Dr. BAO Xinhe
USTC President
Academician of CAS
During the science and technology boom in the late 1950s, the Chinese government identified the need for a new research university featuring science and technology. In 1958, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) came up with a proposal for such an institution, and, four months later,USTC was founded in Beijing. CAS leveraged its resources to support the new university and encouraged the integration of its institutions with USTC departments. Having attracted some of China’s most renowned scientists at the time, such as Yan Jici, Hua Luogeng and Hsue-Shen Tsien, USTC’s founding was a milestone in the history of Chinese science and education.We have quickly built our reputation in academic communities nationally and abroad. In the 1990s, we were among the first group of universities selected for the national Project 211 and Project 985 initiatives.

We look for quality and emphasize elite education. Our subject areas may not be completely comprehensive, but we have 12 subjects ranked among the top 1% globally according to the Essential Science Indicators, including four in the top 0.1%. Our undergraduate student body is not huge, but within it we have a group of science and technology leaders, with approximately one CAS or CAE Academician per 1,000 graduates.

Our uniqueness is also defined by our core values, which emphasize student education, research excellence, and serving our society. Our professors, both young and senior, all teach undergraduate courses and enjoy a close connection with students. We encourage curiositydriven exploration, interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration in research. Our educational and academic programmes are designed to serve society. From our founders to our graduates, USTC people have helped China become a research powerhouse.

USTC has always been committed to serving national strategic needs. In the early years, we supported defence projects via our research and education programmes. These days, our breakthroughs in quantum information, high-temperature superconductivity, nanotechnology, AI and speech recognition, Earth and environmental sciences and life sciences have boosted technological innovation. We have also played a key role in major national projects, such as the Wukong satellite, Micius mission, and the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak.

We have been instrumental in establishing the Hefei Comprehensive National Science Centre. Our next endeavours aimed at driving regional and national development include: the quantum information national laboratory, which is under construction and a partnership with CAS; the new Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, which integrates science, engineering and biomedicine; and the development of ‘new engineering’, a field that focuses on big data, AI and information sciences.

Our advantages are bolstered by our close connection with CAS, with many of our chairpeople also acting as directors of CAS institutes. This allows our students to be deeply involved with CAS research projects. We also collaborate with CAS to pilot talent training reforms and explore the cultivation of innovation through a network that integrates research and education. This has led to 11 elite science and technology classes, nine joint classes with CAS institutes and six joint colleges. By pioneering the class for gifted young students 40 years ago, which is now set to become the School of the Gifted Young, as well as graduate education in China, we have always been a forerunner in Chinese higher education reform.

Joining the national ‘Double First Class’ initiative provides us with new opportunities for growth. We are striving to build a world-class university with unique characteristics, and to eventually become a key centre for basic research breakthroughs and innovation, a national science and education hub, a global platform for academic exchange, and a source of innovative ideas.

We are now building a USTC high-tech park, which, together with our other efforts, will link research with talent training and a translation pipeline. We also have plans to broaden our international exchange and enhance our societal impact. As we celebrate our 60-year anniversary, we will bring together our alumni and friends from all circles to create a bright future for USTC.

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