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University Education Reform In China Facing A New Century

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.597.1 - 3.597.7

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Paper Authors

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Zhang Wenxue

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Yuan Dening

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Chen Zhi

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2660

University Education Reform in China ------- Facing a New Century

Yuan Dening, Zhang Wenxue, Chen Zhi Tsinghua University

Abstract The coming 21st century brings about a revolution in higher education in China. This paper describes four aspects in connection with the reform program in a personnel training model and also brings forth five relationships on optimizing the entire structure of courses. As one of the key universities, Tsinghua University can give a good perspective on higher education in China.

Introduction In order to promote the education reform program in China, the most significance is to update the concepts about education. The basic reason lies in a series of changes which will take place in China as well as in the world for the next century. From the viewpoint of the development of economy, culture, science and technology at home and abroad, many current concepts about education are confronted with an epochal challenge. This challenge will come from the economy, science, technology and culture. First, China’s economic system will be further changed from a planned economy to a socialist market economy, the world economy will further move into one integration, and the competitiveness and variability of economy will be intensified. Under such circumstances, higher education whose stress used to be placed on a narrowed special training must be shifted to the area where adaptability education is emphasized. Second, the development of modern science and technology has greatly speeded up the cycle of the replacement of old knowledge with new one. The time when a person could benefit his whole life from one time education he received at college has gone forever. Educators and education receivers have to proceed from one time education to lifelong education. Therefore, an emphasis of higher education should be placed on “basic training”. Third, over the past several centuries in the human civilization process, a special attention was always paid to a training in analyzing a problem into individual factors. After a rather long period of division of disciplines, emerged again a tendency that the different disciplines are coming into integration. The shift of a stress from analysis to integration is a completely new stage in the human civilization, which has far-reaching effect on education. The education will be changed from training specialists to training personnel with comprehensive quality, and the combination of natural science, technological science and humanity will be stressed. This comprehensive education will undoubtedly be a precursor of a comprehensive society. Education reform in universities (mainly the reform in personnel training model, setup of disciplines and curriculum system) should keep up with this trend of epochal development.

Wenxue, Z., & Dening, Y., & Zhi, C. (1998, June), University Education Reform In China Facing A New Century Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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