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20 questions for 2020

By Wang Yiqing, Liu Jianna, Yao Yuxin, Pan Yixuan, Wang Kan and Zhang Zhouxiang | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2019-12-31 10:55

Q: How can the quality of undergraduate education be improved?

A: There is no doubt that higher standards have to be imposed on students for graduation.

It would be unfair though if stringent requirements were merely placed on the students without enhancing the quality of courses and teachers.

While teachers accuse students of not taking classes seriously, surveys show students complain of having to learn boring and pointless subjects which make them lukewarm about studying.

It is high-quality courses that serve as the foundation of overall improvement of undergraduate education. Colleges should enjoy more autonomy over the majors they offer and provide more elective modules for students in accordance with the specialties of colleges and changes in employers' needs.

It is also imperative to change the criteria for evaluating the performance of teachers.

Currently, the government and society usually judge the level of a university in terms of its academic results. Accordingly, universities commonly evaluate teachers' work by the number of papers and prizes they have, which prompts professors to invest most of their energy and efforts into research rather than teaching.

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