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Fudan opens centennial celebration
By Xu Jitao (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-09-24 06:52

By SHANGHAI: Principals from around 130 of the world's most prestigious universities gathered in Shanghai on Friday to attend a forum discussing the relationship between colleges and their cities.

Sponsored by Fudan University, the principals' forum is just one of the activities being held to mark the Shanghai-based college's 100th anniversary which falls on Saturday.

"The relationship between Fudan University and the municipal government of Shanghai, is something like a honeymoon," said Han Zheng, mayor of Shanghai, when he was asked to detail how the Shanghai municipal government will support the development of Fudan in the future.

With the theme of "interactive development between college and city," the principals' forum will focus on the mutual influence of higher education and city culture, and the relationship between colleges, government policy and community construction.

After Wu Qidi, vice-minister of education, and Han Zheng made opening speeches, Wang Shenghong, president of Fudan University and presidents and chancellors from University of Oxford, Yale University, the University of Sydney, National University of Singapore and Tokyo University also delivered keynote speeches to illustrate their understanding of the theme.

Following the speeches, students from Fudan University and guests from other universities were encouraged to put forward their questions.

Han said the connections between universities and their cities, and in particular between Fudan University and Shanghai, are closer than ever.

He said that what Shanghai's universities have done for the economic development of the city will be a significant part of its history.

Wu praised Fudan's achievements in its 100 years. "Fudan University's past is an integral part of Shanghai's history," she said.

In his speech, Fudan University President Wang focused on universities' social responsibilities.

China's colleges will support and contribute to the smooth urban development and modernization of the country and shoulder much heavier responsibilities than their foreign counterparts, said Wang.

"Chinese universities should be the vanguards of innovation," he said.

As a successful prelude to the centennial ceremony set for Saturday, rather than focussing on the past, Wang opted to look ahead.

"We are willing to share social responsibilities in the future," he said.

(China Daily 09/24/2005 page2)

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