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On the morning of November 5th, the late autumn sunlight filtered through the yellow and green leaves,leaving the courtyard in front of Shengyinyuan No. 22 particularly quiet. Cao Li, Deputy Dean of Xinya College, Yu Yunhan, Deputy Director of the Global Competency Development Center, and other teachers led 20 student representatives from the School of Architecture, School of Materials, School of Science, School of Environment, School of Social Sciences, etc., of Xinya College,anda group of six people, including David Fuller, Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, gathered together and held a round table discussion featuring cross-cultural exchange, inter-civilization dialogue and inter-disciplinary discussion.

On behalf of Xinya College, Professor Cao Li first extended a warm welcome to Lord Mayor David Fuller and his party. She introduced the background and development process of Xinya College to the guests, andnoted that Xinya College’s talent training concept and education and teaching practice of“putting knowledge first, integrating general and specialized knowledge, inheriting innovation and pursuing excellence”reflects the reform and innovation direction of the undergraduate training mode of Tsinghua University,andhigher education in China. It is expected that through the baptism and training of the college’s learning community, students will gainhigh ambitions, a complete and solid foundation in arts and science, and professional ability, enabling them to make outstanding contributions to national rejuvenation, social development, and human progress in the near future. Teacher Yu Yunhan introduced the internationalization process of Tsinghua University in recent years, the basic tasks and responsibilities of the Global Competency Development Center, and the background and expected goals of Tsinghua University’s initiative to develop global competence. She added that global competency training is a vital part of talent training at Tsinghua, andalso a mission-driven comprehensive project which requires the joint efforts and mutual support of students, teachers and managers.

Mr. Fuller expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the teachers and students for the opportunity to visit Tsinghua University, then introduced his duties asLord Mayor and his achievements in promoting charity. Headded that this is his secondterm asLord Mayor of Portsmouth. Historically,Lord Mayor was an honorary title conferred by the monarch of England. The City Council is authorized to elect a citizen ofthecitywho has achieved outstanding success in a particular field to hold this position, remainpolitically neutral and play a mobilizing and exemplary role in public affairs. Lord Mayor is a model and honorary parent of a city. As the port city of the Royal Navy base, Portsmouth is supported and protected by the Royal Charter. It wasthe main retreat pointfor allied forcesinthe Dunkirk Evacuation during World War II, and the site where theallied forces planned the Normandy campaign.It is a port city in southeast England with historical significance, cultural connotations and modern style. Mr. Fuller welcomed the students to visit Portsmouth and learn more about British history and culture,past and present, through the mast of thisnaval port city.

Mr. Cai Runquan, President of the Portsmouth Chinese Association, shared his work experience and educationalideas. Headvised young peopleto broaden their knowledge, read thousands of books, travel thousands of miles, learn from each other, encourage each other, go abroad frequently, learn about the outside world widely and apply what they have learned.

Yang Maoyi, astudent enrolled in 2016, took the lead in sharing her feelings as an exchange student in Britain.She spoke in particular about the place of Shakespeare and drama performances in Britishlife, andherunforgettable experience of directing Shakespeare’s plays in the summer semester and winning eight awards with other Xinya students. GouZhengtai,astudent enrolled in 2019, asked about the election process for Lord Mayor and showed strong interest in the British urban management system and mechanism.Qian Yujia,astudent fromthe School of Architecture,pointed out that there is broad space for comparison and reference between China and Britain in urban planning, residential design and environmental development and protection.Liu Yangbo fromthe Department of Electrical Engineering,Peng Haiyue from the Department of Mathematics, Mao YangzewenandZhang Chuyi from Xinya College, and other students held a heated discussion with the delegation members on topics such as science and art, global competence, public affairs and universities and colleges. After the students had spoken and asked questions actively, Lord Mayor David Fuller presented them with the Portsmouth City Badge.

The students’ dedication to learning andactive and enterprising spirit, and the early autumn scenery of Tsinghua Campus, alternating between present and past through time and space, were frequently praised by members of the delegation. The two sides pledged to strengthen their exchanges and cooperation in the future, andwork together for the cultivation of talents.

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