September 30, the Institute of Creativity and Innovation (ICI) held the opening ceremony for its first cohort of freshmen at the Zhangzhou campus. The ceremony was held both online and offline through live-streaming.Prof. Zhang Rong, President of Xiamen University (XMU) and Prof. Bashir Makhoul, Presidentand Vice-chancellor of University for the Creative Arts (UCA), attended the ceremony and delivered speechesto the students.
On behalf of XMU, President Zhang Rong extended a warm welcome to the 292 new students. He said that over the past hundred years, the spirit of infinite creativity and innovation put forward by Mr. Tan Kah Kee, the founder of XMU, has been integrated into the development of theuniversity, contributing to numerous innovative and creative theories and achievements made by XMU. The University will continue to carry forward the spirit andkeep reforming and innovating for the progress of human civilization.
Zhang Rong stressed that creative and innovative education is crucial to the overall growth of students, the sustainability of higher education and the National strategy for innovative development. The establishment of ICI is aiming at exploring effective ways to carry out creative and innovative education, and to cultivate innovative talents who can meet the demand of future by preparing students with professional knowledge, training their critical and creative thinking and building their personality of creativity and innovation. ICI will be leading XMU’s creativity and innovation education, striving to improve students’ ability of interdisciplinary research and cross-cultural communication, so as to provide qualified talents for the national innovation-driven development strategy.
President Zhang Rong said that ICI is the window to the world of creativity and innovation. The University has high expectations on the students of ICI to carry forward traditional heritage and never stop innovation. Meanwhile, students shall learn to build the correct concept of value and the world, have clear judgement of right and wrong,pursue justice and being patriotic. Students shall pursuit perfection and strive for excellence, and contribute to the building of a community of a shared future for all mankind. PresidentZhang also hoped students be curious and enthusiastic about the world, life and knowledge, be open and inclusive, be more active and open-minded in learning new things. They shall learn to make full use of the excellent education resources of both XMU and UCA, enrich themselves with knowledge of sciences and humanities, and promote an all-round development by engaging in the exchanges at home and abroad.
President and Vice-Chancellor Prof. Bashir Makhoul welcomed and congratulated all the new students to join the ICI. He hoped that the students maintain their enthusiasm and dedication to their majors,think diligently, be creative, self-motivated, not afraid of making mistakes, never stop exploring new things, develop their own potentials and complete the most challenging and innovative design projects with self-confidence, and make themselves independent learners and thinkers who will make new contribution to China’s innovation-driven development.
Assoc. Prof. Zhong Zhen spoke to the students as the representative of the Chinese teaching team of ICI. She said that the essence of innovation is to make breakthroughs. She hoped that the students of ICI cherish their precious time in XMU to read more, think more, ask more questions and practice more. She encouraged students to be brave to express and try to exceed themselves, and finally make overall improvement of themselves.
Prof. Simon Macklin, Pro Vice-Chancellor and representative of the teaching team of UCA told students that teachers and technicians of the ICI would encourage and support students to think independently, engage in team work, and build a brighter future with creativity and innovation.
Ms. Zhang Xindi spoke on behalf of the freshmen of ICI that they would seize the good opportunity to learn knowledge during the four years’ study in the ICI driven by the XMU’s motto “pursue excellence and strive for perfection”.
Olivia Sutherland, the student representative of UCA share with the new students the best gift she had from UCA, i.e. the personalized education, which endow her with independent thinking and self-confidence. She hoped that new students can be benefit from such an education mode and develop their own creativity and innovation.
Before the opening ceremony, President Zhang Rong of XMU also paid a visit to the ICI building and student dormitories and talked to the Chinese tutors and students.
ICI is a cooperative institute by XMU and UCA in the field of design. It is XMU’s first Sino-foreign cooperative educational institute approved by China’s Ministry of Education in 2019. Students will receive both bachelor degree issued by XMU and the bachelor（Hons）degree by UCA after completion of four-year study in Xiamen.
The opening ceremony was hosted by the Dean ofICI Prof. Qin Jian and attended by the senior consultant Prof. Lu Maozu, heads of administrative offices of XMU and representatives of tutors and students from both universities.