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The First Class: UCASS President Zhang Zhengwen Presents the First Lecture for Freshmen on Ideological and Political Education


On the afternoon of September 15, Zhang Zhengwen, the UCASS President and Executive Deputy Secretary of UCASS Party Committee, delivered the first live-streamed lecture on ideological and political education for this year’s freshmen. The lecture was presided over by Li Nan, the Executive Dean of the School of Marxism.

Zhang introduced the theme of the lecture with the “Inquiry on the Original Aspiration”, and elaborated on how to nurture the faith of the younger generation for the new era from three perspectives: “What is faith”, “where does faith come from” and “how to nurture faith”. By incorporating exemplary stories across history at home and abroad, as well as his own experience, Zhang explained the connotations of faith to the students and encouraged them to prove their faith with life-long endeavors. According to Zhang, true faith is neither about egoism nor utilitarianism. It is detached from pursuit of superior employment, wealth, or social status. True faith equals true devotion, which cannot be cultivated through dodgy methods but can only be fostered with relentless effort. Furthermore, true faith is developed based on reason rather than impulse, indignation or conformity.

As he progressed, Zhang analyzed Marx’s criticism on the alienation of capitalist society that had showcased his power of reason and faith. He encouraged the students to establish a firm belief in communism under the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics and to become explorers, advocators and defenders of communist ideas.

Finally, Zhang shared three high expectations for all the students who started their programs this year: To foster strong beliefs in communism; to develop a China-oriented perspective while also caring about the world and humanity; and to seek true faith through practice as part of one’s life-long pursuit.

Zhang’s lecture was not only an ideological and political course for demonstration, but also a mentoring session with academic and life guidance. The power of truth, faith, and morality contained in Marxism, as well as the firm Marxist belief and sense of responsibility demonstrated through his cultured style inspired students to follow their own faith as they forge ahead with their future studies.