Innovative courses blossom at universities

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-11-01 15:16
Students practice at a scuba diving course at Xiamen University. [Photo/Weibo account of Xiamen University]

University students in China can’t be more delighted as an increasing number of universities join the trend of opening innovative courses that combine professional knowledge with practical life skills, The Paper reported.

Wuhan University, for instance, was selected as “most searched hashtags” on search giant Baidu Friday morning for its new course that promotes Chinese dialects and Chinese culture.

During a class on Monday, students dissolved into laughter as two students from Central China’s Hubei province dubbed the cartoon character Peppa Pig into the local dialect.

Ruan Guijun, initiator of the curriculum, said varied artistic forms, like songs and traditional Chinese operas, can not only be displayed in Mandarin, but also dialects.

“Dialects are still important ways to communicate and convey emotions,” he said.

Students who take the class have been influenced and inspired. “Dialects are carriers of literature and the history, so we can’t cast it away,” said a student in an interview with Pear Video, an online short video platform in China.

Earlier this week, Xiamen University also appeared on the list of most searched hashtags on Sina Weibo for its scuba diving course, an optional course that was set up in 2014, according to media reports.

The course has special application requirements, reports said. Students who apply for the course must be good swimmers, with male students able to swim 400 meters, and females 200 meters without a break.

Although it takes courage during the learning process, the reward is desirable – the skills they grasp will make it easier to get an Open Water Diver certificate if they want.

At the beginning, the course was only open to students from the College of Ocean and Earth Sciences of Xiamen University, initiated to get them prepared for oceanographic research. Now all students can apply for the course.

Another course at Fudan University launched earlier this school year sparked heated discussion on the internet.

The course, titled with a Chinese phrase meaning, “apparently right, but actually wrong”, intends to help students tell the difference between fact and fiction.

With a total of 17 subjects, the course aims at helping students differentiate science from pseudoscience, such as how strong the risk of vaccination is and how genes define destiny. The course won applause for its advocation of critical and interdisciplinary thinking.

Over 1,000 students have chosen the course, and the topic on Weibo has won tens of thousands of thumbs-up among users in a gesture of support.

 

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