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Tianjin University (TJU), born out of Peiyang University, is the first modern university in China. The motto of “Seeking Truth from Facts”, the spirit of “rigorous academic scholarship”, the tradition of “patriotic dedication” and the commitment to innovation constantly drive the University’s development. The emergence of TJU pioneered a new model for China’s modern universities and the development of TJU has been closely integrated into the great undertakings of national rejuvenation and prosperity as well as the advancement of mankind. Stepping into the new era, TJU is bound to contribute its wisdom and strength to China’s endeavor to build a powerful nation, and it is resolved to forge ahead to construct a world-class university with Chinese characteristics.

Talent cultivation is the foundation of TJU. At its inception, TJU put forth the ideas of “striving for self-improvement by nurturing talent” and “nurturing talent to serve the demands of the nation”, thus recognizing the unparalleled significance of talent cultivation. Over the past 123 years, TJU has fostered over 300 thousand talented graduates of high caliber for China and nurtured a large contingent of prominent scientists, engineers, economists and cultural scholars, such as Wang Chonghui, the first Chinese judge on the Permanent Court for International Justice in The Hague; Zhang Tailei, a revolutionary pioneer; economist Ma Yinchu; expert in the Two Bombs, One Satellite Project Wu Ziliang; industrialist Rong Zhijian; and Li Xinggang, the Chinese lead designer of the National Stadium (Bird Nest). Today, TJU focuses on “cultivating talented people with high moral standards”. Holding to the ideal of training well-rounded talented people to be good at both theoretical reasoning and down-to-earth practice, and at the same time having integrated virtues in skills and morality, the University is committed to shape its students into qualified persons who uphold a national identity, global perspective, innovative spirit and practical abilities.

TJU has continuously deepened reform in teaching. The University launched the “Excellent Engineers Cultivation Plan” and drew up the “Tianjin University Road Map” to build innovative engineering disciplines. The University initiated the “2030 action plan for world class undergraduate education” and deepened the comprehensive reform of graduate education. The University vigorously advanced innovation and entrepreneurship education and established platforms of innovation and entrepreneurship education and practice education including the “Xuanhuai School” and the “Partners” Maker Space. Thus, it has cultivated talent of increasingly higher quality in various sectors, making a significant contribution to national prosperity and social evolution.

Academic spirit is the backbone of TJU. A number of noted educators and scholars have emerged from TJU over the past 123 years, such as jurist Zhao Tianlin, bridge expert Mao Yisheng, mechanical expert Liu Xianzhou, chemical expert Hou Debang, hydrologist Zhang Hanying, educator Li Shusen and many more. Currently, TJU is implementing the strategy of strengthening the university with talented scholars and building a strong contingent of teachers of high diligence, efficiency, morality and innovative spirit. They work tirelessly in cultivating talented students. Professor Yang Enze devoted 70 years to teaching, leaving his footprints all over China. The faculty conduct academic studies with a rigorous attitude and rise to challenges with resolution. For example, Yu Guocong, a leading magnate in chemical engineering, surmounted difficulties in heavy water separation and contributed to the China’s development of nuclear technology as well as the two bombs and one satellite technology. They work with dedication and strong ethics. Academician Wang Jingkang, the “Mother of industrial crystallization of China” and “National Teaching Model”, sticks to her teaching post in her 70s and changed the layout of the crystallization industry once and for all time. Feng Cuiling, the “Good Party Secretary” of the School of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, has demonstrated perfectly the harmony of a domestic party secretary and the school’s foreign Dean, Professor Jay Siegel. They inspire students with high morality and the scientific spirit and cultivate talent, serving as pillars of society.

Invigorating the nation through education is the Mission of TJU. From "salvaging the nation through industry" to "building the nation with science", from "invigorating the nation with science and education" to "serving the construction of an innovative country", TJU witnessed and did its part in the establishment of China's industrial systems. TJU people took part in the construction of the first aircraft motor, color film, outside broadcast van, circular particle accelerator and cross-sea bridge. Today, TJU focuses on major national strategic demands, keeps up with world technological frontiers that take root in the national economy. The home-made underwater glider ‘Petrel’ broke foreign technological blockades and provides strong support for environmental investigation in South China Sea and for oceanic defense. The cockpit environment regulation system flew into the sky with C919 passenger airliner. The "Shengong" artificial neurorehabilitation robot gave hope to the paralyzed and completed the first-ever brain-computer interactivity experiment in human history with the "Tiangong-2" spacecraft. The synthesis of redesigned yeast chromosomes opened the gate to convert inanimate matter to animate matter. Such is our mission. Such is our responsibility in this era.

Building a world-class university is the pursuit of TJU. As China's socialism entered a new era, it is the common aspiration of the faculty and staff of TJU to build a world-class university with Chinese and TJU characteristics. The 10th TJU Congress of Party Representatives made clear the new three-step strategy. By 2045, we will finish building a comprehensive, research-oriented, open, international university that gathers distinguished teachers and experts, imparts innovative knowledge and makes a great contribution. The construction of a world-class university is no easy task. To achieve this end, we will cultivate outstanding talent, provide a better study environment for students, and lead them to find a way to acquire knowledge through independent thinking by developing their critical and creative thinking. We will gather talent from around the world and give full play to their strengths by fostering a free, tolerant and trustful milieu. We will encourage exploration, unleash innovative passion and contribute more to China's economic transformation and our civilization. We will establish a modern governance system, formulate rules out of respect for the intrinsic value and dignity of human beings and ensure all institutions serve the growth and development of mankind.

I am willing to work together with the faculty and staff of TJU, jointly shoulder the responsibility of our generation, take the determinations of the19th CPC National Congress as our guide, head in the right direction, stick to the four principles of talent cultivation with high moral standards, serving the overall interest, reform and innovation and maintain TJU's integrity. By perfecting the common spiritual home of the people of TJU, TJU will be able to create new and brilliant achievements.

Zhong Denghua

President of Tianjin University