Secondly, we shall further intensify universities’ function in scientific research and open up new fields of scientific progress by way of cooperation and mutual sharing of resources.
The world today is on the eve of a new revolution in science and technology, and ushering in an epoch of intensive innovation and industrial revitalization. Interdisciplinary integration and cooperation across fields and national boundaries are fast catching on in scientific research. China has shifted its economic restructuring strategy to development of new energy sources, information networking, biopharmacology, advanced manufacturing, and other rising industries of strategic importance, and our universities have a major role to play in renovating crucial basic theories and lifting technological bottlenecks on the chain of economic development.
In rising up to major global challenges, China encourages its universities to step up researches in economics and finance, history, culture, democracy, the rule of law, social development and other fields of humanities and social sciences. The nation provides intellectual support on the causes to respect diverse civilizations, promote trans-cultural exchanges, study different modes of development, and foster a sensible framework of international politics and a new economic order.
We encourage our universities to follow the inherent laws governing scientific research and to let go of themselves in exploring into unvisited territories. We step up a pattern in which universities, research institutes and enterprises can reach out to each other, promote the sharing of scientific and technological resources, and raise the efficiency and level in scientific researches. We cultivate teams for interdisciplinary teaching and researches, encourage interaction between disciplines, and speed up the incubation of new sources of disciplinary growth. We encourage nations and universities to collaborate in various forms, including building joint laboratories, research and development centers and other innovative platforms that help tap innovative potentials and allow research results to multiply.
Thirdly, we shall further extend our universities’ function in social service and encourage them to play a leadership role in opening up new vistas for progress in civilization.
A university can let its value shine through, truly put itself at society’s service, and become a leader only when it can interact intimately with society. Only by feeding its research and innovation results back to society can a university’s functions and achievements be embodied.
We maintain that universities must be extensively involved in popularizing science, disseminating advanced culture, and raising public attainments in science and humanities, and that they must also work to become trend-setters for civilization and social mores. We encourage every university to foster a distinctively innovative culture and turn it into a rich soil for the growth of outstanding talents and inventions. We encourage university students to take the initiative into their own hands in regional socioeconomic development, and we set great store by the roles of brain banks and think tanks.
Today, we are happy to see many far-sighted entrepreneurs participate in this forum to show their ardent desire for university-enterprise collaboration. We believe that production, scholarship, research and application should be closely combined; we go all out to speed up the conversion of university research results into real productivity; and we encourage universities to help enterprises upgrade their technology and management and urge enterprises to support universities in raising their school-running level. These are important ways for universities to serve society and for enterprises to honor their social responsibilities.
As major carriers of our nation’s cultural heritage, universities should also consciously perform their function in promoting exchanges in humanities. Such exchanges pave the way for people-to-people, heart-to-heart communication, and are therefore fundamental, pioneering, extensive and sustainable. Universities should pioneer in such exchanges and make still greater contributions to the diversity, harmony and coexistence of civilizations. Only when more and more people come to respect and enjoy each other’s cultures can they overcome differences in social system, ideology and mode of development and see their wish for a harmonious world come true.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
We are right in the Age of the Internet, but virtual space cannot replace candid face-to-face exchanges, and high-definition television cannot replace a real-life winsome smile. The fact that university presidents and entrepreneurs of different nations, faiths and cultural backgrounds can come together to inspire each other, seek consensuses, and promote innovation will have an extensive and sustained impact on education development -- an impact that will also extend to society as well.
All those present today are outstanding leaders in higher education and the business world. As the old saying goes, “There are always other hills whose stones are good for working jade” – meaning that the advice from someone else may help overcome one’s own weaknesses. It is therefore my sincere hope that we shall work hand in hand to elevate and enrich this forum and turn it into an interactive platform for exchanging ideas and sharing wisdom, an open platform for pragmatic cooperation and common development, a friendship platform for enhancing communication and mutual trust, and a high-end platform that towers over the frontiers and puts its name on the world map. It is my belief that with our concerted efforts, we shall be able to lead higher education to a new height of development and contribute our wisdom and strength to world peace and the progressive cause of humanity.
Finally, let me wish the Fourth Chinese-Foreign University Presidents Forum a resounding success.