Higher ed­u­ca­tion to bal­ance tra­di­tion, in­no­va­tion

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By LIU CE andWUYONG in Shenyang Con­tact the writ­ers at li­uce@chi­nadaily.com.cn

In­sist­ing on a com­bi­na­tion of in­no­va­tion and tra­di­tion is whathelpedNorth­east­ernUniver­sity gain recog­ni­tion in the 2016-17 World Univer­sity Rank­ings pub­lished by Times Higher Ed­u­ca­tion last week, ac­cord­ing to Zhao Ji, the univer­sity’s pres­i­dent.

“A univer­sity is a com­mu­nity of schol­ars, an open sys­tem,” Zhao said. “There­fore, as a univer­sity, we should open the door to the world to keep pace with the times.

“At the same time, a univer­sity is the best sys­tem for pass­ing down cul­tural tra­di­tions. Ev­ery univer­sity is unique, with its own char­ac­ter, but should main­tain a bal­ance be­tween in­no­va­tio­nand­in­her­i­tance. We can al­soshowthechar­mofChi­nese cul­ture and ab­sorb the essence of for­eign cul­ture through ex­changes with dif­fer­ent coun­tries.”

North­east­ern is mak­ing its first ap­pear­ance in the rank­ings, sit­ting in 22nd place among the 52 Chi­nese main­land univer­si­ties listed.

Founded in 1923 in Shenyang, Liaon­ing prov­ince, NEU is one of the na­tional key univer­si­ties un­der the di­rect ad­min­is­tra­tion of the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion. Ithasas­trongdis­ci­pline struc­ture and main­tains a lead­ing na­tional po­si­tion in many sec­tions, in­clud­ing sci­en­tific re­search and teach­ing of me­tal­lurgy, me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing, au­toma­tion and biomed­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing.

With its pol­icy of be­ing open to the world, NEU has es­tab­lished long-term sta­ble aca­demic co­op­er­a­tion with 198 univer­si­ties and in­sti­tu­tions in 34 coun­tries and re­gions. More than 300 well-known over­seas ex­perts are in­vited to give lec­tures or par­tic­i­pate in co­op­er­a­tive sci­en­tific re­search projects an­nu­ally.

Nearly 700 NEU fac­ulty mem­bers and more than 500 stu­dents par­tic­i­pate in var­i­ous in­ter­na­tional aca­demic ex­change pro­grams each year. In2015, therewere1,233 for­eign stu­dents from 78 coun­tries and re­gions at NEU for aca­demic ex­changes.

“There are four main char­ac­ter­is­tics of NEU’S in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion,” Zhao said. “First, we are de­vel­op­ing fast. Sec­ond, in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion has in­fil­trated many fields. Third, our in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion has ge­o­graph­i­cal fea­tures, with em­pha­sis on North­east Asia. Fi­nally, we have a great deal of in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion in our cour­ses, teach­ing ma­te­ri­als, teach­ing re­sources and sci­en­tific re­search.”

“Al­though NEU is be­hind when com­pared with many glob­ally fa­mous univer­si­ties, we are on the way.”

Ac­cord­ing to Zhao, the num­ber of over­seas stu­dents will reach 3,000 in the fu­ture, ac­count­ing for 10 per­cent of all stu­dents, which sig­nals a high de­gree of in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion.

“The in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion of higher ed­u­ca­tion is the in­evitable out­come of eco­nomic glob­al­iza­tion,” Zhao said. “But univer­si­ties with higher in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion lev­els around the world don’t give up their own tra­di­tions.

“More­over, the in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion of univer­si­ties can­not fol­low the same model ev­ery­where. It should have its own path in line with each na­tion’s and univer­sity’s sit­u­a­tion. We can­not­mea­surein­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion by any sin­gle in­dex. How­ever, there are some key points, suchas ed­u­ca­tional phi­los­o­phy and the num­ber of in­ter­na­tional stu­dents, and teach­ers that can re­flect the de­gree of in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion.”

To achieve its goals, NEU is us­ing more in­ter­na­tional eval­u­a­tion cri­te­ria for teach­ers. The pro­por­tion of teach­ers with over­seas ex­change ex­pe­ri­ence will be in­creased.

Also, the univer­sity will ex­pand its co­op­er­a­tion with for­eign univer­si­ties, es­pe­cially on stu­dent ex­change projects.

And it is build­ing more ex­change plat­forms. For ex­am­ple, NEUwill hold a Sino-Ja­pan fo­ru­mand­takepart inanAsian univer­sity fo­rum next year.

“We will keep an open mind to the world and ac­tively em­brace the world,” Zhao said.

A univer­sity is a com­mu­nity of schol­ars, an open sys­tem ... we should open the door to the world to keep pace with the times.”

pres­i­dent of North­east­ern Univer­sity in Shenyang, Liaon­ing prov­ince

Zhao Ji,

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