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The First Class for Graduate Students:UCASS President Wang Xinqing Lectures on Research and Innovation


On September 7, Prof. Wang Xinqing, the Vice President of UCASS and President of Graduate School of CASS, delivered the first lecture for new graduate students. Themed on Research and Innovation: Eternal Themes of Graduate Education, the lecture highlighted the importance of research and innovation in four sections: The relationship between research and innovation, the requirements of the party and the country for graduate education, the defining feature of universities, and cultivation of research-oriented character and innovation-driven excellence. The lecture was live-streamed, with the attendance of all graduate and PhD students of 2022 cohort.

By quoting General Secretary Xi Jinping’s speech at Peking University, Prof. Wang encouraged students to pursue real knowledge and truth through reason and logic. It requires research and innovation, which are inseparable in nature. Innovation is the purpose that drives our research efforts, whereas research provides us with pathways to innovation. Prof. Wang pointed out the great relevance of innovation to China in the new era. Only through innovation can we create technology strongholds and take the lead in the new normal economy. It is also the only way forward to build an academic, disciplinary and discourse system for philosophy and social sciences with Chinese characteristics. Innovation in the humanities features novel ideas, new institutions, advancement of civilizations, and prosperity of arts. Therefore, UCASSers should “take on the academic mandate to address the questions faced by China, the world, the people, and the era, and strive for research excellence in resolving major issues that have holistic and fundamental bearings on the country and society.”

Research and innovation are the founding spirit of universities. Prof. Wang stated that academic innovation is the defining feature and critical mission of modern universities. Higher education without innovation will lead to the decline of a nation. The premise of innovation is “freedom of thought” and innovation should be encouraged throughout all aspects of the university. UCASS was born with the academic custom of CASS and the innovation-driven tradition of GSCASS. Its integrated approach to research and education with innovation at its core is becoming its unique feature and strength, as an institution that combines undergraduate, graduate and doctoral education.

With regard to graduate education, Prof. Wang underlined research and innovation as part of the inherent character of graduate students. To cultivate such essential qualities, graduate education should empower students with a solid and systematic command of basic theories and professional knowledge, along with necessary skills, methods and extended information to work in both professional and research contexts of their fields; On top of that, doctoral education should enable students to build even more extensive and in-depth knowledge, skills and methods of their research areas, both theoretically and practically, to nurture the necessary capacity to work independently and creatively in professional and research contexts.

Prof. Wang expressed his hope hat all UCASSers will grow into the talents that live up to the expectations of the country, “as the backbone to realize the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation”. He urged every new entrant to foster their own research-oriented character, with high spirit for truth pursuit, scientific methods, academic integrity and decent manners of learning. He pointed out that reading literature of high quality is a great way to lay a solid foundation for theoretical knowledge. The courage to identify problems and the mastery of science-based methods will equip students with the right skill sets to make progress in research and innovation, and refrain from academic malpractices.