Senior leaders and admissions officers from high schools in Nanjing gathered at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University to participate in the 2018 President’s Forum.
The forum aimed at exploring how middle school education can become more in line with higher education in the face of trends towards internationalised education. Executive President of XJTLU, Professor Youmin Xi together with Vice Presidents Professor Minzhu Yang and Professor Qiuling Chao were among the attendees.
In the opening presentation titled ‘Dare to be a leader: XJTLU’s dream and exploration’, Professor Xi shared XJTLU’s dreams and exploration over the past and into the ten years.
He said, “In the future ten years the world would be in a turbulent state and XJTLU aims to cultivate global players and world citizens who are able to ride on the bull and control it.”
Specialists and professionals in the fields of high school education and higher education exchanged their ideas throughout the forum.
Jinlan Xia, from the enrollment and examination office of Yuhuatai District, Nanjing shared her daughter’s experience of learning painting in Germany.
She thought that elementary education in China was very good and that the students had a very solid foundation for study. However, she said, “Education in western countries focused more on whether you are creative and whether you can put an instant idea into your painting rather than solely on your ability in composition.”
“Education is just like a relay baton,” she said, “innovative education is deficient in our middle schools but this deficiency can be made up at university. Universities take on the relay baton and offer students development in becoming innovative,” she said.
Jinlan Xia quoted a famous ancient Chinese poet, “Good rain knows its right time. It will fall when spring comes” to describe the educational exploration of XJTLU which she said is really needed in China at the moment.
Jun Yang, head of academic affairs office at High School Affiliated to Nanjing Normal University, could not agree more with the “ecology” concept put forward by Professor Xi.
In his opinion, while education is a professional endeavour, the ecology of education does not have a boundary as it is influenced by various factors. He quoted his former principal who said, “Create the future from reality” to praise XJTLU’s spirit of incessant explorations even when encountering challenges.
Jianning Zhao, vice-principal of Jinling High School Hexi Campus and who has been teaching for more than 20 years was impressed by XJTLU’s education practices and stated, “XJTLU has meticulously explored how to develop students into world citizens who can adapt to future developments and successfully put this into practice.
During the forum, Jianning Zhao met one of his former students Chuyang Li, who is also a graduate from XJTLU. As an alumni representative of XJTLU, Chuyang Li (pictured below middle of the second row) shared his opinion and experiences of high school education and higher education.
Through studying abroad, Chuyang Li found that compared with foreign students, Chinese students have a very solid foundation of elementary knowledge and can quickly comprehend what they are taught in the classroom. He also pointed out that Chinese graduates are very popular among foreign employers.
Regarding the educational model of XJTLU, Chuyang said: “While teaching important basic knowledge, XJTLU also focuses on strengthening student abilities in critical thinking and English language proficiency which enhances their competitive edge in the job market. All these abilities, especially the ability to face and solve problems, are being noticed by employers.”
Shengjie Sun (pictured above first from the right of the second row), Year Four student from the Department of Mathematical Sciences at XJTLU, said that they all students at XJTLU experience its educational philosophy for cultivating professional elites.
By Luyun Shi, photos by Liping Tian
Translation by Boqiang Xiao, edited by Guojuan Wang and Jacqueline Bánki