News brief is held on the afternoon of April 1 in BFU to take stock of the greatest achievements the university had made over the last year in its endeavor for university overhauling and development. Head of the university General Office delivered a speech entitled Top 10 Achievements on Our Way towards A Better BFU, in which he presented a holistic picture about the progresses that the university had made in 2019 as well as an inspiring blueprint for 2020.
As put by him, year 2019 marked a milestone of significance, not only for BFU but also for the country as a whole. For China, the year saw the grand celebration of its 70th anniversary as well as the unveiling of numerous major breakthroughs on its journey towards the great rejuvenation; For the university, a vast batch of groundbreaking events had also been transpired while the university strived ahead on its way towards building BFU into a top-class forestry university in the world that is solidly rooted on the lands of China.
1. Earnest implementation of the “Mission and Commitment” theme education campaign
The 4-month theme education campaign greatly boosted the morale of all CPC members and leaders, which in turn further elevated their courage and competence for bracing all difficulties on their way forward.
Through the adoption of a 3-tier education mechanism that tapped into the fullest potential of the university, its affiliated schools/colleges and the corresponding CPC committees/branch-committees, 15 key solutions concerning major problems that the university was faced with were reached. In addition, 3 rounds of all-covering assessments were organized consecutively to check on the effects of the education campaign, in which 100 CPC members were honored as the Benchmark Learners of the university. In response to the problems that were exposed during the process, measures were immediately taken for their solution, 20 projects among which won the unanimous approval of all students and faculty. Seven plans/agendas concerning the long-term reform and development of the university were conceived, paving the way for BFU’s brighter prospects in the future.
Thanks to the successful implementation of the “Mission and Commitment” theme education campaign, consensus was reached among all stakeholders of the university for each of the concerned parties to assume full responsibilities for their respective work. Accomplishments made in the education not only won the praise of the MOE, but also a 94.7% approval rate among the CPC members on the faculty.
2. Grassroots CPC organizations honored respectively as the Benchmarking Departments and the Exemplary CPC Branches of the country
The CPC Committee of the College of Ecology and Nature Conservation was singled out during the 2nd nationwide election of Benchmarking Departments for its distinguished performance in corresponding work; Besides, the 3rd Teachers’ CPC Branch Committee of the School of Marxism was honored as a National Exemplary CPC Branch. Up to date, the total number of the Benchmarking Departments and the Exemplary CPC Branches in BFU stands respectively t 2 and 3.
BFU has been especially fruitful in its capacity-building endeavor and efforts to strength morality and political education among its faculty and students. Under the joint appointment of the CPC Central Organization Committee and the Ministry of Education, BFU took initiative in the compilation of A Collection of Exemplary Secretaries of Grassroots CPC Organizations in Chinese Universities —a centrally endorsed course-book that is used across the country for all training programs in the field. During the 6th Capital Awards for Strengthening Morality and Political Education for University Students, the Sunlight Talents ( Yangguang Youcai ) Program proposed by BFU was granted the most prestigious honor, marking the first time that the university was given this highly honorable award. Distinguished Teachers Recruitment project—a national program that is aimed to strengthen the teaching force of universities in morality and political education in universities—was accomplished 3 years ahead of original schedule, for which Weng Tiehui, MOE Vice-minister, specially called on other universities across the country to draw on the experiences of BFU in their own work in this aspect. The great achievements BFU made in its capacity-building endeavor also caught extensive attentions from the mainstream media, as shown by the 300+ news-stories and features about the university that have made their respective ways to the headlines in CCTV, People’s Daily, Guangming Daily, Xinhua Net, Renmin Net and many other media.
3. A well-structured academic discipline system has taken shape
To better cater to the needs of discipline readjustment and structural optimization, the brand-new College of Ecology and Nature Conservation (CENC) and School of Grass and Grasslands (SGG) were respectively set up. The addition of the two newly-reorganized institutes marked that a highly viable, competitive and scientifically-structured system of academic disciplines had taken its fundamental shape. With its numerous first-tier and highly sophisticated disciplines in the lead, and backed by its characteristic disciplines in forestry and grassland studies, BFU is now well-positioned for scoring new heights in its disciplinary development. Two interdisciplinary programs—ecological restoration engineering, urban/rural bio-sphere environment—were newly added to the list of cutting-edge disciplines of Beijing municipality. The disciplines ranking among the ESI top 1% ones have risen to 7, as against 5 in the previous year.
4. The establishment of BFU Strategic Advisory Board
On December 6, 2019, BFU unveiled its Strategic Advisory Board that is composed of 46 CAS and CAE academicians, all of whom are also top experts in such fields as ecology, mining, hydrology, agronomy and forestry. The newly inaugurated board will serve as a think tank that pools the collective wisdom of top scientists for the university to embark on its new journey of speedy and sound development, as well as for its attempt to push forward informed and science-based governance. The board will not only provide an important source of information that the university can consult prior to putting forward major scientific research proposals and making critical decisions concerning the running of the university, but also bring in to existence a favorable atmosphere where distinguished young scientists and teachers will be more likely to emerge.
5. The establishment of the Research Institute of Ecological Protection and High-quality Development of the Yellow River Basin
Immediately following the publication on October 16, 2019 of President Xi Jinping’s talk in Qiushi magazine concerning eco-conservation and high-quality development in the Yellow River catchment, the Research Institute of Ecological Protection and High-quality Development of the Yellow River Basin (RIEPHDYRB) was inaugurated 2 days later in BFU. The establishment of the RIEPHDYRB caught extensive media coverage, and over 800,000 people viewed the corresponding report on Xinhua net.
Since the debut of the RIEPHDYRB, BFU has invited 11 academicians from CAS and CAE to carry out feasibility studies for a few proposed key scientific research projects concerning ecological restoration, water and soil conservation, pollution control, biodiversity conservation in the catchment of the Yellow River. Up to date, the RIEPHDYRB has set up below it 8 research centers, 1 leading scientist nurturing base, as well as a NFGA key laboratory for conserving the ecological system in the Yellow River catchment. Over 10 local governments and other institutions along the river have expressed interest in carrying out cooperative projects with the RIEPHDYRB.
6. Twelve undergraduate programs listed as national first-tier ones
As of the end of 2019, 12 undergraduate programs in BFU had been listed among the national first-tier ones, in addition to 4 others that are listed among provincial ones. One national and 3 provincial virtual simulated experimental projects have respectively been approved. Besides the 47 vintage online courses the university has launched, 4 other programs have also been distinguished as the “Top quality undergraduate programs” of Beijing municipality. Other honors the university has won in the year in its undergraduate education include the following: the establishment of an Innovative Base for Chinese Fine Arts and Crafts Heritage, to which 8 celebrated masters of fine arts and crafts are invited as guest lecturers; 1 additional NFGA honorable teachers, 2 Beijing municipal honorable teachers, and 1 Beijing municipal honorable young teacher.
7. Funds for scientific research hit the RMB300 million mark
Funds dedicated to scientific researches in year 2019 amounted to a record high of RMB331 million. In addition to the 1 ground-breaking major natural science research project sponsored by China Foundation of Nature Science, 77 general projects in natural science, and 17 philosophical and social science projects have also been approved, making BFU stand well ahead of its counterparts across the country.
Notable improvement in the quality of academic papers, with the percentage of Q2 papers increased remarkably from 28% to 45%. Two BFU-run journals, Forest Ecosystems and Avian Research, are listed among magazines covered under the Distinguished S&T Journals Action Plan of China. Moreover, 8 scientific research teams took part in the second comprehensive scientific expedition to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, during which strategic, cooperative programs were successfully carried out with 23 partners to help boost the ecological progresses of the country.
8. The BFU-aided Keyouqianqi Banner successfully removed from the list of poverty-stricken places
Under the committed help of BFU, Keyouqianqi Banner (Horqin Right-wing Front Banner) in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region was successfully removed from the country’s list of poverty-stricken counties. Over the years since partnership was entered between BFU and Keyouqianqi Banner in 2013 to lift the latter out of poverty, Secretary Wang Hongyuan, President An Lizhe and other top administrators of the university have repetitively gone in person to the poverty-ridden sites in the area to strengthen corresponding poverty-alleviation work. In accumulation, BFU has put in over RMB5.9 million in various aiding programs, in addition to sending 4 temporary administrative staff, 20 teachers and 40 graduate students to help with the development of local education sector. With the help of BFU, RMB14 million of development funds have been channeled to the Banner through various development programs. A vast batch of training workshops have also been organized, providing much-needed trains to 3400 person-time local officials and 2000 person-time leading technicians in local economic development. The Logistics Service Department and the Teacher’s Union of BFU, in addition to purchasing RMB5.5 million-worth of local agricultural products themselves, also mobilized various other channels to help the sales of RMB13 million-worth of local products.
9. Highlighting the morale of BFU community through active involvement in the 70th anniversary celebration volunteer services and in the election BFU role models
BFU actively participated in the 70th anniversary celebration, with 2364 volunteers taking active parts in the parades, the gala and the choir on the Tian’anmen Square, as well as in other voluntary services. A publicity team was specially organized to deliver over 20 lectures that were aimed to disseminate knowledge. Over 100 volunteers served during the 2019 Beijing Expo, while 400 other volunteers were involved in voluntary services in the 2nd B&RI Summit Forum on International Cooperation and the Dialogue between Civilizations in Asia.
The importance of culture in the nurturing of people was increasingly highlighted. During the first election of BFU Role Models,9 individuals and teams were granted this highly honorable title; Liangxi: Pioneer of China’s Modern Forestry, a copyrighted play of BFU debuted and was claimed as a huge success in the forestry and grassland industry across the country; A theme show was organized to showcase the remarkable achievements that BFU has made in its 67-year history, together with a vast array of other theme events that were initiated on the campus, like BFU Lecture Hall, BFU Spirit Workshop and many others.
10. Annual investments to life-improving programs hit RMB640 million in 2019
Over the years, BFU adopted an austerity policy in its administrative fees and other non-essential expenditures so that more of its precious resources could be diverted to programs that are conducive to an overall improvement in people’s livelihood. As of the end of year 2019, BFU had put in an RMB640 million-worth of investment that were used in such areas as salaries, insurance packages, healthcare, household subsidies and other welfare projects, marking a RMB40 million increase compared with the year before, or alternatively, a 70% increase compared with year 2015.After 15 years of difficult existence in a pop-up temporary structure, BFU hospital finally moved into a newly-remodeled permanent building equipped with sophisticated medical facilities. Funds were squeezed out of the university’s tight budget to convert former Dorm 8 into offices and labs, leading in result to a 4601m2-increase in spaces used for such purposes. Bold initiatives were taken to deepen reforms in the running of enterprises formerly owned by the university and to rid it of some deep-rooted problems that BFU had long been faced with.
Edited by: Li Jia; Reviewed by: Liu Yao; Translated by: Chai Wansuo