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Build universities on 'actual condition', says expert

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-15 18:26
Build universities on 'actual condition', says expert
Mei Guoping, an NPC deputy and president of Jiangxi Normal University. [Photo /chinadaily.com.cn]

"To build a top ranking university, colleges and universities should work on the basis of their actual conditions," said Mei Guoping, president of Jiangxi Normal University and an NPC deputy.

Mei made the remarks at the two sessions, the annual gathering of the nation's top legislature and its top political advisory body, which started on March 3, with more than 5,000 deputies and political advisers participating.

He said that China pledges to build a series of world-class universities and world-class disciplines by bringing forward the term "double first-class".

"But as for my university," Mei added,"our goal is to develop 'first-class undergraduate education' and 'first-class disciplines with distinguished features and comparative advantages' in China."

China coined and approved the term "double first-class" in 2016 as a new impetus for the development of its higher education sector.

Mei said it is a huge challenge for his university in Nanchang, Midwest China's Jiangxi province, to compete and keep its favorable position in the new "double first-class university" plan.

However, as a result of the unbalanced economic development in China between the South-East coastal areas and the landlocked regions in Midwest, there is a big gap between China's eastern and western regions in education resources.

Mei considered that by being located in Midwest China, Jiangxi Normal University has no geographical advantage over attracting and retaining talent, due to its position and limited resources. The university also faces challenges in enhancing efficient use of funds and constructing a flexible managing system.

On talent, Mei said, "Talented people can be seen as a market resource, flowing to the places where they can best perform their values."

Universities should build high-level platforms to attract talents to work, according to Mei, who emphasized that funding support to attract first-class teaching staff and guarantee the good use of talented people is of both great significance and vital importance.

President Mei also stressed that contemporary intellectuals are supposed to shoulder their responsibilities and play active roles in building China into a world power.

With regard to his university, Mei said teachers need to stay true to their mission of educating people, setting up an educational philosophy focusing on students' development. In his mind, serving society and adhering to moral consciousness are the fundamental obligations of an intellectual or academic.


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