Tsinghua president vows coronavirus won't stop the learning process; online classes to begin Feb. 17


Tsinghua President Qiu Yong: "We hope that all faculty members and students can work together to minimize the impact of the [coronavirus] outbreak on teaching and learning." (Screen grab from Rain Classroom video)

Despite a government decision to indefinitely postpone the return of students and faculty to college campuses for the spring semester, Tsinghua University officials this week described their plans to start the spring semester on schedule in virtual classrooms.


In an 89-minute video recorded on Feb. 3, Tsinghua University president Qiu Yong described the university's commitment to start the spring semester classes on February 17 using a new online learning tool . Wearing a powder blue mask, the Tsinghua president explained how the university is planning to begin its semester through a new app designed to allow teachers and students to hold classes and interact regularly through online learning. The university released a version dubbed in English on February 8 so international students and faculty could hear the school's plans for the new semester.


President Qiu said the university's first commitment is to the health of university personnel and students. But he vowed to press on with education.


"Tsinghua people's full answer is: Do not return to the campus. Stay home and protect ourselves," he said. "However, we think that we should emphasize that the postponement doesn't mean we won't have classes. We hope that all faculty members and students can work together to minimize the impact of the [coronavirus] outbreak on teaching and learning."


President Qiu said Tsinghua, as "the nation's university," has a "social responsibility" to set an example.


Here's the link to view the entire lecture; https://next.xuetangx.com/live/live20200207001/live20200207001/2457591/1680461.


Note: Make sure to click on the blue button that appears on your screen when you enter the URL in order to continue on to viewing the video.


The lecture, featuring President Qiu and Chen Xu, chairperson of the University Council, is the first university-wide lecture using the new "Rain Classroom," an online learning app created for Tsinghua University. More than 50,000 people listened to the original version in Chinese.


Top university officials prepare to address the Tsinghua community. (Screen grab from Rain Classroom video)


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