LuoWangshu, Daqiong Helping to bridge professional gap
Developing students who can satisfy diverse needs is school’s ultimate goal
As president of the only university in the Tibet autonomous region that offers a broad spectrum of degrees, Phubu Tsering believes it is his institution’s responsibility to develop its strengths in specialized subjects.
Phubu, wholeads TibetUniversity, said his school focuses on the study of ethnic groups and on science and technology on the Tibetan plateau.
The university also educates students based on State development plans and the development strategies of the border areas. Ethnic studies include language, literature, music, art, history and economics.
All students enrolled at TU have to take Tibetan language courses. It is the only university in China that requires this.
“Vice-Premier Liu Yandong encouraged the school to scale the heights of Qomolangma in Tibetan studies when she visited,” Phubu said, adding that the Tibetan lan- guage attracts a great amount of attention from international scholars, as well as students interested in cultural studies. Qomolangma is known as Mount Everest in theWest.
“A great number of wellknown Tibetologists have studied at Tibet University during the past 20 years,” Phubu said, adding that the university offers short-term programs of one to two years to international students. His long-term target is to provide degree courses to international students.
“The university values not only quantity in development but also cares about quality. Tibetan courses previously focused on language but have expanded to include Tibetan literature, linguistics and ancient studies,” he said.
The school had focused on training graduates from threeyear college programs and undergraduates but is now able to accommodate a variety of students up to doctoral level.
“Mastering Tibetan is a plus for employment,” he said.
Phubu was selected as the president of the university in December 2012. Previously, he had been a researcher ofMarxist philosophy at the Tibet Academy of Governance. Many people see him more as a humble scholar than a highprofile administrator.
“Under current circumstances, I hope to build a solid foundation for Tibet University,” he said, adding that he has been learning from other top universities at home and abroad during the past two years, including Peking University, Wuhan University and the University of Virginia.
Tibet University, officially founded in 1985, has more than 15,500 full-time students and 20 academic departments covering 11 disciplines, including the classics, engineering andstudies of ethnic groups. It offers 85 majors at the undergraduate level and has five campuses in the Lhasa and Nyingchi prefectures.
“Due to its location, the university focuses on students who are able to devote themselves to the region’s development,” the president said. “Tibet is still short of talent in many professional fields. The primary goal for the university is to fulfill the needs in the region.”
Among some 2,700 graduates last year, fewer than 50 were employed outside Tibet.
The university takes in about 900 undergraduates from outside region each year and 1,800 Tibetans.
“More than 90 percent of government employees at the township level, and nearly 70 percent of county-level civil servants in Tibet are alumni of Tibet University,” he said proudly.
But he is looking to go further.
“By the time our students satisfy the needs in Tibet, I hope they can step out of the region and work in other parts of China and even on the international stage,” he said. “Developing students who can satisfy diverse needs is the ultimate goal for higher education.” Contact the writers through luowangshu@ chinadaily.com.cn
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It is still too early to say. I want to do something practical and down-to-earth. When students think of me, I want to be remembered as someone who did concrete work.