20th Oct has witnessed the happening of a historic event in Chinese educational community. The inaugural ceremony of Westlake University was held in Hangzhou, China.
Han Qide, Yuan Jiajun, Du Yubo, Yang Zhenning and Shi Yigong jointly unveiled the plaque for Westlake University, and this marked the birth of the very first private elite research institution that is founded by social forces and supported by the national government.
Du Yubo, the director of National Assessment Committee for Institutions of Higher Learning and former deputy secretary of the CPC Leading Group and vice-minister of the Ministry of Education, extended the warmest congratulations and best wishes to Westlake University on behalf of the Ministry of Education.
Shi Yigong, president of Westlake University, made an address titled “Get Ready for Challenges and March Forward at Double Speed”. In his address, Shi described the position and goal of the university in four chapters respectively, namely the Dream of Westlake, the Birth of Westlake, the Road of Westlake, the Fortune of Westlake.
During the inaugural ceremony, Che Jun, Party secretary of Zhejiang Province, and Zhou Jiangyong, Party secretary of Hangzhou City, Mark Wrighton, Chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis, Shi Wei, President of Hongkong University of Science and Technology, Jiang Shengyao, executive deputy secretary of CPC Leading Group and vice-president of Tsinghua University, and Lin Jianhua, president of Peking University all delivered a speech respectively.
Che Jun expressed his high expectation towards Westlake University in his speech. He hopes that Westlake University will be a ship that sails towards the faraway dream, overcoming every obstacle it encounters; he hopes that Westlake University will be a fluttering flag, towering at the peak of technology innovation; he hopes that Westlake University will be a hall of stars, a wonderland that all elites yearning for; he hopes that Westlake University will be a powerful engine, boosting the high-quality development of Zhejiang in the fast lane.
In the acknowledge part, an elaborate video was made to express their thanks towards the Party and state governments at all levels, universities and research institutions from home and abroad, donors of Westlake University, and people from all walks of life that have helped during the preparation of the establishment of Westlake University.
Shi Yigong conferred the donors with the title of honorary founding member on the day of establishment. Those who got titled were: Wang Jianlin, Ma Huateng, Ni Liangzheng, and Wang Shuifu...
As a new-type university that is founded by social forces and strongly supported by the national government, Westlake University is established upon the foundation of Westlake Institute for Advanced Study. Ever since the preparation stage from March, 2015, the university has been positioned as a small-scale, top-level and research oriented university. The university will start from cultivating doctoral candidates, focus on higher education and academic research and nurture top versatile talents of innovation. Currently, Westlake University has made phased achievements in perspectives such as system design, campus planning, faculty recruiting, talent training and scientific research.
Sunon and Westlake University
In 2017, Ni Liangzheng, president of Sunon Charity Foundation and Sunon Group, developed an acquaintance with Professor Shi Yigong. On hearing the plan, vision and mission of Westlake University, Mr. Ni believed that the philosophy of Westlake University coincided with the philosophy of Sunon “to be leading at home, competitive in the world”. Adhering to his original will of repaying the society, Mr. Ni made a donation of 100 million RMB to Westlake University to support the development of the university and also the development of education and technology.
Ni Liangzheng said that establishing Westlake University is how Zhejiang government's decision and arrangement that reacts to the “Double Tops” Strategy of the central government, and is beneficial to attracting and nurturing world-class talents and enhance our innovation capability. As a private enterprise, it's a great honor and also a responsibility to do something for Westlake University within our power.