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Peking University turns 119, sets eyes on future

By Zhao Xinying | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-05-04 20:14

Peking University, one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in China, celebrated its 119th birthday on Thursday.

More than 2,000 teachers, students and alumni attended the on campus celebration to listen to live or video speeches shared by 60 scholars, professors and students about their work or study experiences at the university.

Dong Qiang, director of the university's Department of French Language and Literature and the first Chinese associate member of France's Academy of Moral and Political Sciences, chaired the ceremony.

Peking University was set up in 1898 as the first national university in contemporary China and got its current name in 1912. Over the past century, this top institution has played a leading role in China's higher education and has generated numerous talents, scholars and celebrities in all walks of life.

Hao Ping, Party chief of the university, said the fate of Peking University has always been connected with that of the whole country.

Now the university is developing itself into a world-class institution, and staff members and students will work together to reach this goal, which will also increase the competitiveness of the country, he said.

Lin Jianhua, president of the university, said in his speech that a few changes will gradually be made to the layout of the university's campus to better serve teachers and students.

He also said the development of a university, particularly for an institution like Peking University, relies much on its scholars and professors.

"The standard and sprit of scholars and professors represent those of a university and affect the growth of students," Lin said. "So we will continue to attract excellent scholars and professors, create good environment for them, and support them to develop and make academic achievements."

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