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Happy 70th Birthday to SISU--a visiting scholar’s congratualtion


09 December 2019 | By Jiger Janabel (Kazakhstan) | Copyedited by Deng Boyin

  • SISU 70

I

n the twinkle of an eye, 6 months has flown by since I arrived at SISU as a visiting scholar. As I am wrapping up the “mission” in the coming month, there is so much to reflect of my brief yet very productive stay here in Shanghai. Can it be better to be with SISU than on its 70th anniversary? I feel very much honored of being offered the possibility to interact with the staff and students of this unforgettable higher learning center on a day-to-day base. Through it I seem to have a finger on the pulse of a fast advancing China: both the quality of its education and the transformation that the country is undergoing.         

Thus, at the micro level I have to praise the decision-making body of the University for its Dedication to bringing the quality education to its students. The following three scenes documented from my close observation is a convincing fact to speak of how this dedication is producing the excellence. First, it is the visionary management and the colossal amount of money that the administration has pledged for the quality teaching and researching alongside the upgrading of university’s infrastructure. This is too “boundless” to be compared with the universities I taught in Kazakhstan. A few words must go to the natural environment that the university has created for its academic body. On my first arrival last year for the conference of global connection organized by SISU, I was able to peer at this beautiful campus at Songjiang university town. Spread over many hectors the land that sustain the campus is as beautifully as solidly decorated with spreading lawns and flowers. In the middle if it are many exotic buildings intoned to produce the effect of the countries of whose languages are taught. An ensemble of bright and digitally equipped modern classrooms with all their conveniences: drinking water and coffee vendors are luminously waiting their students against blue sky. Adding to that is the well-subsidized university cafeteria with many of its outlets serving diverse foods for a token, while the students at SISU are one of the privileged academic bodies to have a full access to a brand new athletic arena.

If this does not impress you, you are welcome to have free access to university’s fully digitalized libraries offering you multilingual e-journals and books across China and from foreign sources at your choice, in addition to 100% Wi-Fi coverage in your aid. The university has not stopped there, while it is marching into the digital age, it carries out an intensive academic exchange with foreign scholars and institutions on a grandee scale. I speak of it in the capacity of an eyewitness to a whole lot of events undertaken by SISU since last year when I was here as a participant of the conference, “Connecting the World and the Future” on November 11 - 12, 2018. I was again a witness to SISU’s determination to bridge its students with foreign experts. The occasion was the summer school-2019, organized by the Institute of International Relations and Public Affair. Aside from a huge pledge from the university in finance to secure a long list of foreign experts for the students, the president of SISU actually took part at this intra-university event when he was invited to deliver a speech to 85 students. As students are immersed in the vast and latest information and consolidated knowledge brought by the foreign experts, they are as their instructors enjoy a great privilege to fly abroad to learn it in source. The frequently conducted worldwide conferences and seminars at SISU and the guest lectures organized by many institutes of SISU on their will makes it absolutely redundant for a student aspiring to study abroad.

On the other end of the spectrum of this globe-at-home drive at SISU is the army of its undergraduate and graduate students with whom I fared well in the exchange of views. Whether at dinner tables or over a series of 10 lectures and discussions I had managed to pick up their inner thoughts and feeling through a healthy engagement on a broader range of topics. The outcome are solid enough to allow me to draw a conclusion about their morally shined, mentally healthy and physically fit status. By that, I mean they seem to be far away from the trap of materialism provided to them by the fact of one child policy and the economic miracle of the country. Their appetite for acquiring knowledge is strong enough to keep them away from falling to the victim of a corruptive lifestyle. Their modest demand in life seen in their decent dress style and non-makeup outlook matching well with their academic pursuit should be an example for many around world. We must look for the root of healthy lifestyle and upward learning attitude in the pre-university education of China where school-family-society form a tripartite system to introduce Chinese students to the thrifty path for growth. Teaching knowledge at school going hand in hand with parental supervision on moral education with timed ordained oriental philosophy are what gives China the edge in realization of the Chinese dream. As a result, Chinese students study hard, abide by laws and see the study as the only exit to the bright future.

When this life bound teaching-learning process meets with the visionary guidance from the communist party of China the outcome is massive transformation of a poverty stricken rural economy to its present-day status as the second largest entity in the world. Thanks SISU for extending to me a chance to have a bird’s view of whereabouts of this country. Although we have long heard about the beginning of a digital era in this country through Alibaba’s introduction of digital payment device, the chance to present at three nationally held events—the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations on 15-22/05/2019; the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on 27-28/09/2019; World Internet Conference on 19-22/10/2019—brought me to the forefront of China’s digitalization drive on a macro scale. As I hold my breath for the financial muscle and grandiose facilities to host these conventions, I wondered how the staffs at the organizational committee managed to keep an army of thousand invited guests dinning and working at same time without causing any strain. It turned out that they relied heavily on latest technologies for communication, printing, exhibition and even transportation. This is China! A country, with its dazzling progress catches us in surprise.

Having visited New Delhi and Goa of India in 2017, I am fully convinced me that a highly centralized and non-corruptive executive body such as the one running Chinese now is perhaps what that country needs badly if it is geared to a true modernization.  We accredit the central government of China for its pivotal role in coordinating the reforms: to spread the financial resource over a huge territory evenly; to hold local executive bodies accountable to the public; to eradicate the roots that produce “tigers and flies;” to tackle once ramped street crimes. One participant with whom I had a conversation convinces me, and I agree with him, that because of removal of many barriers including the bureaucratic red tapes, it is not only much easier to start a business in China and you are safe to run your business under the protection of state law. In that regard, the looming 2020 is critically imperative at it is the year when the country promises to get rid of some 832 counties from the poverty-stricken list.       

In summary of this congratulation note, “happy birthday to you, SISU!” In your 70 years of growth, countless young people came to study at you, local and foreign alike; they continued to excel in world diplomatic arena. Now you are the powerhouse for global exchange, playing a locomotive role in bridge world and China. May you always be the higher learning center for progressive and creative mind! More scholars as I am would have come to see your beautiful campus and highly motivated leadership and your staff and your students. 

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Press Contact

SISU News Center, Office of Communications and Public Affairs

Tel : +86 (21) 3537 2378

Email : news@shisu.edu.cn

Address :550 Dalian Road (W), Shanghai 200083, China

Further Reading