Time flies fast, leaving behind a fond memory of the past. Standing at the threshold of the New Year, we USST-ers have been looking back on the ups and downs of the fleeting year of 2022. Though USST-ers have experienced hardships, frustrations, even disappointments in the past year, we are grateful for all the courage and tenacity we have demonstrated, for all the accomplishments we have made. On this New Year’s Day, we would like to say Happy New Year to all USST-ers who have made sacrifices and never given up, which made the past year so meaningful! On behalf of all USST-ers, now and here, we would also like to extend our best regards and sincere thanks to all those who care about and support the development of USST.
In the spring of 2022, COVID pandemic ran rampant, affecting Shanghai enormously. Urgent assistance was needed to maintain a safe campus. Every USST-er knew that it was their responsibility to curb the pandemic and make the campus safe. Staff and faculty members never hesitated to volunteer. They worked tirelessly for long hours, day and night at various posts, cleansing the floors, helping transfer the infected students, distributing food, etc,. In this smokeless anti-COVID war, whether offline or online, we were impressed by the heroes in harm’s way who were determined to win the uphill battle, who, selfless and fearless, tried every effort to keep the pandemic at bay, who endured sufferings without any complaint, and who sought opportunities in danger by engaging in innovation. Moreover, we were deeply impressed by our over twenty thousand students on campus, who made strict demands on themselves, kept an eye on each other and lent a helping hand to each other in time of need. It was those heroes who made huge sacrifices, exhibited great love and tenacious willpower that warmed people’s hearts and gave people the hope during the tough times. It is the concerted efforts, perseverance and the spirit of never giving up of those heroes that have proved we USST-ers are fighters deserving respect.
Under the background of the risks and challenges imposed by the epidemic and social transformation, every effort and every achievement is precious and deserves our respect. In the past year, we have been deepening the implementation of the “1+X+N” patriotic education model; additional six national first-class majors have been approved, and our students have won a national gold medal in China College Students’ ‘Internet+’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship. USST is listed as one of the first construction units of the National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education Practice Base; the discipline of environment/ecology has entered the top 1% of ESI in the world; four of our scholars have been selected as “Highly Cited Researchers” in the world in 2022; and for the first time, one of our professors has published a paper in Science as co-first author.
Also in the past year, we were granted 90 National Natural Science Foundation projects, 54 provincial and ministerial level or above liberal arts projects, all of which reached a new historical high. Scientific research funds exceeded 300 million yuan, and we also won the first prize from the Ministry of Education for technological invention for the first time.
The cross-disciplinary innovation platforms, epitomized by interdisciplinary cooperation between medical science and engineering, have kept expanding, so their influence and social reputation have kept rising. The recruitment of such top scientists as Academician Dou Shixue, Academician Liu Huagui and their teams as full time faculty members has expanded the channels for talent promotion and evaluation system.
The construction, maintenance, and restoration projects of the student apartment buildings, the libraries and other campus amenities boost the campus landscape. The construction of a national model campus has been in full swing and greater efforts have been made to cultivate academic atmosphere on campus. Even though USST-ers have been confronted with many difficulties, they are steadfast as usual in their efforts to construct a top-level university.
High quality development will keep moving forward. The communique of the 20th CPC National Congress is far sighted, drafting a blueprint for the future. In the great journey of building a modern socialist country, in the strategic layout of focusing on improving education, upgrading science and technology, and cultivating talents, and in our dream of building a first-class science and technology university with distinctive features. Then, what USST will do ? That is a question we must answer.
The rapidly changing internal and external situation and multiple constraints are no excuse for us to stay idle and drift with the tide. Only by adhering to development as the core and focusing on high-quality development, can we boost our strength, determination and confidence to overcome all difficulties.
Aiming at high-quality development, we should foster a systematic concept, make ambitious plans, usher in new development patterns, and have a clear understanding of the current situation and future tasks——
We should have a clear understanding of the relationship between historical inevitability and real life contingency. In the current situations and changes, there are real life contingencies like the epidemic, but the great rejuvenation of the Chinese people is a historical inevitability.
“Everything will be a good thing in the end. If it is not, it will not be the end.” The more we are disturbed by the occasional “instability” or “uncertainty”, the more we should keep to our faith, build up confidence, keep our mind on “what is of vital importance to the whole nation”, maintain our strategic focus, cultivate opportunities in times of crisis, create new situations in the changing situation, and blaze the trail for the future.
We should have a clear understanding of the relationship between reform and development, and security and stability. We are obliged to seek the optimal development path under multiple constraints. We should be ambitious in our overall plans and prudent in details. We must treat campus safety as our top priority, assess the situation and strengthen coordination, so as to successfully overcome the COVID pandemic and ensure a smooth transition and a stable order. We will continue to adhere to the “3161” high-level university construction strategy, seize the opportunity of a new round of disciplinary construction, and deepen the comprehensive education reform. We should spare no effort to break the bottleneck in talent cultivation, scientific and technological innovation, team building, foreign exchange and cooperation, smart and model campus construction, thus putting our university on the upward track.
We should have a clear understanding of the relationship between self-reliance and outer assistance. We should adhere to the reform to promote the development vigor and vitality of our cause, deepen the reform of the two-level management system of the university, the reform of the effective department system and the reform of reorganizing our schools into several faculties.We should optimize the reform of our personnel system, remuneration system and talent incentive mechanism, the reform of organized scientific research and a cross-disciplinary innovation system, the reform of resource sharing and cost sharing mechanism, and the promotion of good governance of our university through the rule of law and digital transformation.
We should adhere to a higher level of opening up to enable the construction of a high-level university, spare no effort to seize the window period, strive for all favorable resources and platforms, promote the integration of industry and education, and the integration of science and education, and facilitate regional coordination in the Yangtze River Delta, and deepen international exchanges and cooperation.
In no time, the New Year’s bell will be ringing worldwide; the chiming of the New Year’s bell will touch our hearts and make us feel an upsurge of emotion. Thank you for all your persistence and all your efforts in 2022. In 2023, let’s work together to usher in a new chapter in the high-quality development of USST. In the New Era, we will not idle away, or slow down, or halt our steps forward.
Wu Jianyong, Secretary of the CPC Party Committee, USST
Ding Xiaodong, President, USST