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Be Brave and Be Persistent 2017 New Year Party Speech by Dean Wen Hai

Time:2016-12-23 17:43:28  Hits:[]

The New Year is quickly approaching. At the end of every year, we are very pleased to gather together to review our achievements and the happy moments in the past year, as well as to look toward the future with confidence and hope.

On behalf of Peking University HSBC Business School, I would like to express my warmest New Year greetings and heartfelt thanks to all our committed faculty and staff, hard-working students, and alumni all around the world, as well as our friends for their strong support and care for PHBS.

Since the founding of PHBS in 2004, we have remained devoted to the education of our students and have adhered to our mission of training students that excel in their fields, have international exposure and an international focus, are disciplined and persistent in their efforts, and serve society as leaders in their professions. During the last year, we have explored new ways of teaching and we have made remarkable achievements in many areas. We have remained dedicated to being a business school that holds true to the values we originally set forth as pioneers in Chinese higher education.

This year, more new faculty joined us, and the quality of our teaching and research has continued to improve. At present, we have 61 full-time professors, 7 more than last year, who teach within our four main programs, including economics, management, finance, and financial journalism. We have also established an English Skills Center providing courses for students in English writing and communication. Our full-time MBA program is now being conducted fully in English. This year, we signed an agreement with City University of New York-Baruch College, Zicklin Business School to offer students a double degree program for MBA and Master of Finance (MSF). Our new Financial Journalism program began this year, which combines journalism major with a minor in economics, finance or management. This new program of a major + minor is an innovative approach in postgraduate education and furthers our mission of producing students with a diverse educational foundation. During the year 2016, our faculty published quite a few high quality research papers, most of which were published in well-respected academic journals, such as Strategic Management Journal and more.

This year, PHBS hosted many events and conferences, further pushing our school to be of greater academic significance on a global level. We organized many large academic conferences, including the 1st International Conference of PKU-NUS Quantitative Finance and Economics, the Annual Conference of Chinese Economists Society 2016, the 3rd Peking University Global Finance Forum, and the 5th AEARU Asian Business School Workshop on Development and Cooperation. We also invited renowned scholars and experts, including Nobel Prize Winner, Thomas Sargent and CCTV anchor, Yansong Bai, to visit and share their experiences with our students and faculty. Moreover, we held 13 lectures as a part of our Financial Foresight Lecture Series, which shared financial knowledge from field experts and attracted large audiences. Here, I would like to especially thank Professor Shusong Ba for his contribution toward making this lecture series possible.

This year, we continued to make progress for internationalizing the school. We not only received visits by deans from the Wharton School of U Penn, W. P. Carey School of Arizona State University, and other top universities, but we also visited the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago and 16 well-known European Universities including the University of Turin, University of Florence, University of Bergamo, Bocconi University, University of Milan, ESSEC Business School, University of Oxford, and the University of Nottingham. These visits strengthened our current partnerships and increased our overall international cooperation, as well as promoting PHBS among European schools.

This year, we paid more attention to students’ comprehensive quality, and our various student associations played active roles in developing students’ leadership ability. In order to cultivate team spirit and perseverance, our EMBA students participated in “The 11th Business School Gobi Challenge,” MBA students participated in “The Asia Pacific Business School Desert Challenge,” and EDP students participated in "The 2nd Chinese Business Gobi Expedition." They were very successful and won medals in these events. Recently, our MBA basketball team won the championship in the 5th Global Business School Basketball Invitational Tournament. The EMBA Program held sports meetings with nearly 500 alumni participating. In addition, our student associations actively organized all kinds of well-received activities. The Shenzhen and Hong Kong Economics and Finance Association (SHEF), Economic Policy Association (EPA), Boya Finance Association (BFA) and Commercial Bank Association (CBA) won the “Outstanding Association” prize of 2016, of which SHEF was also listed the No.1 of the “Top Ten Outstanding Student Associations” as well as being named “Excellent Association” of Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School.

This year, our alumni also made many accomplishments. Thirteen of our PHBS alumni received the “Best Analyst” award from New Fortune Magazine. PHBS Alumni Associations in Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen recently made a series of plans to organize more activities for alumni in their regions. Although our alumni are all around the world, they always pay close attention to the development of their alma mater and their fellow students. They have established the "Changyue Fund" for alumni struggling with illness to assist with financial difficulties. Fifty-eight students established the "Class of 2006 Alumni Scholarship" to celebrate their 10th anniversary of entering our school. Another 18 students of the Class of 2008 made donations to our school for their 5th anniversary of graduation. Gratitude, dedication, and contribution have become the culture and tradition of PHBS students and alumni.

Students, faculty, staff members, and friends, these accomplishments are the result of efforts from all of you. Please allow me to express my heartfelt gratitude and respect to all the teachers, students, and others who have contributed to the development of PHBS.

The establishment of a world-class business school will not happen overnight but will take place through diligent and persistent efforts. We not only need to have the courage to pursue our goals, but also need to be dedicated and persistent in overcoming obstacles and difficulty. Success depends on persistence, and persistence comes from belief. Both Judy in Zootopia and the medic Desmond Doss in Hacksaw Ridge set good examples of being brave and persistent in ways that we hope our students will strive to emulate. These characters overcame difficulties and opposition, and Doss in particular goes above and beyond with a desire to “save one more.” These feats were possible because of the noble beliefs held by these individuals.

PHBS not only provides our students with knowledge, skills and good jobs, but also encourages all-around growth in areas of ability, knowledge, well-being, and morality. We fight to oppose vulgar and fickle societal trends and put the aim of cultivating moral and ethical students as our most important goal. It is our mission and belief to develop students’ responsibility, integrity, self-discipline and dedication. This is our main goal, but this goal is difficult to achieve, as we are faced with materialism and selfishness all around us. However, we must stick to our principles and adhere to our practice even under pressure. The reason we had the courage to choose this goal and have been able to persevere until today is to rely on our belief "to cultivate more outstanding students."

Students and faculty, we gather here today to celebrate our achievements of this past year and look forward to the coming year. The approaching year is an opportunity to make even greater achievements for PHBS. We will continue improving our teaching and research, and simultaneously we will follow one main direction and will launch three key projects.

Our main direction is to improve our diversity and promote our multicultural integration. In the past several years, we have been devoted to internationalization. We have admitted approximately 50 full-time international students each year and 50-60 exchange students from all around the world each semester. At present, we have 153 international students. We not only offer courses to students from different countries, but also provide a platform for students of different backgrounds to communicate and work with each other. In the new year, we will take more actions to encourage the communication and integration among international and Chinese students.

Next year, our first key project is the "PHBS Case Bank of Chinese Enterprises.” Since the economic reform in 1978, Chinese enterprises have grown larger and stronger and experienced both failures and successes. Shenzhen is the cradle of well-known Chinese enterprises, such as Huawei, Vanke, Tencent, Ping An, and China Merchants Bank, as well as emerging technology enterprises like DJI Technology. The project will begin with cases of Shenzhen’s companies and study their innovation, management structure, and development progress. We will make the PHBS Case Bank an internationally respected case collection of Chinese enterprises.

Our second key project is to establish the PHBS “Research Institute of Maritime Silk-Road (RIMS).” This institute will be a think tank focusing on the political, economic, and social policies and situations of the countries along the maritime road in the “One Belt and One Road” development strategy. The institute will provide references for policy-making, consultation reports for international business, and case analysis for research and teaching. Our aim is to establish a world-class and well-respected think tank.

Our third key project is to open a “PHBS International Campus.” The new campus in Europe will mainly admit students from European countries to pursue master’s degrees in finance, management, and economics or an MBA from Peking University. Students will study one year on the international campus and another year on our Shenzhen campus. At the same time, we will offer short-term courses to European business people and facilitate cooperation between Chinese and European enterprises. Students from our Shenzhen campus could also have opportunities to study at the international campus for one semester or one year. We will begin to advertise and admit students in 2017, and the new campus will formally open in fall 2018. It will be part of activities to celebrate the 120th Anniversary of Peking University.

Students, faculty, and friends, a new year is coming. Looking into 2017, a bright future is in front of us, and more noble and challenging tasks await us. Let us go forward together into the new year with dedication, courage and persistence!

Finally, I sincerely wish our faculty and students a happy New Year. Please join me in a toast to our health, dreams, and happiness!

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