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Tianjin University Releases World-class Undergraduate Education 2030 Action Plan at the Teaching Conference

From November 18-20, 2017, the 8th Teaching Conference of Tianjin University was held on the Peiyang Park Campus. During the Conference, the World-class Undergraduate Education 2030 Action Plan (2030 Action Plan) was officially released to the public. From 2018, Tianjin University will fully implement the “2030 Action Plan”.

The Plan includes “one” focus, “two” stages, “three” principles, and “ten” measures. “One” is to focus on the development of students. “Two stages” refers to a preliminary system of world-class undergraduate education to be established by 2020 and world-class undergraduate education to be completely realized by 2030. “Three principles” includes the insistence on the moral education, the integration of the general education and professional education, and cut-through talent cultivation. “Ten measures” contains specific measures for 10 reforms.

In the specific measures of the reform, the emphasis on moral education comes first. Also, two mechanisms of disciplinary optimization and the enrollment by broader categories of majors will be established, the single model of discipline-oriented major settings will be reformed, and the layout of strategic-emerging-industries-related majors will be actively designed. This is an attempt to take the lead in the development of “innovative engineering”. Currently, Tianjin University initiated the integration of the majors for admissions and will fully implement enrollment mechanisms through broader categories of majors from 2018. After its implementation, the follow-up of specific major division and training will fully respect the wishes of students, so as to meet the students’ choices of majors to the greatest possible extent. At the same time, dynamic adjustment will be carried out to the existing allocation of the recruitment plan. According to the broader-major-categories-enrollment plan, Tianjin University will launch a number of experimental classes in broader major categories, including engineering, economic management, social science, medicine, humanities, as well as the “Qiu Shi” excellence class. The experimental classes will focus on the cultivation of interdisciplinary, emerging cross-disciplinary and comprehensive, innovative engineering and cultivation of talent.

At the same time, Tianjin University will fully implement the cut-through talent training model between undergraduates and postgraduates, a new model of major confirmation and major transfers, and a teaching operation model credit system.

The cut-through talent training model will realize break-throughs in training plans, curriculum systems, operation models and supervisor training. This means that barriers among the education of undergraduates, master candidates and doctoral candidates will be broken down, and course selection among undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees, and among interdisciplines will become possible. Students will be able to select courses according to their interests and learning ability. Undergraduates will be able to select postgraduate courses according to their interests while postgraduates can also select undergraduate courses to strengthen their fundamental professional knowledge.

The “2030 Action Plan” also stresses that a new model in major selection and transfer is to be established. Students who are enrolled in broader major categories will have two opportunities for confirmation of their majors in their freshman year. The first round is a major confirmation in a broader category, and the second round is an application for major transfer in the category or across the category. In the process of major transfer, the system of “transfer out without threshold, and transfer in with requirements” will be implemented, giving students greater autonomy in the choice of majors.

The implementation of the credit system is in line with the above reform measures. This reform centers on a flexible course selection system, which forms a new teaching management system composed of a flexible educational system, a major and minor system, a mutual credit recognition system, an academic supervisor system, and an exemption system. Students will be able to autonomously arrange their own learning process, choose course levels and the method of attendance to realize independent study, optimization of the knowledge structure and improve their comprehensive qualities and creative ability.

At the same time, the “2030 Action Plan” gets comprehensive support by improving the curriculum system by the integration of the general education and professional education, an innovation-centered entrepreneurship education system, a teacher and teaching development system and a teaching guarantee system.

“2030 Action Plan” will be in line with the idea of comprehensive development of engineering, science, liberal arts and medicine. With the opportunity for the development of “innovative engineering”, led by “the cut-through talent training”, multidisciplinary coordinated development of science, engineering, economics, management, literature, law, medicine, art, education, and philosophy will be promoted and a world-class talent cultivation system with world-class, Chinese characteristics and Tianjin University’s character will be built.
By: Shen Qian

 Editors: Sun Xiaofang and Ross Colquhoun