Dear graduates, students, teachers, and parents
This is a special commencement for this is the first time we have a cloud commencement, which isn’t envisoned. Willing or not, the outbreak has changed our lifestyle and habits for sure.
First, I would like to cincerely congratulate you on your graduation. Besides, I would thank every of you just like what I did at this moment every year for your choice to go to Eurasia, which makes this university exist and improve.
A thankful heart
What were you thinking about when the outbreak started? One thing came into my mind is whether we can go back to school on schedule, and what if the school lost its income as students couldn’t come back? Then I realized that you had paid your tuition in September fortunately. I’m sorry for destroying the shining image exposing that.
Online courses was started late Feburary while school started at May, receiving more than 17,000 students including seniors back willingly. We tested 20,000 including students and teachers. In the past 2 months, all the online and offline courses, practial courses, and graduation thesis defense are implemented successfully. I’m very proud to say that we have completed teaching tasks of this semester in high quality amid the outbreak with the guidance of “students’ centered” education concept.
There is a small detail I want to share. We planned to transfer part of the accommodation fees to the next academic year, as we opened the school late. Unexpectedly, this led to an internet outcry sparked indignation of many students, who called for returning the fees in time. Knowing what students want, the school financial department retruned back these fees to their accounts. In a university focusing on business education, both students and president are good at calculation.
At the fist day of May, then-governor of Shaanxi Province came to review the epdemic prevetion. “Don’t be nervous,” he said, “you already did a great job in the prevention. Make sure to report in time if there is any cases. The government will provide any support and help if there is an outbreak on campus.” What he said made me feel released.
I will take this chance to notice our situation to you all. First of all, we are financially stable, decreasing some part of 1 billion fund planned to use in campus constructions in half decade. Second, the online learning system we developped in 2010 helped us with teaching and learning amid pandemic, guaranteed the basic operation of school. Third, as a non-profit education institute, instead of a public university with financial allocation, I believe the government will help and provide us help and support when bad cases.
There will be a lot of uncertainty in our future. One thing for sure is that you have finished your college, and a graduation with health and peace. Dear graduates, don’t take the graduation for granted. A lot of your counterparts studying overseas are still struggling for continuing their schools. I would like to take this chance to deliver my sincere thanks and respect to teachers for preparing for the online courses and graduation thesis tutorial, and our dorm supervisors, and security officers. Also I want thank those leaders, governors, and friends from all sectors of communities for your caring and support.
Power of Faith
I used to talk to our students on campus, duiring which, they shared some ideas: except for the academic studies, the beautiful campus, considerate life services, and convinent digital experiences. I would say I was not suprise about their ideas.
At the very begining, I had two purposes of the school. One is becoming a century-old notable university, another one is becoming a human landscape in Xi’an. Except for the early ones, we build all the constructions slowly and small earas in one time, but they were all designed by domestic and overseas experts. In the past few years, we redecorated and reconstructed some of the early buildings. The campus we see today witnesses all the efforts.
We also persist in improving the life services on campus. All the dorms were equiped with air conditions in 2010, earlier than most of the universities in Shaanxi. From 2017, we gradually reallocate the bath centers into every layers of the dorm buildings, all the 18 of which will have been done by the end of the August. Implementing the Toilet Revolution, we prepared toilet paper, sanitizer, and warm water for all the washrooms. All the dorm buildings will have elevators and Livingrooms as service constructions. 8 of them have already reached the goal. Canyin Cafetiaria is being reconstructed while Jinqiao being micro-reconstructed. The new commercial street is on the way. KFC and 7-ELEVEN have already entered school, while Startbucks, McDonald and Watsons are being negotiated. All the measures above are based on our mission, which is providing high-quality edcation and improving students’ learning and life quality.
As one of the national informational education pilot universities, we started the online learning system from the year of 2010, prepared for the online courses. By the end of 2018, all the courses had been played on the Tronclass online system. Meanwhile, we developped smart classes and famous-local teachers jointly teached classes, so students can have chances to communicate with famous teachers, sharing high quality courses with domestic and overseas students. In terms of campus life, the wireless network covers all areas with continuously experience improving. The students card system was improved in the year of 2019. All life on campus including dining, shopping, borrowing books, medical service, checking in classes, and door securiy access can be done by scanning the qr-code. You can also use the code to get through the gates, have meals and join in activities as alumini after graduate. All these digital experiences are based on the belief of changing the future with information technology.
My understanding of faith is to trust it with all your heart, enjoy everything about it, ready to pay any cost, and persevere at any time. One who has faith, has willpower and won’t be short-sighted. He will finally show a great power after a period.
Then, how to have your own faith?
Milton Friedman, winner of 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science, has said in his book, “Anyone who is persuaded in one evening is not really persuaded. He can be converted by the next person of opposite views with whom he spends an evening. The only person who can truely persuade you is yourself. You must turn the issue over in your mind at leisure, consider the many arguments, let them simmer, and after a long time turn your preferences into convictions.”
Value of Theories
You might ask, “Can faith do everything?” Of coure. Your priority in college is to learn the theories and to practice.
When I communicated with some graduates, they all talked about extending the practical class hours, providing more chances of high quality internship programmes. When I went to college 40 years ago, the most expecting things were practical courses, which are still in my memories clearly. Jerome Bruner, American education phycologist， explained why students prefer to parctice: the cognitive development of human being is from concrete to abstract, so is the way we learn and reflect the knowledge.
Till now, many project-based classes were lunched in many schools. Students are obsessed in creative designing project, management consultation project, and technology sevices project. The real work place, practical work flow, and real job standards are more interesting than mannered classes and abstract theories.
The popurses of both project-based teaching and case-based teaching are to help students to learn general theories and rules in practice, then solving problems in reality with these knowledge. If you do not pay attention to mastering the theory, the significance of practical learning will be reduced. If you are good at applying theory, many problems in work and life can be easily solved. An applied university is not to train students with certain skills or work hard, but to cultivate them into ones can apply theoretical tools to solve practical problems.
I would like to share another example. Amid epidemic, Eurasia has increased its support for scholarships and bursaries for students whose families were in poverty. Meanwhile, we have negotiated with several commercial banks to provide them with preferential commercial student loan opportunities. In the investigation of loan willingness, a student who was studying in a work-study program told me that his father was a taxi driver and had a bad health. He worked hard every day. However, his father would not agree with him to apply for a loan because the loan needs to be repaid as well as the interest. Obviously, his father's thought that "debtless makes life easier."
I told him that people’s income level is relatively low when they are young, but a higher lasting income would surely come in future. The essence of finance is intertemporal value exchange. Loans are actually using their future cash flow in the present with part of the expenses; with the global excess liquidity, currency depreciation is a major trend. After many years, the actual purchasing power of repayment of principal and interest will be lower than the purchasing power of borrowing now. If he can apply for a loan, his father does not need to be sick and work too hard, so he won’t need to save the cost of meals during the period of growing. He accepted this idea then.
I know that is an obvious fact for people with general knowledge of finance, but for people without it, this is an insurmountable cognitive gap in a lifetime. In fact, in our cognition, there are more or less blind spots and cognitive gaps. Some are insignificant and some are at stake. We need to constantly improve our thinking through theoretical study and practical exploration, discovering blind spots, overcoming obstacles, and crossing the cognitive gaps in life, so as to have a better life. Just like the classic line in the movie "The Godfather": "People who can see the essence of things in half a second, and those who can't see the essence of things for a lifetime, are destined to have completely different destinies."
Dear students. There are so many things I want to share for your life and future. I will apply them into the constructions and education of Eurasia in the future. Also, I would take these chances to deliver all of them to our teachers and alumini. You will be always welcome back to school to witness its development and changes.
In the end, I would give my blessings to you all:
Wish you have a thankful heart, keep your faith, learn for the whole life, give back to the communities, and live an extraordinary life! Thank you!