Promoting double first-class construction and focusing on student development-Wuhan University
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Promoting double first-class construction and focusing on student development
Author:  Date:2018-04-08  Clicks:

During this year’s NPC and CPPCC (National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference), Dou Xiankang, representative of the National People's Congress, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and President of Wuhan University, shared his observations in an interview on“double first-class” (world class university and world class disciplines) construction, the enhancement of university with talent resources, students cultivation and discipline construction. He emphasized that the “double first-class” construction boils down to cultivation of talents, whose intellectuality determines the quality of a university. Therefore, President Dou, who is renowned for his emphasis on talent cultivation, put forward the strategy of “strengthening schools with talent resources” in Wuhan University.

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President Dou in 13thNational People's Congress

The following is an excerpt from the interview by Southern Urban Daily.

university president takes direct responsibility for a school’s teaching and research. The construction of a talent team is crucial to a university’s development with immediate impacts on its campus culture. WHU, a university perfectly integrating its profound history and beautiful natural landscape, maintains a tradition of cherishing talents since its establishment.

“Talent import”is not an empty talk, the key to which lies in man’s effortsregardless of all kinds of situations. Last year, WHU welcomed 5 new members from the National Natural Science Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholars, 10 from the National Science Foundation for Excellent Youth, 27 under the 1000 Talent Plan of China as well as overseas talents. In total, WHU embraced about 70 national-level academics into its talent pool after the “Talent import” last year, marking its fastest growing year in recent years. However, in order to guarantee the quality of recruited talents, such measures should be taken as improving the standard of admission, promotion and cultivation for doctoral students.

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President Dou and his team in New York for recruitment in October, 2017

To this end, more research funding will be invested to build a scientific research platform and optimize the utilization of large-scale equipment, because the improvement of professionals’ quality depends largely on them. First of all, academic staff should be supported with more research funding. For example, under the support of Hubei provincial government, a special fund was set up in WHU to create a research platform and provide better conditions for scientific researches. Specifically, scientific research funding should be distributed to them on time and even ahead of time, allowing them to purchase research necessities earlier so that they can continue the previous work. In addition, more than 300 doctoral positions have been set aside especially for new comers last year. More than 300 million RMB will be invested on a building of medical science and technology equipped with advanced research instruments, where researches on preclinical medicine can be carried out.

Scientific research’s back-feeding on college education is necessary to the cultivation of students. Teaching can be a repetitive process, but world-class scientists are encouraged to introducing their scientific research achievements and latest research when lecturing. This will help students to understand the essentials of related basic courses, whose comprehensiveness coincides with the nature of scientific research. “Double first-class” construction achievements also benefit the massive students. For example, management system reforms are conducted in colleges to delegate power and autonomy to lower levels . The first step is to promote the construction of a better talent team and the second one is to improve teaching qualities and prioritize adequate teaching resources, allowing students to have access to world-class education.

For discipline construction, professors should be the main force of schooling with less interference from administrative departments. There are three criteria for measuring the quality of a discipline: its contribution to human knowledge, to social development, and to cultivation of students. WHU enjoys a high domestic ranking of world-class disciplines with four first-level disciplines ranking first nationwide.. However, the basic disciplines, such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, literature, history, and philosophy, rank eighth to tenth. It is unsatisfactory for a comprehensive university without A or A+ in these basic disciplines. In order to ensure discipline quality, WHU should enable teachers to do innovative work with much less administrative interference to avoid misjudgments in discipline development. For example, teaching department has the decision-making power to decide on the recruitment, promotion of academic staff and the direction of discipline development.

Rewritten by Lu Xinqiang, edited by Zheng Lingling, Shen Yuxi, Liu Jiachen and Liu Xiaoli


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