The graduating class of 2020 can be proud not only of what they learned through studying but also through facing the global pandemic, said Professor Youmin Xi, executive president of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University.

This week, 2,899 undergraduates, 519 postgraduates and 34 PhD students are receiving their University of Liverpool and XJTLU degree certificates, with 1,111 students (38 percent) achieving first-class honours.

“After having experienced the hardships related to COVID-19, you can be confident now that you can quickly adapt to this fast-changing world,” said Professor Xi at the 2020 XJTLU Graduation Ceremony being held 27-30 July both on campus and over livestream broadcast.

"You can find opportunities in crisis," he continued.

“Even though you are entering a fragile world with unprecedented complexity, you should not be frustrated by the ongoing struggle against the virus.

“You have received a solid education from XJTLU that gives you the skills needed for success.”

Professor Dame Janet Beer, vice-chancellor of the University of Liverpool, said this year’s graduating students deserve recognition for their perseverance in a time of great challenge.

“The global pandemic has had a profound effect on everyone’s lives and I know our hearts go out to all those who have lost loved ones,” she said.

“I mention this not to detract from what is, quite rightly, a day of celebration but rather to reflect that each of you will have faced an additional immense period of personal challenge during an already demanding final year of studies.

“It is only right that we take a moment to acknowledge this and to commend you on pursuing your studies diligently and to their successful conclusion.

“An achievement of this magnitude is never easily attained – even in normal times.”

Mutia Hanifah, graduating with an Applied Chemistry degree and one of the graduate representatives speaking this week, says the ceremony marks a successful result despite the added challenges this semester.

“We still managed to meet all the deadlines, finished our exams, discuss everything remotely, leading to the successful completion of our last semester.

“And now, here we are, in different parts of the world, celebrating our achievements through the four years of our undergraduate study.”

Professor Wenquan Tao, president of XJTLU, delivered the closing address after taking part in conferring the degrees.

“I want to say well done for having the determination to reach this point,” he said.

“Today marks the first day of a new journey in your lives, be it continuing your studies or starting your career.”

Professor Xi emphasised that any 2020 graduate who could not attend this year’s ceremony due to the pandemic is welcome to attend any future graduation ceremony.

“Put on your robe and relive your college glory days,” he said.

“We hope that you always consider XJTLU to be your home.”

The arrangements of the ceremony strictly comply with the pandemic control and prevention requirements of the local government and other authorities, to ensure the health of all graduating class and staff members.

To watch the graduation ceremony live broadcast, please click here.

By Tamara Kaup, Luyun Shi and Will Venn

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