Message from the President
Xiamen University is one of a small number of remarkable institutions in China designated as national, key universities. It is a large teaching and research university offering 82 undergraduate programs. There are 276 graduate programs and 187 Ph.D programs taught in English by professors educated in China and abroad. Xiamen University is the selective “dream school” for many, many students across China and its many excellent degree programs attract students from every continent.
The university was founded almost one hundred years ago, by Tan Kah Kee, born and raised not so far from Xiamen’s coasts in Fujian Province, but Tan Kah Kee traveled far from Fujian. His strong belief in possibilities beyond the horizon inspires our students today. Tan Kah Kee, raised in a village, became a fabulously successful entrepreneur but his accomplishments did not end with his business empire; he gave richly to the future and founded several schools; Xiamen University is perhaps the greatest of them. Today, this university continues to take a positive role in our city and province, in China, and certainly in East Asia; and through our research, scholarship and student exchange programs, even worldwide. The university shares Tan Kah Kee’s passions for service and excellence, and connection with the world. This University is a hub for exchanges between people and academic disciplines, between challenges, resources and solutions. I intend to keep our strong commitment to excellent teaching and research free from fiscal constraints and unequal access resources and to encourage everyone to patiently work out the cultural differences among us. This is a place for you, too!
Xiamen University is located in Siming District on the island of Xiamen, which is just north of Taiwan and south of the mainland coast. The city of Xiamen is comprised of five districts, two on the island and three on the mainland. Xiamen, known as Amoy in Hokkien dialect, is a major deepwater port, whose ships come and go around the world. The city was one of the first Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in China, but rapid economic development has not damaged its environment. Throughout the city its inhabitants and leaders are aware of the necessity of environmental protection and so Xiamen can boast of splendid scenery and clean air.
The university’s main campus enjoys unique geographical advantages: it is cooled by sea breezes and framed by green mountains. The beaches are minutes away from campus, just across Huandao Lu, and the rocky hillsides, threaded with paths for hiking, stack up behind the dormitories. There are massive banyan trees, hundreds of years old, palms and scholar trees, orange-flowering kapok trees, and pink and red bougainvilleas next to sub-tropical conifers. Swans glide across the pool at the center of main campus; we Xiamen people believe too, in taking time for reflection.
As president, I am honored to promote the habits of thinking deeply and of intellectual rigor. I valued these habits myself as a student here, then a professor, and later, as a president. Since Tan Kah Kee, in 1921, our leaders have encouraged us to see far in all directions and resist the narrowing mind.
Leading this institution is indeed a challenge I relish! Visiting this institution is an experience you will not forget. We welcome the opportunity to introduce our faculty, students and staff, to listen to your questions, and to be part of your future.