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Novel acceptance letters dazzle future alumni

By ZHOU HUIYING and TIAN XUEFEI in Harbin | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-06-15 07:47

The acceptance letter of Harbin Institute of Technology. CHINA DAILY

Just a few days after the annual national college entrance examination, or gaokao, some universities have released creative designs for their personalized acceptance letters with unique features like "golden keys", hoping to impress prospective students as well as express their heartfelt welcome and best wishes.

When newly admitted college students receive such joyous letters from Harbin Institute of Technology in Heilongjiang province this summer, they may get more than they expect — a surprise gift of a special golden key, which is made of a space-grade titanium alloy, known as "space metal" or "future metal".

Teams led by professors Huang Lujun and Geng Lin from the School of Materials Science and Engineering used selective laser melting 3D printing technology with the highest forming precision and capability for complex components as well as advanced polishing techniques to manufacture the keys.

Comprehensive ion implantation and surface strengthening technology was used for the coating of the keys. This technology overcame challenges such as high wear resistance and temperature-resistant welding for core components of space docking mechanisms, providing crucial support for over 10 successful docking events of the Shenzhou and Tianzhou spacecraft series as well as the Tiangong space station.

"The key symbolizes students opening the door to the universe and the future," said Xing Zhaoxia, director of HIT's office of undergraduate admissions, adding that around 8,000 new college students will be admitted to HIT this year.

In addition to showcasing cutting-edge technologies, their acceptance letters also incorporate traditional Chinese colors and iconic school elements.

"The lucky bag, designed with six traditional colors and school elements, represents HIT's blessing to the students, hoping that they can share the joy with their families and teachers," said Xing.

Cong Jinghan, a first-year student at the School of Future Technology, still remembers the day that he received an acceptance letter from HIT in 2023.

"I was extremely excited when I received the letter together with a red bookmark coated in a special material used by Tianwen 1, China's first mission to Mars program, allowing me to experience the mystery of the universe for the first time," Cong said.

The acceptance letter and gift package of Renmin University of China for freshmen. CHINA DAILY

Renmin University of China recently also released a new version of its 2024 acceptance letters, featuring a three-dimensional boxlike design with gold foil on the surface depicting iconic buildings from different historical periods of the university.

The gift package includes three surprises — a mystery box containing selected commemorative badges featuring the school emblem from different periods, a three-dimensional book stand and a book.

After assembling the interactive three-dimensional book stand, students can use augmented reality scanning to verify their identity and listen to songs created by alumni.

The University of Science and Technology Beijing chose "cicada wing steel" for its acceptance letters.

Named for its thinness comparable to a cicada's wing, the material has a thickness of only 0.07 millimeters, which is widely used in 5G base station signal receivers, signal transmission filters and integrated circuit boards.

It is a world-leading technology, which was developed by a team from the university and alumni from Shougang Group.

Zhao Yimeng in Beijing contributed to this story.

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