The Institute of Leadership and Education Advanced Development (ILEAD) will integrate with the Academic Enhancement Centre and National Certificate in Teaching English for Academic Purposes training programme (NCTEAP) of the Language Centre at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University to become an academic department at XJTLU.
Professor Youmin Xi, executive president of XJTLU, stated that one of the four missions for XJTLU is to explore a new model of higher education and exert impact on educational development in China and internationally.
“The restructured ILEAD will play a strategic role in supporting XJTLU to accomplish its historical mission in the era 2.0 of exploring higher education in XJTLU’s second decade of development,” said Professor Xi.
“Restructuring ILEAD aims to integrate XJTLU’s research, training and dissemination of education on a much larger platform,” added Professor Xi. “In the future, XJTLU is likely to become the most proficient and systematic base in the fields of educational research and training in China with the most profound theoretical exploration. XJTLU will take on the role of a real driver in educational reform and even a leader in some areas of this reform.”
According to Dr Xiaojun Zhang, deputy director of ILEAD, from 1 February 2018 ILEAD will officially be an academic department of XJTLU with the aim of developing projects that offer master and doctorate degrees in educational management.
In September 2018, ILEAD will offer two masters degrees: Global Education Management and Language Policy, which are still in the process of getting approval from University of Liverpool (UoL). Graduates will receive a master diploma from the UoL, which will be recognised by the Chinese Minister of Education. With the doctorate program in Education Management, ILEAD will develop a degree system dominated by postgraduate education.
“In the past, ILEAD made substantial practical exploration and strengthened XJTLU’s international influence through cooperation with other institutions,” said Dr Zhang. “However, we lacked support from our own disciplines and theories. Once ILEAD becomes an official department and offers degree programmes, it will further deepen and extend its exploration of higher education reform.”
The integration of AEC and the NCTEAP training programme of the Language Centre into ILEAD will take effect from 26 February 2018.
With the incorporation of AEC, ILEAD will be able to provide the Certificate in Professional Studies in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (CPS), which is the only professional development programme for teachers in China that has been certified by the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
ILEAD will also be equipped with the most competitive team of professional teacher developers and Educational Technologies Team in China. The current CPS programme at XJTLU, which is currently available for University staff, will be upgraded from the bachelor to master level and be open to other institutions.
“Teacher trainers provide support for university teachers to enhance their abilities, techniques and teaching processes and play a critical role in the British higher education system,” Dr Zhang added. “Nowadays Chinese universities have also realised the importance of teacher trainers and they hope to bridge the gap. This is one area in which XJTLU shows its competitiveness.”
Dr Zhang also stated that, in the future, ILEAD would cooperate with teacher development centres at domestic universities in order to improve teacher skills and abilities. “Efforts to reform and innovate the education at domestic universities should go hand in hand with assistance to staff in higher education to improve their professional competency,” he said.
Moreover, with the inclusion of the NCTEAP training programme of the Language Centre, ILEAD will have the largest team of English teachers with certified English teachers in China and one of the largest in the world. The team will have over 170 professional teachers with more than 80% of whom being English native speakers.
“ILEAD will be devoted to improving overall English teaching, bilingual teaching in major courses and the professional skills of English teachers for elementary studies by launching training courses including English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and English Medium Instruction (EMI),” said Dr Zhang.
ILEAD will further strengthen its research capability in the coming year. It will annually release three research reports, including the evaluation report on the student-centred education system at domestic universities. It will also develop its activities, including the educational innovation international annual conference and the XJTLU education forum.
Established training projects for education administrators, teachers and administrative staff will also be further developed. Furthermore, ILEAD will focus on the study of student academic performance. Based on XJTLU, ILEAD will develop more study-support projects that will be of great value to the future of student livelihood and development.
Dr Zhang said that the new integrated ILEAD would provide more support for both students and staff. “ILEAD will give more importance to supporting the educational innovation and reform of university teachers. For example, innovation in education can be shared not only on campus but also in a larger community of other universities within China.”
By Luyun Shi, translation by Yiling Yu, edited by Qiuchen Hu and Jacqueline Bánki
Photos by Liping Tian