On September 21, USTB hosted the ‘Commemoration and Workshop of 40 Years of Collaboration Between Elite Sino-German Universities’ at the Faculty & Staff Recreation Center. Present at the event were Prof. Liu Limin, Former Vice Minister of Education of China, President of China Education Association for International Exchange, Vice President of Western Returned Scholars Association, Oversea-educated Scholars Association of China, Wei Yu, former Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Education of the PRC, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and alumnus of RWTH Aachen University, Xu Haoqing, Deputy Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the PRC, Ms. Yildiz Miller, Cultural Counsellor of the German Embassy in China, Prof. Ulrich Rüdiger, Rector of RWTH Aachen, Wu Guilong, Secretary of the Party Committee of USTB, Prof. Yang Renshu, President of USTB, Xue Qingguo, Vice President and Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of USTB, Wang Weicai, Vice President of USTB, He Minqing and Zang Yong.
The Commemoration was presided over by USTB Vice President Lv Zhaoping.
In his speech to the assembly, USTB President Yang Renshu spoke of the history of cooperation between USTB and RWTH. Since the two universities began working together in 1979 they have achieved many fruitful results in fields such as education, science and technology, the humanities, and more. Over time this has resulted in a growing friendship and mutual trust. The Commemoration marked not only the history of cooperation between USTB and RWTH, but also between China and Germany, and President Yang concluded with his sincere hope that the two universities would continue working together to build a bright future.
RWTH Aachen University Rector Ulrich Rüdiger spoke of the significance of the partnership between USTB and RWTH, as it was the first partnership between USTB and a German university during China’s “reform and opening-up” period. He expressed his pride at the union, and what it meant for improving relations between China and Germany. He concluded by speaking of opportunities for future collaboration in the promotion of education, science and technology, and culture.
Liu Limin discussed how the signing of the USTB-RWTH partnership in 1979 had a beneficial effect on future cooperative agreements between Chinese and German institutions of higher education. Together the two universities have jointly trained a large number of top talents and set an example for other universities to follow. He continued by expressing his hope that USTB and RWTH would continue working closely together and bridge further cooperation between the two nations, pursuing innovation and ensuring excellence in research and education.
Following that were two speeches concerning personal accounts of the USTB-RWTH partnership, delivered by former President of USTB, Prof. Yang Tianjun, and former Vice Rector of RWTH, Prof. Emeritus Reiner Kopp. They discussed their memories and experiences in conducting exchanges between the two universities, and their accounts received a warm round of applause. Their stories of hard work and devotion towards the USTB-RWTH partnership served as an inspiration for the assemblage.
Ms. Yildiz Miller spoke of the long history of cultural exchanges between China and Germany, dating back to the 16th century. China’s “reform and opening-up” was an opportunity for exchange in higher education, and the 40 year partnership between USTB and RWTH served as an excellent beginning. Since then China has flourished and the cooperative partnership has developed rapidly. Ms. Miller concluded by wishing both universities much future success on behalf of the German Embassy, as well as a successful conclusion to the Commemoration.
Xu Haoqing, Deputy Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the PRC, congratulated the two universities on both their successes in scientific research and the training of high-end talents who were making great contributions to the fields of science and technology. He spoke of how in light of emerging globalization the work between Chinese and German universities was of great importance and that the USTB-RWTH partnership was a platform for such high-level exchanges. He concluded by expressing his hope such close collaboration would continue into the future.
Following the speeches, before the 400-person assembly, USTB President Yang Renshu and RWTH Rector Ulrich Rüdiger signed a cooperative agreement together. Following the signing the two exchanged gifts on behalf of their schools. Additionally, President Yang presented an archived collection of historical documents regarding the cooperation between USTB and RWTH to Rector Rüdiger.
After the Commemoration, members from both schools went to the School of Metallurgy and participated in the planting of a friendship tree. Representing three generations of teachers, they planted a plum tree that symbolizes the enduring friendship between USTB and RWTH.
USTB and RWTH Aachen University first signed a cooperative partnership agreement in 1979, during the start of China’s “reform and opening-up” period. As one of the earliest such cooperative agreements in China, the 40 year long partnership has seen many successful ventures between the two schools including teacher and student exchanges, joint research, internships, and more. A great number of alumni who have attended both schools have gone on to achieve great success and contribute to both nations, in terms of scientific, economic, and cultural advancements.
Since 1979, over 400 USTB students have gone to RWTH for further study, and over 200 RWTH students have come to USTB for internships and cultural exchange. Since beginning its partnership with RWTH, USTB has pursued a strategy of internationalization and has signed cooperative agreements with over 200 well known universities and international institutions, and has trained over 8000 foreign students who have come to China for study.
The meeting encompassed a series of events including the Commemoration and academic workshops. USTB intends to continue working closely together with RWTH and find new ways to expand cooperation into new fields and opportunities, all while strengthening the continuing friendship between the two universities as well as China and Germany.
On the eve of the celebration of the PRC’s 70th anniversary, the success of the Commemoration emphasized the importance of remembering the nation’s goals and working towards mutually beneficial partnerships. It serves to remind students and teachers to continue devoting themselves to the advancement of both the nation and all of humankind through the advancement of science and technology.
Also in attendance of the Commemoration were representatives of RWTH Aachen University, the China University of Mining and Technology, Renmin University of China, Sun Yet-sen University, Southeast University, the Beijing Institute of Technology, the Beijing University of Technology and others, RWTH alumni, members of the media and more than 400 teachers and students from USTB.