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Huaqiao University: New Journey in Spring

Release time:2018-04-06      Author:Jia Pingfan, Yang Ziyan, Zheng Na and Wang Junling


International students from CCLC of HQU are on an interview.

      In this brilliant spring, we paid a visit to Huaqiao University in Fujian Province, from Xiamen campus, Chinese Language and Culture College to Quanzhou campus, where flourishing trees and blooming flowers were brimming the campuses with vitality and vigor.

      Located at the picturesque west coast of East China Sea, Huaqiao University is the sole university named after Huaqiao (overseas Chinese) in China. Walking around the campuses, we could feel sea breezes caressing us gently and even faintly hear sea waves beating the shore in the near distance. Wherever we went, we met students from overseas. No doubt "sea" is the most distinctive feature of the university.

Integration of Chinese Wisdom and Foreign Expertise, Unification of Moral Character and Professional Excellence

      Li Wenting, an Indonesian Chinese student born in 1997, sang a Yu Opera Mulan with a little bit of shyness when taking the interview. Her excellent performance was highly appreciated as a native one.

      Li Wenting is a fourth-generation overseas Chinese, having ancestral home in Taishan, Guangdong Province in China. Now a junior student majoring in Chinese Language and Culture, she speaks fluent Chinese and is expert at reciting poems written by Li Bai, the great poet from ancient China. She has also learned Gaojia Opera, a local opera in Fujian. In the future, she would like to be a Chinese teacher back home, since she has benefited greatly from the Chinese language and culture education in Huaqiao University.

      Chinese language and culture education serves as the gold-lettered signboard here. A wide range of key programs concerning Chinese language and culture, including Chinese Culture Fun Summer Camp, Foreign Government Officials' Chinese Class and Workshop for Young Sci-Tech Talents from Angolan Government, enjoy renowned reputation in the world.

      Xu Xipeng, the president of Huaqiao University, told the People’s Daily in the exclusive interview:"Huaqiao University dedicates to orienting its education to students from foreign countries, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and aims to serve overseas Chinese and promote Chinese culture. Since its establishment, nearly 200,000 students of all levels have graduated from the university, among which nearly 50,000 currently live in overseas areas, and have become the envoys of friendship in the promotion of communication and cooperation between China and foreign countries."

      Huaqiao University is active in international exchanges and cooperation, having signed cooperation agreements with over 200 universities from more than 50 countries and regions, and set up 77 admissions offices across the globe and an International School with courses offered in English.

      Through such platforms as Chinese-Thai Strategic Research Seminar, Maritime Silk Road Institute and Overseas Chinese Institute, Huaqiao University has worked together with overseas research institutes and conducted outbound researches to provide consulting reports and intellectual support for decision-making in our country. In recent years, Huaqiao University has become an important think-tank in researches on overseas Chinese as well as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Established for and Thriving on the Overseas Chinese

      "It was absolutely a formidable challenge to get where we are." President Xu had strong feelings with him in retrospect of the past.

      The prospering China in the 1950s and 1960s has attracted many young overseas compatriots to return to their motherland for study and work, devoting themselves to national advancement. In this context, the Chinese government determined to establish Huaqiao University in Quanzhou.

      "In spite of the limited resources, the university built school houses by itself and invited faculties from well-known universities."

      The founders of Huaqiao University have tided over many difficulties with perseverance. The first teachers in Huaqiao University were transferred from Peking University, Tsinghua University, Jiaotong University, and other prestigious universities. Living in harsh conditions, they nurtured this young university with great care by their rich experience, prudent teaching style and first-rated academic researches.

      "The 84 students enrolled in the first year were mostly from Southeastern Asia. Diligent and independent, they finished their courses smoothly, which set the tone for the excellent academic atmosphere and school mentality in our university." said President Xu Xipeng.

      Huaqiao University was once closed during the Culture Revolution. Since the launch of the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) decided to rehabilitate the university. Thanks to this effort, Huaqiao University, upholding the inclusive spirit of the sea refusing no rivers, was again able to welcome students from every corner of China and the world at large. In 1983, the Central Committee of CPC and the State Council unveiled a policy to map out the education purpose, task and principle for Huaqiao University, laying solid foundation for its further development.

      Huaqiao University, established for and thriving on the overseas Chinese, sets foot on serving both domestic students and overseas students at the places where they are rooted in, takes a global vision and dedicates in cultivating talents for our social advancement.

      At the current time, Huaqiao University, home to 4,627 students from over 50 countries and regions including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, is among universities recruiting the largest number of international students in China.

      How time flies! The university will be celebrating its 58th (1960-2018) anniversary this year. It has been 58 years of ups and downs, a stretch of time that may roughly outline a person’s whole life; but to a university, the same period of time, though seemingly a little bit short, could demonstrate unlimited potentials for its promising future.

      In 2006, Xiamen campus of Huaqiao University was officially put into use. In 2017, Huaqiao University was listed among the first-class universities and first-class disciplines in Fujian Province, named as Double First-Class University. In the new era, it is again embracing brand-new opportunities.  

Gathering the Overseas Powers to Serve the Country

      In Chinese Language and Culture College, there are buildings demonstrating a distinctive Hokkien culture, featuring green tiles, swallow-tailed eaves and unique iconic fixture of the Kah-Kee style. Overlooking the ocean, the buildings serve as a great reminder of yesterday and witness today and tomorrow.

      Quanzhou, the starting point of the ancient Maritime Silk Road, carries with abundant cultural heritage over thousands of years. Huaqiao University takes an active part in the BRI construction. As President Xu Xipeng said, "Our historic mission in the new era is to promote both the stories and spirits of the Road. Huaqiao University has strong confidence to do it well."

      --- We will make the most of the popularity Huaqiao University enjoys overseas and the cooperation agreements signed with over 100 universities abroad. More influential corporations run by overseas Chinese will be invited to join in our education programs, enabling Chinese language and culture more accessible to the world with promoted localization and networking as well as fostering more excellent talents for the BRI.

      --- We will hold international seminars focusing on the Maritime Silk Road, from which consensus in politics, business and academia will be reached as contributions to the win-win cooperation between China and the countries along the route. We will also carry out researches into industrial layouts for more valuable resources from overseas Chinese.

      --- We will adhere to the talents training mode featured by "Root, Study, Love and Dream" as a whole for international students, especially overseas Chinese. This endeavor gives prominence to the overseas Chinese students’ recognition of their motherland both in culture and development path.

      Huaqiao University carries with itself clear-cut mindsets and plans to fulfill new requirements of development in a new age. President Xu said:"Huaqiao University would remain committed to the strategy of developing itself into an elite university with overseas Chinese education and studies as its feature. Taking the government’s effort to be a Double First-Class university as an opportunity, the university will make further progress by improving its academic competence, keeping its uniqueness and cultivating top minds. We will further improve talent training and overall education level as a way to better serve the overseas Chinese and the economic and social development of China and extensively pool the wisdom and strengths of overseas Chinese." 

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