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Print Edition> Nation
UPDATED: April 29, 2011 NO. 18 MAY 5, 2011
Happy Birthday, Tsinghua
100-year-old Tsinghua University shares glory and hardships with the nation

Companies led by the Tsinghua legion spread in a wide range of fields, including manufacturing, aviation, real estate, coal mining, the pharmaceutical industry and film making.

The top executives of nearly 100 companies listed on China's Shenzhen and Shanghai stock exchanges belong to the Tsinghua legion.

Ma Weihua, an adjunct professor at Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management, is president of China Merchants Bank, the country's largest non-state lender. As of April 1, his bank has a market value of 253.1 billion yuan ($39.05 billion), the highest among companies controlled by the Tsinghua legion.

Chang Xiaobing, Board Chairman of China Unicom, the country's third largest mobile service provider, got his MBA from Tsinghua University. China Unicom, valued at 120.6 billion yuan ($18.6 billion), is the second highest-value company led by a member of the Tsinghua legion.

Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management was established in 1984. Zhu Rongji, who was Chinese premier in 1998-2003, served as the founding dean, a post he kept until 2001.

Zhu invited dozens of top economists in China to teach there. In 1991, Tsinghua University was among the first schools in China to pilot the MBA program. In 1997, the School of Economics and Management started a joint program with MIT's Sloan School of Management.

When the School of Economics and Management celebrated its 10th anniversary in 1994, Zhu told the students, "If each of you manage a company well, then China's economy will be good."

Tsinghua spirit

In Tsinghua University, action speaks louder than words, said Wen Shizhu, who studied in Tsinghua University and taught there for more than 50 years. He is also an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

He said once, when Tsinghua faculty members moving into a new residence building found something wrong with the sewage system, they did not complain or seek help from others, they repaired the system themselves.

Liu Da, President of Tsinghua University in 1978-83, said what he cherishes most about Tsinghua University is its spirit. "This spirit encourages people to seek the truth, keep to be prudent, diligent, pragmatic and innovative, and to be always pursuing and achieving," he said.

Tsinghua University's motto is Self-discipline and Social Commitment. Tsinghua faculty members and students are known to set high demand upon themselves.

"What makes a university stand out is not only its brilliant teachers, excellent students and world famous achievements; more important is its good and strong spirit, which confers every student a strong sense of duty and commitment," said President Gu.

Although Tsinghua University is considered one of the top universities in China, it is not yet a leading university in the world.

Tsinghua University was placed at No.58 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2010-11, whereas two other universities on China's mainland, namely, Peking University and the University of Science and Technology of China, were ranked at No.37 and No.49. Times Higher Education is a leading education weekly in the United Kingdom which publishes world university ranking.

During the centennial anniversary celebration, President Gu said Tsinghua University aspires to be a top world university by the middle of this century. Gu said the university plans to carry on reform and raise its overall education quality to a significantly higher level.

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