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On the afternoon of December 12th, 2018,Xinya College’sacademic salon activity “A Conversation withGetachew Engida” was held in Meeting Room 212 of the main building. Mr. Engida, Former DeputySecretary-General ofUNESCO and Co-Director ofthe China-Africa Leadership Development Center of Tsinghua University,held an in-depth exchange with Xinya studentson such topics as China’s rise,the Sino-African relationship,international organizations,characteristics of the world’s civilizations, university education, life selection and otherissues.

The salon was attended by Deputy Dean Cao Li of Xinya College, Tutor Xie Zheping of the Institute of Education and several African graduate students.The discussion was presided over by Chen Zonghao, a Xinya student majoring inElectronic EngineeringintheClass enrolled in 2017.

At the beginning of the salon,Tutor Cao Li first introducedMr.Engida andtheother gueststothedevelopment history and educationalconcept of Xinya College.Engida said that Xinya College is beautifully designed, and humanistic andlove education are particularly needed in the contemporary world.He thenshared his personal growth experience and several career changes with the students and teachers present. After emigrating from Ethiopia, studying and working inthe UK, and serving in international organizations for more than 20 years, Engida has unique insights into himself, others and society.

Aiming atChina’s rise,great-power politics, international organizations and otherissues, Mr.Engida pointed out that we are seeing the third global power shift after the Netherlands,UK and the United States, and the future of the worldisin China and Asia. In the past four decades, China has created an economic miracle unparalleled in human history. It is of great significance for the whole world to sum up Chinese experience. The withdrawal of the United States from UNESCO has had a certain impact on the organization but has not affected the normal development of its work. History showsthat a war does not solve problems but canonly trigger more problems.

Based on his own life experience,Mr.Engida shared his reflections on Chinese civilization, African civilization, Western (UK) civilization and characteristics of the United Statesand France withthestudents. Heproposed thatthepeopleofAfricaand China areclosely related, while the British have a strong sense of individualism, Americans believe that time is money and the importance ofleisure receives more emphasis in France.

Engidalastly answered students’ questions about leadership,campus living, lifeselection and so on. In hisopinion,firstly,leadership is situational, and differentleadership skills are needed for different situations; for instance,Churchill was a great leader duringWorld War II, buthe turned out to be an unsuitable leader ina time of peace. Secondly, vision is of great importance to all leaders.Without vision, leadership is impossible. Thirdly, a leader must have followers. Being willing to listen to others’ advice and havepublic debates and discussions are essential abilities fora leader. Heconcluded that leadership can be cultivated and it is possible for everyone to obtainsuch abilities.

Engida also toldthestudents that the most importantgoalin the college phase istocultivate a lifelong learning ability, and it is more important to learn how to learn than to learn knowledge.

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