Several universities yesterday held their graduation ceremonies, which were smaller and incorporated videoconferencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At National Taiwan University’s (NTU) event, students wore masks while speakers participated via videoconference.
The scaled-down ceremony, with attendees sitting apart to maintain social distancing, was attended by 523 students and 675 parents, compared with about 2,700 of each last year.
Photo provided by National Cheng Kung University
“We are apart in distance, put on masks and avoid contact with others. Such distancing can lead to alienation, as well as to more apprehension and misgivings, but we should reduce the psychological distance between people so that our society can maintain its intimate connections,” NTU president Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) said in his address.
The pandemic has changed people’s behavior and severely affected many industries, particularly those that require in-person interactions, he said.
“Remote work will be the new normal. Tensions are running high between the US and China, and many countries have closed their borders, leading many to believe that this will be the end of the trend toward globalization of the past three decades,” Kuan said.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
“However, propelled by new information technology, globalization will continue. Although the ‘world order’ might be reorganized and economic powers might shift, these will not stop ongoing international development, so we must all face the challenges of globalization,” he said.
To face such challenges, people would need more than the ability to speak foreign languages or competitive international skills, but also an appreciation for different cultures, and the ability to live in and interact with them, to find their own place and become leaders of globalization, he added.
“Hold on to your passion and cultivate your transcultural quotient,” Kuan told students.
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