Yesterday, the University announced the schedule for the re-opening of campus. Next week, you'll be back among our familiar, yet too long empty, classrooms and be enjoying the spring sunshine on our green and open spaces.
2020 has so far been a difficult year, to say the very least. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, our spring semester started on the internet, and each of us has experienced significant changes in our personal, academic or professional lives. In the face of these challenges, we persevered and came together to finally bring about this long-for reunion.
I would like to thank everyone at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China, who helped each other and fought against the epidemic.
The UNNC Working Group of COVID-19 Prevention and Control has been active since the Chinese New Year's Eve, responding promptly to all kinds of emergencies to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff as well as the orderly introduction of online teaching.
Our administrative staff returned early to work, followed by our academic staff and students. The logistics staff worked round the clock to ensure safety and to bring daily supplies for staff and students remaining on campus.
Our academic staff put all their energy and time into online teaching. I understand that some instructors even set up a special group chat in order to hold effective online sessions. They also used their professional skills to help fight the virus and shared their insights in various fields such as the economy, tourism and the recovery of Ningbo.
To our students, I say that you overcame many difficulties to study at home and cooperated with various epidemic prevention protocols to support the University during this difficult time. You took action proactively and voluntarily collected epidemic prevention equipment to help the broader Nottingham community. Many of you passed on warmth and hope via the internet through music and art.
This epidemic is undoubtedly a disaster, but it also teaches us a number of unique lessons - how to continue studying and learning in such unprecedented circumstances is undoubtedly one of them.
When the University began online teaching, you started to practice independent learning, self-management and self-discipline. These are core qualities that the University is committed to cultivating and one of the competitive advantages of UNNC students. I believe that those adept at autonomous learning will achieve rapid growth while balancing study and daily life.
During social isolation, you are developing your abilities of introspection and critical thinking. Can you calm your anxieties and re-examine the world and yourself? Learning is not limited to universities. What is the nature of the world? What is the destiny of humankind? What is the meaning of life? What attitude should you take when facing a crisis, and what kind of person will you become in the future? Have you ever considered such questions?
Prestigious institutions, libraries, museums and publishers around the globe have opened up their resources and e-commerce is flourishing unprecedentedly, taking the responsibility of supporting people's livelihoods. Remote diagnosis and treatment show the power of technology.
Staying at home should not narrow your vision or limit your ambitions. The impact of the epidemic will be far-reaching and, when it is all over, our world may be very different.
Be diligent in thought and courageous in deed, and be proud of how you reacted during this time. I hope that you can find new ways of thinking, learning and cooperation from this experience to make yourself stronger and make the world better.
No previous generation understands the meaning of globalisation and the concept of “a community of shared destiny” better than yours. The shaping of the new international pattern requires you, UNNC students and prospective international citizens, to stand out and contribute your knowledge, insight and courage.
The University is ready for your return, and we will soon meet again on our beautiful campus. Please be grateful for the seemingly ordinary opportunity to study in the lecture rooms with your peers; please cherish what you possess now and the beauty of the world.
However, the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic is not yet over, and you will still notice certain restrictions upon your campus life. We still need to persist in our efforts and face new challenges together.
I wish you good health, a positive attitude and abundant skills. I hope you can head anywhere in the world with knowledge and empathy and pursue your dreams.
With best wishes
Professor Yang Fujia
President of University of Nottingham Ningbo China