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2019 International Student Characteristic Winter School "Frontier and Interdisciplinary Science" held at IUE

From January 10 to 16, 2019 International Student Characteristic Winter School "Frontier and Interdisciplinary Science" of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (hereinafter referred to as "Characteristic Winter School"), which is sponsored by the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) and host by the Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IUE-CAS) was held in Xiamen. 48 outstanding international students and 15 education management cadres from 17 countries and 27 training units met at IUE and experienced a week of exciting professional course learning and cultural exchange practice activities.

On the morning of January 11, the opening ceremony of Characteristic Winter School was held in the first-floor lecture hall at IUE and presided over by Dr. Feng Chen from the UCAS International College. Academician Yong-guan Zhu, the Party Secretary of IUE, some professors, representatives of education management cadres from various training units, and all students attended the opening ceremony.

At the opening ceremony, Academician Yong-guan Zhu delivered a warm speech. What he said “You must have felt the warmness in Xiamen. It is from our heart” expressed his great welcome to foreign students. He specially put on his suit when studying in the UK more than 20 years ago, in order to show his understanding to foreign students with the strangeness, confusion, etc. when they began to study and live in a different country. He hoped that the foreign students could really feel the care of the teachers from UCAS and China and could learn the world’s most advanced scientific and technological knowledge in China and be academically successful. Based on his own experience, he emphasized the importance of studying abroad for personal growth. He hoped that foreign students could become influential scientists in their homeland and even in the world. In the future, they could support each other in the international academic arena to promote peaceful and friendly exchanges between China and their homelands.

At the end of the speech, Academician Yong-guan Zhu handed over a flag with the words "Education on National Conditions of UCAS Foreign Student Management Cadres" to Director Tangrong Wang from the Graduate Department of IUE, marking the official opening of the first learning class of the national education for UCAS foreign student education management cadres. In order to better adapt to the goals of foreign students’ education and training in the new situation, and to help the further development of foreign student education at UCAS, the organizer creatively opened national education classes for foreign student education management cadres during Characteristic Winter School. After the ceremony, this flag will continue to accompany the class of foreign students' frontier and cross-science series of characteristic schools in the future.

Then, Professor Xin Yu from Xiamen University delivered a speech on behalf of the teachers of Winter School. He first recalled the wonderful life as an alumnus of UCAS and pointed out that UCAS is a university with the most excellent teachers relying on its various institutes and has become famous all over the world. It is very lucky for foreign students to study in such a high-level university. He welcomed all foreign students to Xiamen and believed Xiamen would leave a good memory for them because Xiamen has a beautiful environment and profound historical background and is one of the most beautiful cities in China. The southern Fujian area where Xiamen is located is also the starting point of the Maritime Silk Road. The Maritime Silk Road is not only a trade channel for material and technology, but also a road for the spread of peace and civilization. Although the winter school is short, he hoped foreign students could become active participants in the Belt and Road Initiative and what they have learned in China could serve their motherland and become messengers for the exchanges between their motherland and China.

The topics of Characteristic Winter School include environmental science and engineering, ecology and chemistry, etc. Nine scholars from relevant institutes of CAS and famous universities on both sides of the Taiwan Strait were invited to teach the students frontier hotspots and research methods in environmental science, environmental engineering, ecology, geography, materials science, chemistry, etc. Professor Xin Yu used the metaphor of "Dangerous Sleeping Beauty" and "New Driver at Late Peak" to vividly introduce the occurrence, spread and diffusion of VBNC-type bacteria and antibiotic resistant bacteria in drinking water. Prof. Weiqiang Chen introduced the urbanization process of China since the 1980s and discussed the scientific problems in this unprecedented great change in human history and the Chinese solutions to these problems. Prof. Yuming Zheng systematically explained Electrostatic Nano-Spinning Membrane Material and the principle and process of preparation, as well as its application in air pollution and water pollution control, and demonstrated the industrialization results of IUE in this field. 3D printing technology has obvious advantages in the preparation of porous, hollow, and personalized structures, but there is often a gap in quality compared with traditional processes. Prof. Lixin Wu explained how to add Nano-materials to improve the parameters of tensile coefficient and elastic strength of printing products. The reports of other professors are also rich in content with inspiration and attraction, which made the students deeply learn the professional knowledge of related subject areas. The classroom atmosphere is active, and the foreign students and professors have conducted enthusiastic exchanges and interactions.

Combined with the professional courses, the Characteristic Winter School also organized rich national conditions education courses. In the Jimei School Village of Xiamen, students learnt the touching deeds of Tan Kah Kee, a famous patriotic overseas Chinese leader and educator. They knew that the development of Xiamen University and Jimei School Village and the education city of Xiamen for the cultivation of high-quality talents were inseparable from Tan Kah Kee’s investment in running schools and developing education vigorously. On January 12, students were organized to have a live lecture on China's national conditions and policies. They visited the huge banner of "One Country, Two Systems, Unify China" on the Island Ring Boulevard and overlooked Quemoy Island of Taiwan, China. It made everyone more deeply realize that there is only one China in the world, the mainland and Taiwan all belong to one China, and China's sovereignty and territorial integrity cannot be separated. In Kulangsu, the world cultural heritage known as the “Exotic Building Clusters Expo”, students visited the original sited of consulates of more than ten countries and architectural community with different styles and combining Chinese and Western architecture on the island. They learnt about the history of the Xiamen people ’s constant struggle during the colonial period. While reviewing the great changes of Kulangsu in the past hundred years, students deeply realized that the Chinese nation is not succumb to power, but also good at cultural integration. All of the vivid examples impressed the students.

The Characteristic Winter School also organized teaching practice courses, and brought students to the laboratory and instrument center of the relevant professional field in IUE for study and exchange. It not only showed the advantages of IUE in frontier and interdisciplinary subjects, but also deepened students’ understandings of professional fields and widened their scientific visions.

On January 15, the Characteristic Winter School held a closing ceremony at IUE. The teaching professors and education management cadres awarded the winter school completion certificate to the students. After that, there was a multicultural exchange party. The students actively demonstrated their talents including Chinese traditional finger dances and various countries’ dances and songs. It is impressive and has achieved the original intention of running the school especially the national knowledge competition.

The Characteristic Winter School is one of the specific measures of UCAS to practice the integration of science and education. Through the science and education platform of frontier and interdisciplinary science series characteristic schools, the advantages and characteristics of the IUE in developing the integration of science and education personnel training are further exerted. The Characteristic Winter School held by IUE not only effectively publicized and displayed the charm of IUE, promoted the development of the education and training for foreign students, but also further highlighted the characteristics of international cooperation of IUE.

Frontier and Interdisciplinary Science Series Characteristic School (hereinafter referred to as "Characteristic School") is a natural extension of international education and training course teaching of UCAS. It is an international student innovation programme jointly funded by the UCAS International College and CAS-TWAS President’s Fellowship Programme and ICTP-AP and welcomes all UCAS students. Through the selection of outstanding students from different grades of various institutes/departments, the Characteristic School aims to provide frontier and interdisciplinary science knowledge to international students, build an academic exchange platform and cooperation platform, cultivate talents with global vision and cross-cultural exchange ability, and promote the international education brand of UCAS. So far, it has been held for 16 consecutive times.


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