Fu­dan of­fers more choices to un­der­grad­u­ates

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - YOUTH - By CAO CHEN in Shang­hai caochen@chi­nadaily.com.cn

From this aca­demic year, Fu­dan Univer­sity in Shang­hai is of­fer­ing more choices for un­der­grad­u­ate stu­dents.

The Up­grade Plan 2020 for Un­der­grad­u­ate Ed­u­ca­tion of­fers a fu­sion of cour­ses.

For in­stance, the 2+X ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem in the plan of­fers un­der­grad­u­ates an op­por­tu­nity to widen their ba­sic gen­eral knowl­edge in the first two years.

In the third year, stu­dents can have more op­tions, or even change their ma­jor sub­jects ac­cord­ing to their in­ter­est and abil­ity.

The col­lege aims to help un­der­grad­u­ate stu­dents, so they can take the more chal­leng­ing hon­ors cour­ses, which fea­ture cut­ting-edge re­search and need more ef­fort.

Hon­ors stu­dents who achieve high grades will be given cer­tifi­cates, schol­ar­ships and prizes.

Ac­cord­ing to the plan, by 2020, all schools at Fu­dan Univer­sity are to of­fer hon­ors pro­grams, though it is on trial only in few schools at present.

“The plan of­fers more choices to stu­dents. We are chang­ing from teach­ing-ori­ented to learn­ing-ori­ented ed­u­ca­tion,” says Jiao Yang, the Party chief of Fu­dan Univer­sity.

Fu­dan Univer­sity be­gan work­ing on ed­u­ca­tion re­form in 2015, but the plan was of­fi­cially in­tro­duced in this aca­demic year.

Speak­ing about the plan, Xu Ning­sheng, the pres­i­dent of Fu­dan Univer­sity, says: “Uni­ver­si­ties that of­fer ex­cel­lent un­der­grad­u­ate cour­ses will be re­garded as top in­sti­tu­tions.”

Liu Weitao, a pro­fes­sor from the School of Physics at the univer­sity who teaches the hon­ors cour­ses, says she is amazed by the un­der­grad­u­ates’ per­for­mance.

“I teach fresh­men the ba­sics of elec­tro­mag­netism. But stu­dents in the hon­ors class dis­cuss quan­tum me­chan­ics and even gen­eral rel­a­tiv­ity.

The plan of­fers more choices to stu­dents. We are chang­ing from teach­ing-ori­ented to learn­ing-ori­ented ed­u­ca­tion.” Jiao Yang, Party chief of Fu­dan Univer­sity

“Stu­dents (in the hon­ors cour­ses) learn not only for aca­demic cred­its, but also out of in­ter­est. They re­gard the hon­ors cour­ses as a way to broaden their hori­zon. Some even think that the classes are not long enough,” she says.

Hu Qiong, a sopho­more ma­jor­ing in physics, says that she has de­vel­oped re­search skills with the hon­ors course.

For in­stance, for her re­port on en­ergy trans­for­ma­tion, she bought a drink­ing bird on­line, a per­pet­ual mo­tion de­vice, and ex­plored its ve­loc­ity un­der dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions.

“That re­port re­ceived com­pli­ments from my lec­turer, which made me feel proud. I ex­pect to do fur­ther sci­en­tific re­search on the sub­ject,” says Hu.

Hu hopes that lec­tur­ers raise more re­search-wor­thy ques­tions in the class for dis­cus­sion.

“In­stead of read­ing ex­ist­ing literature on a prob­lem which has al­ready been solved, I am more than will­ing to deal with new is­sues that need in­de­pen­dent think­ing. It is re­ally crit­i­cal in science,” she adds.

How­ever, Liu says that in­ter­ac­tiv­ity in class is not enough.

“Not all stu­dents like to ex­press their opin­ion or ask ques­tions, which means I need to try other teach­ing meth­ods to mo­ti­vate stu­dents to in­ter­act,” she says.

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