boldly innovate and plan for future transformations. Many new ways of life and business are emerging in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. I firmly believe that after the epidemic, some industries may usher in unprecedented new developments related to online education, remote work, unmanned retail, autonomous delivery, intelligent healthcare and elderly care.

With special focus on future trends, XJTLU has been actively planning, acting and developing comprehensive educational strategies to adapt to the digital, artificial intelligence and ageing era of the future. In confronting the crisis, in addition to control and prevention actions, XJTLU has also taken a series of steps, including strengthening relevant research, postponing the start of the spring semester, and providing remote lectures for students in the most affected areas and others who cannot return to the University in time. In case of a more serious situation, more comprehensive distance education will be launched.

Moreover, we also take advantage of this special period to promote the exploration of educational innovation and reform. For example, the two-week long online course: "Developing Global Citizenship" will be launched before the start of the semester. The control and prevention of the epidemic will serve as a practical opportunity to enhance XJTLU students’ abilities to cope with the crisis and develop their responsibilities as world citizens. It is also one of XJTLU’s attempts to promote new online courses and learning concepts. The course will guide students to explore solutions related to major events and problems from four perspectives, including social responsibility, digital citizenship, sustainable development and social innovation.

I encourage you as well as your parents, friends and relatives to take an active part in this online course. It is an ideal opportunity and challenge to help develop yourself, grow in learning and practice and become more creative through reflection. By doing so, you will not only enrich your own life, but also support XJTLU’s efforts in driving innovation and growth, promoting the progress of the society.

Dear students, colleagues and alumni, as various anti-epidemic measures were implemented, including restrictions of international traffic, you may encounter difficulties in life, travel, work and teaching activities. In this special period, if you need any support, please do not hesitate to contact the XJTLU Working Group for Novel Coronavirus Prevention, and the University will do its best to help you. I highly recommend that everyone stays calm and rational, focusses on self-protection and safety through this uneasy period of time, with positive thinking and action, wherever you are. When the sky clears up after the rain and the epidemic is over, I sincerely hope that we have all achieved some degree of personal upgrade and development during the crisis.

Professor Youmin Xi
Executive President of Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool

03 Feb 2020