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NTU head urges freshmen to be proactive

The China Post news staff--National Taiwan University (NTU) President Lee Si-chen (李嗣涔) appealed for new undergraduate students to cultivate creativity, a proactive attitude, independent judgment, composure and integrity in an address to freshmen yesterday.

Lee reminded freshmen that they should cultivate critical thinking skills in the university instead of becoming accustomed to “knee-jerk” actions such as unthinkingly clicking the “Like” button on Facebook.

Asked which skill he regarded as the most important for students, Li replied with “achieving goals actively and aggressively,” stressing that it is one of the key components for the 12-year compulsory education system to succeed.

Regarding Taiwanese students' traditional score-oriented mindsets, Lee reiterated that the university's four-year education is different to courses provided by vocational training centers. Lee emphasized that students should have a clear understanding that going to the university is about cultivating their inherent qualities and not about competing with schoolmates in academic performance; students should learn how to appreciate other people's merits, stay innovative and learn to be magnanimous, Lee added.

On the other hand, Lee cautioned new undergraduate students that their college education might be obsolete very soon, stressing that it is important for college students to possess not only strong academic abilities but also abilities to serve others, express opinions in different languages, possess extensive knowledge and make decisions independently, in order to survive in the future market.

Lee encouraged students to improve their people skills by starting to communicate with their families and people around them. In order to better themselves, students should all take “honesty” and “integrity” seriously, Lee added.

This year that NTU invited parents to attend the ceremony as well. Such an arrangement apparently eradicated the common sight of students dosing off during the yearly ceremony. Due to the school's poor quality microphones, however, many parents complained that they “had no idea what the president said in the speech” despite their best efforts to listen.

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