Swiss Day in Beihang University, 12th June

On the 12th of June 2014, Swiss flags were flying all over Beihang University campus. By holding a the first "Swiss Day" in Beijing, the Swiss Embassy and swissnex China, together with Beihang University, not only promoted Swiss higher education, but also highlighted Switzerland’s activities in space technology and space science.

During the day, four temporary exhibitions were located in four different spots in the campus. On the first spot, students could learn about Swiss space science (Claude Nicollier, Swiss space policy, the Swiss Space Center of EPFL). On the second, the CERN was introduced. On the third spot the visitors could take pictures of themselves in a Swiss train driving through the Alps, thanks to a photo booth provided by Switzerland Tourism. Finally, next to the conference room, the participants enjoyed a pictures gallery by the Swiss science photographer Fabian Oefner. During the whole day, information materials, quiz games and goodies informed and entertained the passerby.

About 200 participants joined the speech session in the afternoon. The welcome address by Beihang president Prof. HUAI Jinpeng and the opening speech by the Swiss Embassy’s Chargé d’affaires Salome Meyer were followed by the signing ceremony of an agreement between BUAA and EPFL. Then Prof. Thierry Courvoisier, President of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Geneva, explored his field's role for society in his lecture "Astrophysics, Space Science and Geopolitics". After a break with iced Alp tea and snacks, the lecture on "Space Debris" by Prof. Volker Gass, Director of Swiss Space Center at EPFL, concluded the afternoon program. In the evening, the Swiss movie Tutti Giù was projected in front of about 80 viewers and ended this exciting day with a touch of melancholy.