The Annual Conference for Higher Education Innovation 2017 invited university presidents, managers, academic staff, and educational experts in China and abroad to share their opinions on how to build first-class undergraduate education.

The four-day conference, which was focused on the topic ‘Reshaping undergraduate education: building a student-centred educational system’, included a series of activities such as the XJTLU Education Forum, the Wisdom-Lake Internationalisation Summit of Higher Education 2017, teaching workshops, and training.

Three themed forums were held during the conference to have further discusion on reshaping undergraduate education, with themes including ‘Promoting the reconstruction of undergraduate education through Sino-foreign cooperation in schools’, ‘Reshaping academic staff development”, and ‘Elementary education’.

Professor Sir Drummond Bone, master of Balliol College at the University of Oxford, pointed out in his keynote speech that the student-centred educational philosophy in China is similar with problem-based and scene-based higher educational philosophies in the UK.He shared with the participants student-centred educational practices in the UK from the aspects of lectures, group discussions and personal tutorials.

Professor Zhemin Tan, vice president of Nanjing University, introduced the three phases of undergraduate education reform at Nanjing University, including general education, specified programme education and entrepreneurship education.

Professor Youmin Xi, executive president of XJTLU, emphasised that higher education should always keep an eye on future demands and train talents who can adapt to future needs.

He initially mentioned XJTLU’s innovative measures in ‘syntegrative education’ during the conference. He said that XJTLU is developing a new path in addition to the current educational model for developing future industrial leaders and outstanding talents.

“Syntegrative education integrates general, business, professional, and management education. It integrates professional knowledge, business practice, industry knowledge acquisition, and entrepreneurship and management training,” said Professor Xi.

The conference also released a case study collection which introduced student-centred teaching innovation case studies.

The Annual Conference and Wisdom Lake Summit was co-organised by the Research Centre of Internationalisation in Higher Education, the Ministry of Education of China, XJTLU, Guangming Daily Education Research Centre, and XJTLU Affiliated School. It was supported by the Suzhou Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District Administrative Committee, and Dushu Lake College Development Union.

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