Up to 90 percent of undergraduate students from the Class of 2023 at the University of Michigan – Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (UM-SJTU JI, JI hereafter) have expressed their intention to pursue graduate studies upon graduation, according to the latest statistics from the JI Student Affairs Office.

JI Student Counselor Qi Zhou released the statistics of the graduating Class of 2023 during its general assembly held on June 28. She said a total of 289 undergraduate students from the class are expected to graduate in August. By mid-June, 259 students have already secured admission to prestigious graduate programs at renowned universities worldwide, including 42 individuals who have been awarded full scholarships for doctoral degrees. The students who opted to enter the job market have received enticing offers from prominent domestic and international companies, such as Huawei, Unigroup, Ernst & Young, and Shanghai Simgui Microelectronics.

During the meeting, JI Dean Chien-Pin Chen congratulated the students for their successful completion of undergraduate studies. He said the students have achieved remarkable results and prospects, in spite of the challenges and difficulties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. He also expressed his hope that the students would continue to pursue new achievements and milestones as they embark on their next chapter.

Bing Zhu, the captain of Xuelong 2, China’s first domestically built polar research icebreaker, was invited by the general assembly to give a keynote speech, sharing his experiences and unwavering dedication in conducting scientific research in the extreme regions of the North Pole and South Pole. He encouraged the students to remain firm in their ideals and beliefs, fear no future challenges, and embark on a journey of life with an optimistic, fearless, and upward spirit.

Four JI alumni representatives were invited to the meeting to share their working experiences and life insights with the graduating students. They include Mengxian Li from the Class of 2011 who works at the China Development Bank,Jiarui Lei from the Class of 2014 who currently holds a faculty position at the National University of Singapore, Yanran Ding from the Class of 2015 who is about to join the faculty at the University of Michigan, and Tingting Xia from the Class of 2020 who is currently working at the Modern Service Industry Bureau of the Liangjiang New Area Administrative Committee in Chongqing.

In a televised concluding remarks, Chairman of the JI Council Ming Yang encouraged the students to maintain steadfast willpower, combining international perspectives with patriotic sentiments, and staying true to their initial aspirations and missions. The students should cultivate a practical character, embracing the value of practical experience, good engineering thinking, and innovative work for limitless possibilities, while embracing an optimistic attitude, fearlessly facing challenges with a light and agile approach, said Yang who urged the students to take charge of their personal development, align their aspirations with the needs of the times, and contribute to the prosperity and rejuvenation of the nation.

Group photo of offline general assembly attendees