Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) witnessed a remarkable graduation ceremony on June 17, as a group of young graduates from the SJTU School of Oceanography held their farewell on Chinas first self-built polar research icebreaker—Xuelong 2.

Over 70 undergraduate, master, and doctoral students bid their teachers and alma mater farewell in this unique ceremony. Simultaneously, 37 undergraduate students from the class of 2020 embarked on an immersive week-long maritime practice course on the vessel, symbolically taking the baton from their graduating peers.

 Co-construction between SJTU and the Ministry of Natural Resources  

Established in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources in 2018, SJTU School of Oceanography pioneers the integration of science and education. SJTU School of Oceanography began enrolling undergraduate students the following year. Xuelong 2, China’s first self-built polar research icebreaker, was launched the same year. With its innovative dual-directional bow and stern design, capable of breaking through ice up to 1.5 meters thick in any direction, the vessel has significantly enhanced China’s capabilities for polar scientific expeditions and travels between China’s Great Wall Station, Zhongshan Station, Kunlun Station, Taishan Station, as well as the Yellow River Station and the China-Iceland Arctic Science Observatory.

The inaugural class of undergraduate students from the SJTU School of Oceanography comprises 31 graduates, with 84% of them opting for further education. Notably, over 50% of the graduates chose to continue their studies at the SJTU School of Oceanography. Among the master’s and doctoral graduates of the class of 2023, some have embarked on careers in marine research institutions, while others have entered public service as civil servants.

As one of the first platforms for scientific and educational integration, SJTU signed a cooperation agreement with the Polar Research Institute of China’s Ministry of Natural Resources in 2021. The “Marine Science” major at SJTU School of Oceanography has been recognized as a state-level first-class undergraduate major construction site.

“Trawl Sampling” Maritime Practice

Following the graduation ceremony, an educational voyage aboard the Xuelong 2 commenced, featuring a pioneering marine practice course. Leveraging the research platform of the Polar Research Institute, SJTU has designed a comprehensive curriculum encompassing six major ocean research fields: physics, chemistry, biology, geology, technology, and ecology.

Teachers and students involved in the program boarded the vessel, undergoing rigorous safety training and emergency response exercises. Throughout the course, under the guidance of professional teachers, students will actively engage in onboard observations and tasks, such as deploying the Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD) instrument, conducting trawling operations for plankton, and collecting sediment samples using box samplers and multi-tube samplers at the stern.



Translated by Zhu Yufei

Proofread by Zhao Xiaojing

Editor on Duty: Diwei Chen

Responsible Editor: Qianqian Jiang, Yuhe Fu