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Shenzhen Futian Education Sciences Institute: SUSTech's President Chen Shiyi Delivered Speech on STEM Education

Jul 3, 2018 In the Media

From June 30th to July 2nd, the Second Annual Chinese STEM Education Development Conference (CSEDC) was held in Futian District, Shenzhen. As China’s biggest and most prestigious STEM education conference, CSEDC attracted education experts from home and abroad; company representatives; principals and presidents of all levels of education; and officials of education departments at national, provincial and municipal levels. Attendees shared their thoughts on STEM education through keynote speeches, roundtable talks, workshops and creative markets. SUSTech President Chen Shiyi delivered the keynote speech, which can be divided into the following three parts.


Part 1: STEM Education Should Self-Renew like Stem Cells

“My two daughters both graduated in the United States. From my observation and personal research, I would say STEM education in the U.S. from grades 7 to 12 is very strong despite what the public thinks. For example, I remember reading my daughters’ biology textbooks and couldn’t understand most of the texts despite my decades-long career in the STEM field. Because of such a strong and solid education system, the U.S. actually nurtures many top-tier talents in private schools who end up going to Ivy League universities. These people are highly competitive – even typical excellent Asian or students may not exceed them.


I have three suggestions to STEM education development in China:

1.       STEM education should self-renew like stem cells;

2.       STEM education should integrate with AI and other smart technologies;

3.       STEM education should integrate with the ‘whole person education.’


Part 2: SUSTech is Learning from Stanford University

In this part, President Chen Shiyi first introduced SUSTech’s faculty, including its diversity, recruitment, tenure, and promotion. He then presented the departments, school, research centers and institutes in SUSTech. Chen also mentioned SUSTech’s vision (research, innovation, entrepreneurship), three policies (academic credit system, residential college system, and residential college advisor for freshmen and sophomores and academic advisor for junior and seniors) and three “-zations” (personalization, internationalization, and elitization). The abovementioned characteristics are full of innovative spirit, which is also the way Stanford University operates.


Part 3: Six Support Systems in SUSTech’s STEM Education

1.       General Education with a strong emphasis on STEM in the first two years, and major declaration at the beginning of the third year;

2.       “6+3+1” Student Recruitment System: National College Entrance Examination accounts for 60% of the total recruitment score, SUSTech’s independent recruitment accounts for 30%, while student’s daily performance in high school accounts for 10%;

3.       The curriculum of the top-tier global standard;

4.       A strong focus on students’ research and laboratory work, resulting in a high rate of international graduate school admission;

5.       Innovative, student-centered and practice-oriented education;

6.       Two regular semesters and a summer semester in an academic year.


Moreover, SUSTech has been placing increasing emphasis on arts, humanities, and social sciences by opening three respective centers and over 100 related courses. We also have art societies and musical ensembles here in SUSTech, making the transition of SUSTech education from STEM to STEAM (A stands for “art”). Recently, we are also planning on adding writing courses on campus, so our education system can be represented by the abbreviation “STREAM (R stands for writing).”


Original Article: Shenzhen Futian Education Sciences Institute & Chen Shiyi

Translation & Adaptation: Fan Yining

Proofreading: Chris Edwards

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