At Tsinghua, spring semester begins online
Over fifty thousand Tsinghua students, faculty, staff members, and alumni representatives used their laptops and smartphones to attend the first class of the 2020 Spring Semester held in the Rain Classroom on February 3rd.
At this critical time in combating the novel coronavirus, Tsinghua University President Qiu Yong and Chairperson of the University Council Chen Xu brought the audience the first class in the spring semester. The class was chaired by Yang Bin, Vice President and Provost of Tsinghua University.
"Over the last few days, we have experienced an unusual Spring Festival. With the continuation of the coronavirus, we are undergoing a national battle against the virus," said Chen Xu, Chairperson of Tsinghua University Council. "After caring for themselves, our students and faculty are actively supporting the fight against the coronavirus. Our professors are researching cures, our medical professionals are joining the front lines, and our students are volunteering. Our subsidiaries and startups bring their competencies to bear, while our broad network of alumni help in many ways. We at Tsinghua live out the spirit of cooperation and service, taking on responsibility bravely."
"Today, over fifty thousand students and faculty attended the same class. Under these unusual circumstances, this is a special class. Self-reliance is the foundation of Tsinghua’s spirit. Having concluded a historic 2019, we move towards a 2020 with its own milestones," said President Qiu. "Stay at home and take care of yourselves. Delaying a return to school doesn’t mean no classes - we can continue our education. Striving together, we can minimize the impact of the virus. Tsinghua has always placed great emphasis on education and pedagogy. Even in times of great hardship, we at Tsinghua have continued our main mission: educating students and promoting knowledge."
An outpouring of comments from the Tsinghua community were shared after the lecture. They show the spirit of resolve and resiliency that unites all of Tsinghua.
"I can see now that the Tsinghua people try their best and encourage people to fight the virus," said Kihwan Kim,a Korean teacher from the Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences.
"With students off campus, Tsinghua is utilizing its Rain Classroom to facilitate teaching, thereby keeping disruption to a minimum. Of course, there will be challenges, but with everyone pulling in the same direction, these can be overcome, " said Kamlesh Patel, a British teacher from the Language Center of Tsinghua University.
"This special online course brought me deep feelings and pride. Tsinghua takes advantage of its information advantages to ensure the normal operation of educational undertakings in this special period," said Jin Ying, a Chinese PhD student from the Department of Finance.
"I’m not the only one who was deeply touched by the lesson of today, I think it also warmed the hearts of those students isolated in Hubei province, " said Wu Min, a Chinese PhD student from the Department of Finance.
"The initiative brought the university community together. The content of the presentations reminds us that we all have a role to play in dealing with this health emergency, " said John Paul Grima, an Australian staff member from the Office of International Affairs.
"It is quite novel and interesting to attend my first lecture of 2020s online, and I really appreciate all efforts from the University during this epidemic period to keep the sanitation and health of our community while continuing its duties in teaching and research," said Ling Si Da, a Canadian graduate student from the Department of Chemical Engineering.