Tsinghua University was one of the first in China to open to international students in December 1950.
In the sixty years since then more than 18,000 students from all over the world have enrolled at this renowned institution of higher learning. For many of them, Tsinghua is the gateway through which they begin to feel the pulse of China.
Tsinghua is turning 100, and the century-old university is vibrant with the youth of today, from home and abroad.
Thirty five year old Christopher Mchenga is one of them. He worked as a civil servant for thirteen years in the Malawian Ministry of Economic Planning and Development. He was enrolled last year in Tsinghua as a master in public administration. He says Tsinghua has long been the university he looks up to.
Christopher Mchenga, Student from Malawi, said, "I've learned the culture, language of the Chinese, and looking forward to expand my knowledge when I am back in my country..."
It's more than professional schooling that Mchenga will have received when he graduates this August. Training in China can mean career promotion, and he's expecting a position in executive management in the Malawian government.
International students learn from 200 varied courses, all taught in English. In this class of Chinese Constitution and Administrative Law, students are from countries as diverse as Sudan, the Philippines, the United States, United Kingdom and elsewhere. Many of them say courses here give them an Asian perspective and a competitive edge in their careers.
Tsinghua has 12 percent of international students, a substantial increase over the years, yet the university still lags behind Harvard, with 20 percent, and Oxford, with 38 percent.
It's hoped that, as the University turns 100, it will continue to foster an open and free atmosphere which encourages innovative and critical thinking for all to benefit.
(CNTV April 25, 2011)