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PKU Guanghua Celebrates Graduation of the First “Future Leaders“ Cohort

At a virtual ceremony on Sunday, June 26th, Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management honored graduates from the inaugural cohort of the“Future Leaders” International Undergraduate Degree Program.

Watch the “Future Leaders” Class of 2022 Tribute Video

Prof. Qiao LIU, Dean of the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University, joined faculty and staff in congratulating students and shared specially-recorded messages sent by fellow Deans from the “Future Leaders” Program’s international partner schools.

Prof. Li-an ZHOU, Director of the Faculty of Economics and Management at Peking University, introduced each student by name before inviting them to turn their tassels to mark their transition as graduates. Following their virtual walk across the stage, Prof. Qiaowei SHEN, Director of Undergraduate and Postgraduate Program, remarked on the deep impressions “Future Leaders” participants left on her.

Global Deans Send Off Graduates of Pioneering “Future Leaders” Class of 2022

In Dean LIU’s address to students, he acknowledged everything they accomplished in two years and shared that watching their progress has inspired confidence the program is attracting and training leaders who are courageous and compassionate critical thinkers. “More than ever, the world needs people with broader views who can bravely lead. You do not have all the answers to the problems the world is facing, but I’m confident you have developed the intellect and skills here which can help you fix the world’s problems in your own ways,” said LIU.

Dean Liu Qiao speaks to graduates at the“Future Leaders” Virtual Graduation Ceremony.

Each year, Guanghua selects top undergraduate students from 15 internationally-recognized partner institutions across the globe who spend their first two years of study at their home institutions before spending another two years of study as a single cohort together with Chinese classmates at Peking University. Scheduled to come together at Guanghua in 2020, the Class of 2022 was instead beset by pandemic-induced travel restrictions. However, they persevered through early-morning and late-night classes to own the experience and make it personally meaningful.

Roll Call of Graduates and Tassel Turning Ceremony of the Future Leaders Class of 2022

Students planned group activities to engage with one another online but also created opportunities to interact offline through a trip to Barcelona. They contributed to Guanghua’s annual Chinese New Year celebrations, joined online events to celebrate other traditional Chinese holidays, commemorated each other’s birthdays, formed teams to consult for leading international companies, and provided mutual support to each other through challenging Chinese courses. At the graduation ceremony, many students expressed gratitude for the multi-country friendships they forged, and looked ahead to future opportunities for visiting and connecting in person. Student representative and speaker Alexandre Loo, for example, chose to join the “Future Leaders” Program not only because it would give him an advantage in his future career but because it “would [allow him] be part of an amazing community.”

Students Representative Alexandre Loo speaks on behalf of the graduates

Reflecting on personal growth during the program,Florian Schwarz said he “developed a deep understanding of China, the country’s economy, the country’s culture, as well as its challenges and opportunities.” But, the “Future Leaders” Program’s customized curriculum integrating China-focused courses with core business knowledge also helps instill soft skills students need to succeed in today’s complex international environment.“The biggest change that I’ve experienced was my own attitude towards uncertainty,”said Jan-Erik Rinke. Alba Meng Lin highlighted“becoming a more understanding and inquisitive person, especially in terms of what is different from what I am used to.”

The Class of 2022 has paved the way for the next two groups of “Future Leaders” cohorts, with a total of 120 students from 22 different countries and regions represented across all cohorts. Graduates are joining a global alumni network, including Guanghua’s own 30,000+ alumni, Peking University’s broader alumni network, and the networks of the respective “Future Leaders” partner schools from which each student was recruited.

“Future Leaders” Virtual Graduation Ceremony of Class 2022

“Future Leaders” graduates celebrate their graduation around the world

“Future Leaders” Program partners include Bocconi University, Erasmus University Rotterdam School of Management, ESADE School of Business, ESSEC Business School, FGV-EAESP, HKU School of Business, IE University Business School, Keio University School of Business, Queen’s University Smith School of Business, Mannheim University School of Business, Moscow State University School of Business, National University of Singapore Business School, Tel-Aviv University, Warsaw School of Economics, and York University Schulich School of Business. The program can be completed entirely in English but offers the opportunity to take Chinese language courses and enroll in Guanghua’s Chinese-taught courses.

When pandemic travel restrictions ease, Guanghua looks forward to receiving “Future Leaders” graduates on the Peking University campus and welcoming them “home.”