This year, 309 entries were submitted by 297 student societies from 130 universities across 55 cities. In total, there were two gold medal winners, while ten special prizes, 20 silver medals and 43 bronze medals were awarded.
“As a focused paints and coatings company, we are dedicated to providing color and protection to create a more varied and liveable world,” said AkzoNobel CEO Thierry Vanlancker. “China is our largest strategic market globally, and in addition to creating the best value for Chinese customers, we greatly value the realization of sustainable development together with local communities.”
Added AkzoNobel’s Chief Human Resources Officer and Member of the Executive Committee, Marten Booisma: “This award has inspired new ideas each year. It is admirable that university students have actively channeled their knowledge to change the world. We have witnessed China’s younger generation taking action with innovative approaches to create greater value to society.”
The first of two gold awards went to the Clear Water volunteer association of the Harbin Institute of Technology. They visited 22 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities to conduct more than 260 investigations into local water quality. The second gold was presented to the Smile Service Team of Wuhan University. They brought together dental medicine students and other volunteers to provide support for over 300 sufferers of cleft lips and palates.
One of this year’s special awards was won by the Little Architects group from Southeast University. They visited three renowned masters – He Jingtang, Zhang Yonghe and Cheng Yuning – to discuss design concepts and the inheritance of aesthetic culture. The group also volunteered to provide aid education to a school in Guizhou and renovate the school’s library.
A Master’s Aesthetics Class program was also launched this year. It aims to use the combined expertise of 18 local and international masters from academia and the architecture industry to popularize and further reinforce aesthetic education in China’s remote areas. An educational guide – Master’s Aesthetics Class for Young Adults – compiles the various insights and will be launched online for university students and teachers nationwide.
“We are honored to be able to explore together with masters of the craft to enhance aesthetic education in remote areas in China,” said Dr. Lin, Liangqi, President of AkzoNobel China and Managing Director of the company’s Decorative Paints, China and North Asia business. “Aesthetic education has a great influence on cultural enhancement and the power of beauty can inspire and encourage people to create a better world.”
Commenting on the annual awards program, Li Ji, Deputy Director of the School Department of the Central Committee for the China Communist Youth League, said: “AkzoNobel was one of the earliest supporters of China’s university students participating in social practices. For many years, the company has supported their growth and development, with many having become important driving forces for China’s economic growth. We are sincerely thankful to AkzoNobel for joining our project to make outstanding contributions to China’s educational development.”