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Universities explore unique features under 'double first-class' plan

By Jiang Xingguang | | Updated: 2017-03-15 14:15

Universities explore unique features under 'double first-class' plan

Zheng Xiaojing, president of Xidian University, who is also a CPPCC National Committee member. [Photo/provided to]

Colleges and universities should explore and find their own ways in becoming first-class universities, said Zheng Xiaojing, president of Xidian University and a CPPCC National Committee member.

The two sessions -- the annual gatherings of the nation's top legislature and its top political advisory body-- started in early March. The NPC session opened on March 5, two days after the CPPCC National Committee session got underway. Some 5,000 participants from the NPC and the CPPCC National Committee are attending the event.

"To achieve the goal of building 'double first-class' universities , institutes of higher learning must improve their quality and strengthen their distinctive features," said Zheng, who's also an academician of the Chinese Academy of Science.

The term "double first-class" refers to "world-class university" and "world-class discipline", were approved by China's deepening reform lead group in 2016 as a new impetus for the development of China's higher education sector.

Zheng said that industry-based colleges and universities are an important part of the national university system, and an integral part of the "double first-class" university concept.

She added that her university, which is renowned for electronic science and technology, has been actively exploring unique ways to improve.

Since 2016, around 200 million yuan ($29 million) has been put into building first-class projects, breaking the barriers among schools and disciplines and supporting those world-class ground-breaking projects which are strategic and forward-looking, according to Zheng.

Academic leaders can challenge themselves and gain experience in these projects, and improve the influence of some disciplines. In return, their new theories and achievements can expand the vision of undergraduate students and help to foster innovative thinking, according to Zheng.

As regards management improvement, Zheng said that non-teaching departments and offices should provide better services to teachers and students.

An expert on environmental mechanics and electromagneto-solid mechanics, Zheng was elected an academician of the Chinese Academy of Science in 2009.

In recent years, Xidian University has been implementing an Internationalization Initiative Program to improve the cultivation of international connections and upgrade education levels. To date, the school has established cooperative relationships with over 100 universities and institutions in more than 80 countries, according to its official website.

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