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Cultivate Future Innovative Engineers, TIEI Receives Certification from CTI

 Global

On July 12th, 2017, Tianjin International Engineering Institute (TIEI) successfully received CTI (Comité des Titres Ingénieur Frann Fr) certification, attaining the highest certification period level – 6 years that CTI has ever granted to universities. It means that TIEI can directly award graduates a French engineering diploma and the education quality of this institute has been approved by the international education field. 

TIEI is a pilot site for the innovative engineering education reform of Tianjin University at postgraduate level, matching the education level of French engineers. Since its certification, Tianjin University has become one of the few universities that are entitled to award French engineer diplomas. It is the first time that CTI has granted a three-year school six-year certification and it is CTI's new attempt at overseas expansion. TIEI is the first school without Sino-French cooperation in education to be approved by the French Ministry of Education. All of these have contributed to the exploration and struggle of "absorbing the advanced experience of school-running and scholarly research" and "operating the school based on China's background". 

In France, only the top 10% of high school graduates have the opportunity to enter into Engineering School preparatory classes each year. Through two-years studying preparatory courses and then strict exams, these students may enter into Engineer School with about a 60% acceptance rate. 16 French presidents, 60% of CEOs from top 100 companies and most senior executives have graduated from Engineer School. TIEI recruits 100 Master Degree Candidates domestically every year, these candidates will enter three professional fields including electronic and communication engineering, architecture and civil engineering (intelligent construction), and computer technology. 

Professor Yu Jianxing, a TIEI director of Sino party, thinks that TIEI is trying to combine the characteristics of French engineer cultivation with that of China engineering talents cultivation and then educate high-level international engineering talents for China’s economic and social development, as well as world engineering and scientific progress. 

In 2014, Tianjin University, which has a great reputation for engineering, used the cultivation model of Nice - Sophia French Polytechnic Institute for reference and created the TIEI, an experimental zone for educational revolution and talent cultivation of engineering higher education. Li Jiajun, party secretary of TJU, said Tianjin University had cultivated a large number of higher-level engineering and technical talents since its establishment in 1895, and will integrate engineering education into the whole system of talent cultivation according to national requirements. 

The courses offered to TIEI students are taught by Chinese and foreign teachers, using both Chinese and English languages. French is regarded as a compulsory course. At the beginning of TIEI’s establishment, the enterprise club was formed, in the same manner that it was in France. Now the club has 42 enterprise members at home and abroad such as Siemens, Schneider Electric, NXP, China State Construction Engineering Corporation, and China Railway Group Limited. Without specifying the teaching materials, the courses adjust teaching programs according to practical problems and business needs. TIEI courses focus on cultivating students' innovative practical ability, paying attention to humanitarian, and quality education such as economics, management and communication. Students are required to take part in three internships during their studies, namely a one-month blue collar internship, a three-month of assistant engineer internship and a six-month engineer internship. Most internships are conducted in the corporate club members. The first-generation students graduate this year. Graduates will receive three diplomas, not only the master's diploma of Tianjin University, but also a French engineering diploma. TIEI has  100 employment rate and the graduates are also well received by their employers. 

Philippe Gourbesville, president of Université de Nice, Ecole Polytechnique de l’Université de Nice in France, believes that TIEI does not copy the existing French engineer training model, but fully considers the development of Chinese society and the needs of Chinese enterprises, and so cultivates senior engineering and technical personnel with innovative spirit who conform to China's economic and social development. Shan Xiaolin, TIEI principal said: “Without ‘copying’ old models, TIEI has set up a unique personnel training system, which covers two platforms (international exchange platform, school-enterprise cooperation platform), three models (cooperative education model, talent cultivation model, administrative management model) and four guarantees (students quality guarantee system, students training quality guarantee system, internship and practice guarantee system, development quality guarantee system), and is also called ‘1 +2 +3 +4’  international engineering leader training system.” 

CTI sent an experts’ team to Tianjin University to make a four-day on-site assessment for TIEI. Certified experts held an in-depth and meticulous informal discussion with TIEIs Chinese and French deans, all faculty and staff, corporate club representatives and student representatives. At the same time, combined with the written application materials submitted by the institute, the experts inspected and evaluated the performance and its teaching activities, scientific research, personnel training, school-enterprise cooperation and management and other aspects. 

 “I think TJU well reflects the French engineer training system. I see there is not only the essence of the French engineer training system but it also maintains a Chinese character.” Jean-Marc THERET, one of the certified experts and CTI Vice Chairman, said at a CTI accreditation meeting in Paris on July 12. 

“TIEI is not only a pioneer of engineer education in TJU but also an experimental field of ‘innovative engineering education’ establishment.” “Innovative engineering leads innovative industry, thus driving the new economy. With the guidance of ‘cultivating virtues and teaching goodness’, the development motto of ‘dealing with changes and shaping the future’ and the way of ‘inheriting and innovating, crossing and integrating, coordinating and sharing’, the establishment of ‘new engineering’ will cultivate diversified, innovative and excellent engineers to provide intellect and support for future national economic construction.” Said Zhong Denghua, Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and President of Tianjin University.

By: Liu Lisha and Zhang Yumeng

Editors: Yin Shiyu,Qin Mian and Christopher Peter Clarke