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Dean's Remarks at 15th Anniversary Celebration of Peking University HSBC Business School

Time:2019-10-26 17:25:58  Hits:[]
Hai Wen, Dean of Peking University HSBC Business School


Distinguished Vice President Wang Bo,
Dear students, professors, alumni,
Dear friends,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we gather here to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Peking University HSBC Business School (PHBS). As the founding dean of PHBS, on behalf of the School, I would like to express my warm welcome and heartfelt thanks to all of you! At the same time, I would like to take this opportunity to express my most sincere gratitude to the leaders of Peking University and Shenzhen municipal government, all PHBS faculty, staff, students and alumni, as well as prominent figures with profound insight both at home and abroad! Thank you for your contribution to the development of the School over the past 15 years!

One night in 15 years ago, Lin Jianhua, the then Executive Vice President of Peking University and Dean of Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School (PKU Shenzhen), and Shi Shouxu, Assistant President of Peking University, had a meeting with me and decided that I would establish a business school in Shenzhen. Our consensus was that, “to truly enable the development of PKU Shenzhen, all its schools must establish an independent academic and administrative leadership team”, and we decided to first promote the establishment and development of business school. As for the establishment of a business school in Shenzhen, my understanding is that Shenzhen, at the forefront of reform and opening up, needs a first-class business school; and the business school set up by Peking University in Shenzhen must become a world-class one.

Fifteen years passed within a blink of an eye. With the support of Peking University, Shenzhen municipal government and all sectors of society, and with the efforts of all faculty, staff, and students, commencing with a blueprint of “no teachers, no students, and only one million start-up funds”, we, adhering to the spirit of self-reliance and hard work, have created a business school first-class at home and internationally renowned with more than 80 full-time professors, over 90 staff members, and over 1,500 postgraduate and PhD students currently enrolled. We have trained nearly 30,000 entrepreneurs and successful figures in all sectors, and our business school has a campus in Oxfordshire, UK!

There is no doubt that we have made great achievements in the past 15 years, which have already been demonstrated in the promotional video of the Anniversary and the students’ poetry recitation. However, we gather here today not only to celebrate our past achievements, but also to reflect on the lessons learned to lay a more solid foundation for future development.

Looking back on our development in the past 15 years, there are several reasons why we could make these achievements:
 
I. Aim high for clear goals

A great university has always shared the weal and woe of its country, its nation, and human beings. As a prestigious and important university of China, Peking University bears the major responsibility of cultivating the best talents for Chinese national rejuvenation and the world’s development and progress. Every school of Peking University, no matter where it is located, what discipline it teaches, or how difficult the process of its establishment is, should ultimately aim to be the top-class in China as well as worldwide.

We have set our sights high from the very beginning. At the school’s first Christmas and New Year's Party in 2007, before our first batch of students graduated and before HSBC had made a donation, we expressly announced our goals and plans: “Year 2004 to 2007 has been the first stage of our development, during which period we have been very low-key, mainly making internal developments, recruiting excellent professors, and accumulating management experience……Year 2008 to 2013 will be a stage of rapid development of Shenzhen Business School. In this stage, our goal is to integrate into Shenzhen and go nationwide. From 2013 to 2023, we will strive for the goal of going global and becoming a world-class business school.”

Such a lofty goal has not only directed us to the right course of effort, but has also endowed us with the motivation to work tirelessly. Especially when facing with difficulties and challenges, it can help us attain a firm will to overcome difficulties, to embrace challenges, and keep us from worrying about the immediate difficulties or giving up in face of temporary setbacks.
 
II. Dare to think, dare to venture, and strive for excellence

Since we want to build a world-class business school, we must go global, be future-oriented, dare to innovate and pursue excellence. Since the founding of the school, we have been thinking about how to catch up and surpass? How to lead? How to be “extraordinary”? How to be “unique”? Be it the dual degree programs with the University of Hong Kong and Chinese University of Hong Kong, National University of Singapore, the coming program with Cambridge University, or the cultivation of all-around talents through the “major plus minor” model of the master’s degree program; be it renaming the School after HSBC upon its donation, or investing in and establishing the UK campus in Oxfordshire; be it inviting the Nobel Prize winner to establish a research institute to improve research abilities, or cultivating self-disciplined future business elites with spirit of teamwork and diligence, many of our practices are unprecedented innovations that blaze a trail.

In order to courageously break new ground and pursue excellence, we must first have the courage to “think widely”, to study the trend of future development, to do what seems impossible at present but will lead to future development with courage. Second, we need to “act in a down-to-Earth manner”, pay careful attention to every detail, and make great effort in every step of the work. Over the past 15 years, it is exactly with our courage to think big and take bold action, and our commitment to excellence and perfection, that we have turned one strategic idea after another into vivid reality and one impossibility after another into concrete results.
 
III. Be selfless, fearless and persistent

Our pursuit of excellence is not universally shared. Some people out in society call us a “weird” business school, and we are constantly attacked for our strict requirements, complained about for our lack of “freedom” of Peking University and “lack of consideration about our students”.

Our journey has not been a smooth one. Given the fickleness of the society, the disadvantage of being far from PKU main campus, the conflict of interests, and the institutional restraints, it is even not easy to adhere to a right belief and pursue equality, not to mention to be a pioneer in an uncharted territory.

It takes perseverance to achieve lofty goals and perfection. For 15 years, no matter what other people say, no matter how complicated the process is, we have been moving step-by-step with firmness toward a set goal, focusing on the main business, care for nothing but the original aspiration. And, behind that perseverance is vision and selflessness. Only with vision can we be sure that we are doing the right thing. Only with selflessness that we have the courage to insist on doing the right thing. That vision and selflessness is what got us here. Holding on to the same spirit, we will march towards tomorrow.
 
Dear students, professors and friends,

While celebrating our past achievements, we shall also be aware of our shortcomings. We still have room for improvement in research, teaching, internationalization, influence and other aspects. In the next five years, we will focus on the following aspects:
 
I. Strengthen theoretical and practical research and enhance academic impact both at home and abroad

We will continue to improve the requirements for academic research, attract and recruit more excellent faculty members and researchers, continuously encourage academic innovation, and vigorously enhance the overall level of scientific research. Especially in the fields of macroeconomics, quantitative economics, finance and Chinese enterprise research, PHBS should produce outstanding research results, influential at home and abroad.

We should use modern technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence to develop the “China Enterprise Information Center” as soon as possible so as to strengthen the research on Chinese enterprises, promote innovation and entrepreneurship, and guide future business education to build the platform and lay the foundation.
 
II. Constantly improve the level of education and management, and cultivate high-quality talents to lead economic development and social progress for both China and the world

In terms of talent cultivation, we will continue to adhere to high standards, stringent requirements, all-round education and solid foundation. We emphasize not only the strengthening of theoretical foundation, but also reliable and effective execution. Ideal, vision, wisdom, character, refinement and responsibility are all important. We should cultivate not only business talents to promote economic prosperity, but also social elites to lead the country’s development and progress.
Starting from next year, we will launch an English-taught undergraduate program. We will first recruit students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan as well as international students, so as to nurture the outstanding talents for integration of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the development of the Belt and Road Initiative.
 
III. Further promote internationalization so as to build a community of shared future for mankind

If China wants to further integrate into the world and build a community of shared future for mankind, its higher education must espouse internationalization. We will try our best to attract more outstanding international students to study in our school. At the same time, we will pay more attention to the integration of development of international students and Chinese students by creating a more open, diverse and integrated campus culture.

We will vigorously promote the development of the UK campus, continuously improve its teaching and management services, complete the construction of dormitories, catering areas, large classrooms and leisure and event facilities. We will continue to actively recruit full-time students on the UK campus and launch the MBA programs as soon as possible in order for its early realization of an influential Chinese institution of higher education in developed countries.

Starting next year, we will launch a dual-master program and a joint training program with Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS), and will soon initiate a joint degree program aimed to train senior economic, managerial and financial personnel, mainly for the "The Belt and Road Initiatives" countries. Overall cooperation with the University of Cambridge will be further developed and deepened.
 
Dear students, professors and friends,

The theme of our celebration this year is “vision and grit”. In the past 15 years, due to our vision, due to our grit, we have made progress and left a significant chapter in the history of the development of Peking University and even the development of China’s higher education.

Today, confronted with a world undergoing great changes, and in the face of China entering a new era, our opportunities are once in a lifetime and our challenges are unprecedented. Every faculty, staff, and student at PHBS shall continue to work together with great efforts. Looking into the future, we hope that by the 20th anniversary of the School, we will have established PHBS as one of the top business schools in China, internationally renowned and world-class in a number of areas.

Five years is neither a long story nor a short story. Let us look forward to it, strive together for it, and run towards the glorious and dream-fulfilling year of 2024!

Thank you!

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