2018: A New Beginning

As the sun rises and sets every day, we have now come to the end of 2017. At this most joyful moment, we'd like to extend our best wishes and sincerest greetings to all our faculty members, retired colleagues, and alumni at home and abroad, as well as to all those who have been constantly bestowing their concerns and supports for the development of Soochow University.


Looking back at 2017, we've witnessed many extraordinary moments and events. For this country, we had the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China successfully convened, which is to secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and strive for the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era. For Soochow University, we have made some fantastic achievements by building new development objectives, setting up a new leading group, and starting a new journey to fulfill of the "Dream of Soochow University" at the 12th Soochow Congress of CPC Representatives.


Looking back at 2017, we promoted the strategy of cultivating talents with high morality, and further explored new education modes through reforms and teaching practices. By earnestly learning and implementing the policies and plans enacted at the 19th National Congress of the CPC and the National Conference on Ideological and Political Work in China's Universities and Colleges, we, driven by our mission and obligation, have given our priority to students' growth and development, and have focused on the cultivation of top talents with ambition, nobility, and responsibility. In the past year, we have undertaken the assessment conducted by the national evaluation panel for undergraduate programs from the Ministry of Education, who scrutinized our teaching programs carefully and professionally, and left us with valuable suggestions. In the past year, we continued to deepen curriculum reforms by introducing a series of high-quality general education curriculums, specialized courses and on-line courses. Meanwhile, we are also confident in the promising future of education reforms like National Pilot Colleges, Residential College System, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education. In addition, as one of the 14 universities approved firstly as the pilot organization for the comprehensive reforms on the doctoral education in China's higher institutions, we have initiated an overall reforms on the postgraduate programs in our university. In the past year, 9617 graduates from Soochow University started their career and made us proud with their impressive entrepreneurship and competitiveness in the job market.


Looking back at 2017, we have recruited many outstanding talents and promoted our core competitiveness by introducing and developing different talents. Considering talents as the most essential resource, we devoted ourselves to the construction of an elite team constituted by academic masters, professional pioneers, and outstanding youngsters. Throughout the past year, we have introduced 146 new colleagues, including Professor Michael Kosterlitz, the Nobel Prize Winner. Meanwhile, one professor and one alumnus of our university have been selected as the academicians of Chinese Academy of Sciences; another 11 professors were selected into national talent programs like "1000 Talents Program", "National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars", and "National Science Fund for Excellent Young Scholars"; and four professors entered the "list for the world's most highly cited scientists". Besides, in the winners' lists for awards and prizes like the Hall Medal of the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications, Distinguished Women in Chemistry/Chemical Engineering Award of IUPAC and Chinese Chemical Society Youth Award, the names of Professor Ji Lijun, Professor Chi Lifeng, Professor Cheng Xiaoqing, and Professor Li Yanguang could also be found. We are very pleased to see that Soochow University is now becoming a cozy and ideal nest for those talents with great ambitions and potentials at home and abroad.


Looking back at 2017, we have achieved many new breakthroughs by working hard and aiming high. Confronting the major arena of international academic frontiers and the demands of the economic society, we positively undertook those national and regional key researches with the purposes of making more high-quality, excellent achievements for the society. In the past year, 29 programs proposed by Soochow University were funded by the National Social Science Fund of China. With another 349 programs funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China, which made the university listed in the top 20 among all the universities and colleges in China. Meanwhile, among all the 2485 SCIE academic papers published by teachers and students from our university, the proportion of those "outstanding international papers" has pushed Soochow University to the fifth place among peer universities in China. Moreover, in the past year, 7 programs of our university were granted with the award of the Outstanding Scientific Research Achievements in Higher Institutions by the Ministry of Education, which ranked in the 7th place among all the higher institutions in China. And the achievement themed "The Construction and Application of minimally invasive therapy system for osteoporotic vertebral fractures" was even granted with the second-class award of the National S&T Progress Awards. In addition, Soochow University Think Tank was selected as a core think tank of China in 2017, and the event "Innovation·Dialogue·Suzhou" held by the think tank also became an important consultancy platform of the decision-making processes of regional government.


Looking back at 2017, we obtained new energies for schooling within cooperation and resource-sharing, under the strategy of running school openly. With the purposes of developing through service, gaining supports via contributions, we constantly deepened the connotation of open schooling and gradually expanded its extensions. By promoting the development of civil-military integration and the collaboration of the Renowned City and the Renowned University, Soochow University established many advanced research institutes and artificial intelligence research institutes successively, and set up a basic collaborative innovation network for politics, industries and studies. Standing on the international arena, the university made friends with many famous universities in the world. By initiating and attending the Forum for Higher Institutions in Australia and at Both Sides of the Taiwan Strait, and the "20+20 Program Action Plan for Top Universities in Jiangsu Province and the U.K.", we have signed cooperation agreements with well-known institutions like Sydney University and the University of Cambridge. Meanwhile, Cafoscari University of Venice also set an office at Soochow University officially. Besides, as a positive response to the "Belt and Road" initiative, we further promoted the construction of Soochow University in Laos, and established the Institute for "the Belt and Road" Research Center in Laos as well as the Sino-Lao Green Silk Research Center. With confidence and ethics, Soochow University is now approaching the outside world, and welcome peer institutes in the world to learned about the university.


Like glorious flowers in spring and solid fruits in autumn, our efforts and preparations have earned the university with higher comprehensive strength and international influence. In the past year, 8 disciplines were listed in the top 1% in the Global ESI, among which 2 were listed in the top 1‰. Besides, the university was also ranked as a top-30 university in China in some authoritative international ranking lists, such as the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). Moreover, on the list for the most innovative universities and institutes in the world released by Nature, Soochow University ranks in the first place, which surpassed all the universities, colleges and institutes in China. Clearly, we know that ranks are not our objectives, and we will never forget about our innate missions no matter how great or far we might achieve. Also, we believe that no single gain or achievement can be easily won; they are rooted in the wisdom and sweats of all our students, teachers and faculty members, and will never be earned without the support and help from our retired professionals, the alumni at home and abroad, and the whole-hearted efforts made by colleagues in the logistics and security departments. Hence, we hereby send our heartfelt thanks and highest respects to everyone.


Looking back at 2017, we have been striving and progressing hand in hand; looking into 2018, we shall start with a new beginning. In the year to come, we will unswervingly keep our passion for the university, persistence for the beliefs, and the pursuit for the excellence. Directed by the socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era proposed by President Xi Jinping, we will further promote the construction process of a high-level research-oriented university accepted by the people, recognized by the international community and respected by the world. By grasping the opportunity of constructing state-level "Double First-Class" universities and high-level universities in Jiangsu Province, Soochow University will surely tell more "stories of brilliance" in 2018!



We sincerely hope you and all your family good health and happiness in the New Year!


Secretary of the CPC Committee: Jiang Yong   President: Xiong Sidong

(Translated by Dr. Juming Shen )