The Establishment of the School of Social Sciences of Tsinghua University

On the morning of October 27, 2012, a ceremony was held in the Main Building of Tsinghua University to honor the establishment of the School of Social Sciences. Former vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Xu Kuangdi, president of Tsinghua University Chen Jining, party secretary Hu Heping and vice president Xie Weihe attended the ceremony.

Hu Heping announced the establishment of the School of Social Sciences, and the appointment and dismissal of cadres. In order to further promote the level and quality of the humanities and adapt to the law governing development, it has been decided to establish disciplines based on humanities and social sciences. At the 28th university committee meeting, the decision to divide the former School of Humanities and Social Sciences into two separate schools: the School of Humanities and the School of Social Sciences was discussed and passed. Li Qiang will take the position of the Dean of the School of Social Sciences.

Chen Jining delivered a speech reviewing the development of social sciences of Tsinghua University, and concluded its important features. He confirmed the academic tradition of excellence and the teaching characteristic, and also its remarkable contribution to the revival and development of the humanities of Tsinghua University. Chen pointed out that the establishment of the School of Social Sciences on the basis of the former School of Humanities and Social Sciences was a renewal and promotion within a new historical moment, and a new development platform rather than simple continuation. He wished that all members of the School of Social Sciences could keep in mind of its mission, shoulder the responsibilities, and seize the opportunities to accelerate development.

Chen also suggested that the future development of the School of Social Sciences should focus on three aspects. Firstly, the School of Social Sciences should always adhere to the national strategic requirements, pay close attention to the important problems during the process of the transformation of the society, explore the laws of the social development of the society, and provide theoretical support and talented people for the national construction and the transformation of the society. Secondly, the School of Social Sciences should devote to studies with long-term significance, make long-term planning for the construction of disciplines, and the construction of the faculty, aim at high academic pursuit and pioneering academic insight, and form a “Tsinghua School” of thought with Chinese characteristics. Thirdly, the School of Social Sciences should pay attention to multi-disciplinary integration. It should extend its collaboration with the academia in China and abroad, and also with the society.

Former vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Xu Kuangdi, president of Tsinghua University Chen Jining, party secretary Hu Heping, Dean of the China Academy of Social Management of Beijing Normal University Wei Liqun, Dean of School of Social Sciences Li Qiang, and party secretary Shi Zhiqin jointly inaugurated the School of Social Sciences.

On behalf of the School of Social Sciences, Li Qiang said that facing the new historical era and the significant opportunities for the development of social sciences, the School of Social Sciences would aim at the international academic frontier and important national strategic requirements to cultivate the first class talents of social sciences and recreate the glory of social sciences with pragmatic and pioneering spirit.

Xu Kuangdi and Wei Liqun of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, honorary president Lu Xueyi from China Academy of Social Sciences, professor Zhang Weiying from Peking University, and vice secretary of Chinese Academy of Sciences Cao Xiaoye delivered the congratulation speeches for the establishment of the School of Social Sciences. Professor Yan Xuetong from the Department of International Relations of Tsinghua University, Professor Peng Kaiping from the Department of Psychology gave speeches on behalf of the faculty. Meanwhile, the graduate student Zuo Han from the Department of Sociology and the international student Lulu from the Department of International Relations gave their speeches on behalf of the students.

Over 30 universities and research institutions sent congratulatory letters and messages; including Peking University, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Fudan University, Shandong University, Zhejiang University, Nanjing University, and National Taiwan University.

Over 500 experts and scholars of social sciences from the colleges and universities, research institutes, government departments and business circles of Beijing,the leaders of the relevant ministries and departments of Tsinghua University, the faculty and students representatives participated in the inauguration ceremony. Shi Zhiqin hosted the conference.

The development of social sciences disciplines of Tsinghua University can be traced back to the 1920s. The Departments of Sociology, Political Science, Economics, and Educational Psychology established in 1926 played a leading role in the development of social sciences. Great academic scholars such as Fei Xiaotong, Chen Daisun, Qian Duansheng, and Xiao Gongquan emerged during that time. The national higher education disciplines were adjusted in 1950s, and the social sciences discipline of Tsinghua University was reestablished after the 1980s.

The newly established School of Social Sciences of Tsinghua University is comprised of the Departments of Sociology, Political Science, International Relations, Psychology, the Institutes of Economics, Institute of Science, Technology and Society. Moreover, nearly 20 non-entity interdisciplinary research institutions were set up, including the Institute of Modern International Relations, the Research Center of Contemporary China, Center for Japanese Studies, Research Center for Synergetic-development of Science and Society, Research Center for Chinese Entrepreneurs, and so on. The School of Social Sciences covers the basic disciplines of the social sciences and constitutes a relatively complete system of the social sciences discipline.