On March 2, Xinya College held a welcome meeting for external teachers for the spring semester of 2023 in Meeting Room 212 of the Central Main Building. Xinya College administrative council members and some external teachers participated, online and in person.
Online participants included Huang Yong, Professor and Chairman, Department of Philosophy, Chinese University of Hong Kong, responsible for the course “Frontiers of Global Philosophy” in conjunction with Professor Li Chenyang, Dean of the Department of Philosophy, Nanyang Technological University; Yuan-Jung Cheng, former Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, National Sun Yat-sen University and Dean, Department of English, Shih Hsin University, responsible for the course “Introduction to Literary Works: Contemporary Western Novels”; and Heh-Hsiang Yuan, former Professor and Chairman, Department of English, Chinese University of Hong Kong, responsible for the course “Humanistic Understanding of English Literature”.
In person participants included Liu Zhiwei, Professor, Department of History, Sun Yat-sen University, responsible for the course “Economic History”; Li Xi, Associate Professor, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Peking University, responsible for the course “Landscape and Chinese Culture”; Zhou Liqun, Associate Professor, School of Asian Studies, Beijing Foreign Studies University, responsible for the course “Indian Civilization”; Yang Meng, Assistant Professor, Peking University, who was involved in setting up the course “Jewish Civilization”.
Mei Ciqi, Dean of Xinya College, warmly welcomed and thanks all the teachers in attendance, fully recognizing the invaluable contributions made by renowned educators, both inside and outside the university, to establishing a foundation for general education and exploring the educational and teaching methods in the academy system since its inception. Mei Ciqi pointed out that, on the one hand, teachers were what defined Xinya College. For students to flourish into the type of individuals that Xinya College envisioned, it was imperative to provide exceptional teachers. On the other hand, the presence of diverse teachers opened up new possibilities for Xinya College, and the College was delighted to welcome 12 accomplished teachers this term, each one of whom represented a unique possibility. Mei Ciqi expressed the earnest desire that, while showing consideration for their students, the teachers would also maintain strict requirements for, and management of, fundamental issues such as attendance, academic standards, and learning attitudes. He believed that the students of Xinya College could undoubtedly gain in terms of knowledge, and grow in terms of character and values, through their interactions with renowned teachers, both inside and outside the classroom.
Later, on behalf of Xinya College, Mr. Mei Ciqi issued letters of appointment to external teachers. Following a relaxed and warm issuing ceremony, the teachers present engaged in in-depth exchanges.
Firstly, Mr. Huang Yong expressed his gratitude to Xinya College for their invitation, and shared his thoughts on the course "Frontiers of Global Philosophy". Mr. Huang believed that the course not only offered a simplified comparison between Chinese and Western philosophy, but also provided unique explanations of leading international philosophical problems during the process of comparison, which ultimately yielded solutions. The aim of this course was to guide students directly toward the most cutting-edge exploration and discussion. Mr. Huang also expressed his eagerness to meet with the teachers and students of Xinya College in order to exchange and discuss educational methods and experiences.
Ms. Yuan-Jung Cheng reminisced about campus life at Tsinghua before Covid-19 and praised the enthusiasm, open-mindedness, and diversity of thought displayed by Tsinghua students during past lectures. She encouraged students to view the world with respect and inclusivity, reminding them not to overlook the profoundity of Chinese culture in the course of their study of Western culture. She also conveyed Mr. Heh-Hsiang Yuan's appreciation and enthusiasm for the teaching work at Xinya College, and expressed his hope to return to Tsinghua to meet the students soon.
Mr. Liu Zhiwei expressed his happiness to be returning to Tsinghua to offer lectures once again. He had felt a strong sense of fulfillment teaching at Xinya during the past few years, reflecting both the high-quality work submitted by students and their diversity and creativity during teaching and discussion. He looked forward to witnessing these sparks of thought during communication with students this semester.
Ms. Li Xi commented that teaching students excessively specialized knowledge concerning art might not lead them to true aesthetic education. In her class, she had most appreciated the positive, modest and inclusive learning style of Xinya students, as well as their pure and authentic enthusiasm in asking and answering questions. She hoped that in her teaching tailored to Xinya, she would inspire students to ponder aesthetics, and to explore the possibilities of true aesthetic education, with extensive communication and interaction.
Ms. Zhou Liqun thanked Xinya College for the invitation and expressed her appreciation for Xinya's unique mode of teaching. She demonstrated the teaching aids that she would be using during the semester, and expressed her intention to lead the students in understanding and experiencing the unique charm of Indian civilization in the broadest and most multi-level way possible.
Ms. Yang Meng expressed her gratitude toward Xinya's administration staff and teaching assistants for their strong support for her teaching work. She hoped to see students actively and confidently participating in discussions during lessons, and to receive genuine feedback from them to improve the course.
Finally, Mr. Ruan Dong, leader of the Party Working Group of Xinya College, delivered a concluding speech. Mr. Ruan briefly reviewed the development of the college and its exploration of liberal arts education. He also gave an overview of the spirit and characteristics of the community of teachers and students. Affirming the contribution of all external teachers in terms of knowledge and experience to the cultivation of students at Xinya, he thanked all teachers in advance for their consideration for the students, expressing assurances that the Xinya College team would continue to provide an excellent service, and his belief that the students of the college would benefit greatly from their teachers' guidance.