On the morning of June 24, the 2017 Degree Awarding and Graduation Ceremony of the Sino-Danish College（SDC）was held in the auditorium on Yuquanlu campus. SDC is jointly run by the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) and eight Danish universities. This was the fourth SDC commencement. The number of participants surpassed the previous ones. Nearly 300 people from both China and Denmark shared joy, among whom were leaders, guests, academic staff, graduates and their parents.
Professor Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen, Danish director of the Sino-Danish Center and former President of Aarhus University, first introduced the Danish Ambassador A. Carsten Damsgaard, Academician Wu Yueliang, Vice President of UCAS and Dean of SDC and Professor Inger Askehave, Vice President of Aalborg University and member of the Danish Board of the Sino-Danish Center. Then he warmly welcomed the graduates and their parents and expressed his gratitude for their attendance. He praised the graduates for having the courage to explore and meet the challenges in an environment where Chinese and western cultures are integrated. He congratulated them on gaining professional knowledge, mastering scientific research skills, building strong friendships with classmates and promoting cooperation and exchanges between the two nations. Professor Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen emphasized that SDC belonged to neither China nor Denmark. Rather, it was a jointly run institution. He hoped that after studying in SDC graduates could think globally, compete globally, take great responsibilities and hold their future in their hands.
Academician, Vice President Professor Wu Yueliang expressed welcome to Ambassador A. Carsten Damsgaard and all the other guests, academic staff, graduates and their parents from afar. He thanked everyone for coming to witness this important moment, to review, summarize and anticipate SDC development. Mr. Wu congratulated 119 graduates and remarked that their graduation showed the rapid development of SDC. He then on behalf of UCAS expressed his sincere gratitude to professors’ dedication, especially those Danish professors who came to teach in China . Speaking of SDC long-term development, Academician Wu’s remarks were full of hope. The opening of Sino-Danish Building on Yanqihu Campus would greatly improve work and study environment in SDC. The new project on food and health on which the two nations had reached consensus will be initiated. SDC interns and graduates were popular in employing organizations and they would become talents needed in the development of social innovation and entrepreneurship. Academician Wu concluded that SDC was appealing to more talented students including UCAS undergraduate students and gaining more attention from the society. SDC would focus on talent education for a wider range of fields.
His Excellency Mr. A. Carsten Damsgaard, Ambassador of Royal Danish Embassy in China, attended the 2017 SDC Commencement for the second time in a row. He said it was a great pleasure to witness the important moment with SDC graduates from seven majors. He compared the development of SDC to climbing a mountain and emphasized the importance of down-to-earth efforts. He stated that graduation meant the students had reached a peak. In 2017, cooperation between China and Denmark entered a new stage. By 2020, the two nations would have deepened and extended dialogue and cooperation in a wider range of fields and at different levels, including energy, education, environment, food safety and health. To achieve this goal, SDC graduates should have international perspective, meet the challenges, give full play of their talent and promote shared development of the two nations. Finally, Ambassador A. Carsten Damsgaard invited graduates to visit the SDC Building on Yanqihu campus for academic exchanges in future.
Ms. Inger Askehave, Vice President of Aalborg University, Member of Danish Board of the Sino-Danish Center started her speech with “da jia hao”, a greeting in Chinese which received loud applause. She said to the graduates that they studied and grew up in a cross-cultural environment. Everything in SDC was new and challenging. What they had learned in SDC would lay a solid foundation for their future career. She hoped that they would continue to develop and innovate. Graduation was not just an ending, but a beginning. It gave the graduates a key to the door opening to a new life and to a new world. She expressed her congratulations to graduates.
The development of SDC needs both Chinese and Danish teachers’ participation. Morten Laugesen, Deputy Director of Sino-Danish Center invited Ms. Hu Yimei, the teacher representative to give a speech. Ms. Hu was a Chinese teacher at Aalborg University in Denmark. Her selection as the teacher representative reflected fusion of China and Denmark in SDC. Ms. Hu has been teaching at SDC since its foundation. She still remembered the first graduates, many of whom became her life-long friends. She took pride in the achievements of SDC and anticipated its brighter future. In Innovation Management which Ms. Hu taught, there was a term “ambidexterity”, meaning the state of being equally adept with each hand. The state agreed with Chinese philosophy of yin and yang which described seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected and interdependent in the natural world. It was the essence of SDC management. Ms. Hu Yimei believed that the experience in SDC would plant a seed of cultural integration in every student’s heart and the seed would be taken by the students to every corner of the world.
Student representatives Zhang Hao and Katarzyna Grycel said they were lucky to study in SDC. They shared their experiences, expressed their gratitude to SDC and wished SDC a brighter future!
Professor Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen, Academician Wu Yueliang, Professor Inger Askehave and Professor Hu Zhengyi conferred degrees on 2014 students. Professor Zhao Hong, Mr. Morten Laugesen and Ms. Hu Yimei presented graduation souvenirs to 2015 students. Professor Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen and Academician Wu Yueliang awarded 2016 Chinese and Danish outstanding students “Merit Student” and “Excellent Student Cadres ”.
At the end of the ceremony, Professor Hu Zhengyi, Executive Dean of SDC, expressed his gratitude to students’ parents for their trust. He hoped that graduates would remember this moment and contribute to development of the two nations.