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President Dr. Si-chen Lee Addressed at NTU 81st
Anniversary Celebration Ceremony

Distinguished guests, alumni, teachers, and students:

Today is National Taiwan University's 81st anniversary. All members of the NTU community celebrate this historically significant day with jubilation. Remember last year on this particular day, we made a special wish that this 80 year old university should become one of the top 100 universities in the world. This year, in UK London Times' "Higher Education Supplement" we were ranked the 95th in the world. This marks the first time that we are among the top 100 universities in the world. We have made great strides toward becoming one of the best universities in the world, and we have achieved the goals set by the Ministry of Education's "Aim for top university plan." I am both gratified and proud to announce: "We did it!" In terms of area competition, we have three areas (natural science, humanities and social sciences) that are among the world's top 60, and two areas (engineering and information science, life science and biomedicine) that are among the world's top 50. In addition, in Shanghai Jiao-tong University's world university rankings, we also made a giant leap forward from being ranked 181th in the world to being ranked 150th place in the world, topping all universities in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. However, being one of the top 100 universities in the world is only crossing the threshold to the international arena. The target of becoming "top in Asia, and first class in the world" still awaits our further efforts. It is good to know that over the last few years we made great efforts to implement the renovation of our softwares and hardwares, which resulted in the uplifting of the quality and quantity of our research, and the improvement of our teaching, the service and guidance of students, and the leadership and innovative education. In the area of internationalization, our exchange and cooperation programs with the top universities in the world also increased significantly. In the next four years our foreign students (including overseas Chinese students) shall grow from 1430 at present to 2000, and short term exchange students shall grow from 300 students to 1000 students in five years. And for native students, we also expect that one third of them will have a chance to spend at least one semester in our sister schools.

In terms of expanding international exchange, we shall actively seek to form a strategic alliance with MIT, and expand our cooperation projects with the California Institute of Technology, IBN, the University of Tokyo, and the reputable universities of the European Union. We have leapt onto the world stage, in the future we will no longer be the follower in academic pursuits. Rather, we will play the role of a trailblazer and a pioneer.

That NTU has stood firm in the last 81 years and continued to scale new heights is largely attributable to our school motto, which states: "Mold your character and sharpen your knowledge, love your country and your people." On this basis, we stick to our three central concepts of "excellence in teaching", "excellence in research", and "concern for our society", and provide our faculty and students with the best quality learning and creative environment, to foster leadership elites of society and innovative research talents to enhance the academic standards of Taiwan, to help the development of our nation as a whole, and to pursue the sustainable existence of mankind.

At a time when global environments change fast, NTU faces different challenges than before. In order to keep up with tradition and to open up new frontiers, our students should study hard, and prepare themselves to be the leaders of society. Especially now that we are among the top 100 universities in the world , all people look at us with a more scrutinizing eye. When we face criticism, we should maintain our cool. If we are at fault, we will redress and make amends. If we are not, we shall treat the criticism as an admonishment. We will not aggrandize, nor shall we belittle ourselves. Only this way we can develop a more mature personality, which not only can distinguish between right and wrong, and can admire the accomplishment of others.

Today, we confer honorable doctoral degrees to Mr. Yung-ho Tsao and Mrs. Jacqueline Whang Peng, and outstanding alumni award to Dr. Daniel S. P. Yang, Dr. Chao-Han Liu, Mr. Min-Huan Kao, Mr. Chih-Ming Ho, Mrs. Jenny Chang and Mr. Chin-kun Wang. We want to extend our highest regards to the great contributions that Mr. Yung-Ho Tsao has made to promoting the study of Taiwanese history in the international area, to the excellent contribution that Mrs. Jacqueline Whang Peng has made to cancer genetics and to the clinical research of cancer and to fostering the talents in cancer cure, and the stellar performances of our alumni in humanities, art, academics, commerce and social services. The eminence they displayed serves to highlight the core value of National Taiwan University.

At a time when NTU celebrates its 81st anniversary, all members of NTU community shall hold their hands more closely, bring their spirit of pursuance of excellence to the full, and make the greatest contributions to the self-renewal of Taiwan and mankind.

Lastly, let us all wish NTU a happy birthday, and I wish all distinguished guests, all faculty and students good health and god-speed. Thank you all.

Chinese version