Dear faculty and staff, students, alumni, and friends:

As time flies like a shuttle, our land refreshes with brightness and shines. At this wonderful moment, we would like to extend our season's greetings and New Year's blessings to our students, current and retired faculty and staff, alumni at home and abroad, and all friends from different walks of life who have always cared for and supported the development of South China Normal University.

2023 has been a crucial year for SCNU as we further promoted the "Double First-Class" initiative and celebrated the 90th anniversary of the university. Over the year, we have comprehensively studied and implemented Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the guiding principles of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and earnestly fulfilled the fundamental task of cultivating students with high moral standards. Guided by the "Double First-Class" initiative, we continued to deepen reforms and improve governance systems, thus significantly upgrading our comprehensive strength. SCNU has risen 200 places in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, ranking among the top 3 teacher training universities in China. Our social influence grew continuously, and the momentum of high-quality development became even stronger. All the above has left an incredible mark in the 90-year history of SCNU.

By focusing on Party building, SCNU has continued to strengthen the overall leadership of the Party over its work. SCNU has fully implemented the overall plan for building a strong country in education and the specific plan, "1310", of the Guangdong provincial party committee ("1310" refers to "aiming at 'One' goal of leading ahead, unleashing 'Three' major driving forces of innovation, reform, and opening-up, and striving for 'Ten' modernization breakthroughs"). Based on the plans above, SCNU earnestly organized education on the theme of studying and implementing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and carried out discussion on its contributions to developing China into a leading country in education as well as a strong Guangdong province in education. SCNU proposed the development vision with the focus on "One goal", implemented a "Two-step" strategic plan, and unleashed the "Three" major driving forces of innovation, reform and opening-up to accelerate the building of "Eight first-class' systems". Besides, SCNU continued to refine the characteristics of Party building as a national demonstration university, and to improve its brand of Party building demonstration unit. As the chief and the paired construction unit of the rural public service alliance of colleges and universities following the "Double-Hundred Action" initiated by the Guangdong Provincial Committee of CPC, SCNU galloped at the head in improving the standard of rural public services in education and healthcare, contributing to the implantation of the "High-Quality Development Project for Hundreds of Counties, Thousands of Towns, and Myriads of Villages" of Guangdong province.

By staying true to its original aspiration, SCNU has been better positioned to cultivate students with high moral standards. SCNU successfully participated in and completed undergraduate education teaching assessment of the Ministry of Education, highlighting first-class university standards. With 29 newly-added national first-class undergraduate courses, SCNU ranks among the top 3 China's teacher training universities. Three projects were selected as comprehensive reform and high-quality development of ideological and political works by the Ministry of Education. Moreover, the official WeChat account of the university, "Goodnight SCNU" took the lead and leaped to 4th place among Chinese universities. In the 18th "Challenge Cup" National Undergraduate Extracurricular Academic Science and Technology Contest, SCNU achieved a total rank of No.2 in Guangdong province and pocketed National Victory Cup once more. At the 19th Asian Games, SCNUers won 4 gold, 3 silver, and 1 bronze medals. Eight participants all brought home prizes.

By working with great dedication to pursue excellence, SCNU has made more substantial progress in university development. SCNU has been energetically promoting the "Double First-Class" initiative, maintaining betterment and pushing for excellence in first-class disciplines. One newly-added ESI top 1% discipline brought the total to 12, making SCNU occupy the fourth place among all China's teacher training universities. 13 national-level talents were cultivated, and a national-level teacher team styled after Huang Danian was built up, continually improving the level of teaching staff. Eight provincial and ministerial-level research platforms were completed, and the building process of national key laboratories proceeded in order. The funding for projects approved by the National Natural Science Foundation ranked No.3 among all China's teacher training universities, while the number of projects approved by the National Social Science Foundation ranked 14th among China's universities, and topped the list before all universities in Guangdong province.

By fully devoting itself to fostering teacher education, SCNU has been able to further showcase its distinctive characteristics of teacher education. SCNU has taken the lead in participating in the Ministry of Education's collaborative improvement plan for teacher education and continuously promoting SCNU's Action of "1+N" for the high-quality development of basic education in Guangdong. Achievements included winning 15 national-level teaching achievement awards (including 4 from our affiliated middle school and kindergarten) and ranking first among all China's teacher training universities in terms of the number of awards for basic education with SCNU as the leading unit. Besides, SCNU's comprehensive research base for textbooks for Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan was approved as a national key research base for textbook compiling. Moreover, SCNU also became the designated training and exchange base for teachers from Hong Kong in the mainland: 20 training and exchange sessions were hosted in this first year, with an attendance of approximately 3,000 newly employed primary and secondary school teachers from Hong Kong. Furthermore, SCNU co-organized the National Science Education Summer School (Guangzhou venue) and thus had a profound influence.

By making efforts to improve governance systems, SCNU has enhanced its capacity to provide quality services. A newly revised charter was issued, serving as the core to accelerate regulatory system development. SCNU has been steadily promoting the optimization and adjustment of teaching, scientific research, and management service institutions, hence further improving the coordinated development of four campuses in three cities. SCNU was recognized as an advanced collective in national internal auditing, and selected as one of the first pilot universities for the "Ministry of Education's Higher Education Data Sharing Application Platform". With extra efforts paid into building a smart campus and the "One Axis and Two Belts" school environment improvement completed, our schoolyard is now more comfortable, services more intelligent, and life more pleasant.

By celebrating its 90th anniversary, SCNU has greater confidence to forge ahead and write a new chapter of the university. A string of fascinating celebration events was held, ranging from the 90th Anniversary Development Conference, the Educational Achievement Exhibition, to the Sino-Foreign University Presidents Forum; a five-volume book series on the history of SCNU came out, presenting SCNU's profound history; the school history museum was inaugurated and the bronze statue of Lin Liru was unveiled, both inheriting SCNU's spiritual heritage. The on-line communication index of these anniversary activities exceeded 20 million, leaving a shared memory for every SCNUer. Besides, a batch of construction projects all accelerated progress, including the commencement of the No.1 teacher's apartment building, foundation for the teacher education building project, relocation and expansion of our affiliated primary school and kindergarten, and application for the establishment of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Teacher Education Institute. Embarking on a new journey towards the centenary of SCNU, we are endowed with more faith and determination.

Looking back on 2023, all the accomplishments and honors have been made not without the wisdom and hard work of all the teachers, students, and staff, as well as the care and love of our leaders at all levels, and the concern and support from our alumni along with the wider community. We express our heartfelt gratitude to you!

"Gaze at the long way we've come, distant mountains left behind; our lofty ambitions arise, a boundless Spring waiting ahead." Looking ahead to 2024, we will adhere to fully promote the "Double First-Class" initiative and the comprehensive enhancement plan of improving weak links, so SCNU is bound to glitter among the top universities; the goal of building a world-class university with more distinctive characteristics of teacher education, integrity, and innovation has been put on the agenda, and SCNU should brave the winds and waves, excelling and progressing. Let us, guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, march forward with determination and courage, strive to write a new chapter in the development of a world-class university with Chinese characteristics, and achieve even better achievements to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Sincerely wishing our great motherland to thrive and be prosperous! Earnestly wishing a happy New Year to all SCNUers and friends from all walks of life!


South China Normal University

Secretary of the CPC SCNU Committee Wang Binwei, SCNU President Yang Zhongmin

December 31, 2023

Source from SCNU News Center

Translated by Liang Dingyu

Proofread by Edwin Baak

Edited by Li Jianru

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