Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) is a public university founded in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone of China.
SUSTech offers an unparalleled learning and research experience at the scientific and technological frontiers.
SUSTech offers unprecedented opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to work alongside the faculty to explore and tackle both fundamental and practical problems.
The Global Engagement Office (GEO) is responsible for forming and implementing a coherent strategy to promote the University’s international development and global profile.
The undergraduate admission of SUSTech adopts comprehensive evaluation enrollment mode based on national college entrance examination.The graduate admission of SUSTech currently adopts joint training mode.
The main duties of SUSTCEF is to accept the donations from the domestic and foreign associations, enterprises, trading companies and individuals, and establish the funding projects depending on the demands of the university and the wishes of the donors.
From the development experience of first-class science and engineering universities at home and abroad, all the world-renowned science and engineering universities attach great importance to humanistic education.
In 2018, in the process of actively exploring higher education with Chinese characteristics in the new era, especially liberal arts education in high-level universities of science and engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) has tried to find an innovative way to develop a distinctive liberal arts education, cultivating scientists and engineers with critical thinking, imagination and innovative ability so that they can realize the sustainable development of talent cultivation and school running.
Exploring a New Way of Liberal Arts Education
In July 2018, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences of Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) was established. The Center of Humanities, Center of Social Sciences and Center for Higher Education Research, as teaching and research units, were integrated into one unified management structure, thereby creating more streamlined processes within the umbrella of Center for Humanities and Social Sciences. The main task of the Center is teaching general education and cultivating talents, combined with conducting unique research so as to cultivate innovative talents with both liberal arts and science. This is a landmark event in the history of the development of Liberal Arts in SUSTech. The layout and direction of liberal arts at SUSTech is clearer. In the next 10-15 years, the Center will strive to become the most defining characteristic of any mainland Chinese science and technology university, while becoming internationally renowned.
In October 2018, SUSTech held the "Opportunities and Challenges - The World-class Science and Technology University's Liberal Arts Construction Summit Forum", gathering experts from many universities at home and abroad to develop humanities education in first-class science and engineering universities. The forum provided a more pioneering vision and ideas for the further exploration of the humanities education in SUSTech. It also declared to the public the philosophy and path of the liberal arts education of SUSTech, which are “The first-class science and engineering university must have first-class humanities education”, and “Small and precise interdisciplinary scientific and humanities research direction and the providing of first-class general education for undergraduates”.
SUSTech inaugurated the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at SUSTech. SUSTech President Chen Shiyi and president of the Society of Fellows addressed the ceremony. SUSTech has selected, received and trained post-doctoral fellows from famous universities in China and abroad. Currently, 11 junior scholars have been recruited and they have held 7 lectures worldwide. Relying on this platform, SUSTech continues to attract top young talents with doctoral degrees domestically and abroad to engage in relevant humanities and social science research, and has developed corresponding training mechanisms to promote the academic growth and interdisciplinary research of young affiliates in a more free, diverse and comprehensive way. The arrival of these young fellows will make active explorations in the development of the Humanities and Social Sciences of SUSTech.
Creating New Programs with unique features
Education in the liberal arts is the key to cultivating innovative talents in both arts and sciences. To this end, SUSTech strives to establish a high-level general education curriculum center with first-class educators and research teams who build a high-level characteristic curriculum system of general education in liberal arts and social sciences. As a result, there is a keen focus on training high-quality talents with both professional excellence and comprehensive literacy.
In 2018, SUSTech introduced liberal arts teaching & research talents in accordance with international high-end education standards. In addition to introducing a number of first-class subject leaders, there are now 64 full-time teachers, visiting teachers, honorary fellows and research assistants in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. Besides full-time teachers, SUSTech also employs well-known professors as part-time teachers from famous universities such as Peking University, People’s University, Peking Normal University and Sun Yat-sen University.
At present, SUSTech provides about 50 first-class courses in Humanities and Social Sciences for all students. These courses cover subjects and contents of science and technology, film and television, globalization, urban research, commercial culture, archaeology, anthropology, sociology, psychology, art and architecture, writing and communication, creativity and methodology. With a rich and colorful curriculum that covers more than 2500 students, SUSTech aims to further strengthen its liberal arts training and education. In the next five years, SUSTech will further strengthen teaching from undergraduate education, postgraduate education, high-end post-doctoral training and other aspects. Each academic year, it will provide 70-80 high-quality courses covering 2500-3000 people.
Communicating well, both orally and in writing, has become an extremely important part of SUSTech’s knowledge competence structure. Most of the world's top universities have a guiding course or center for research writing. In the plan for the incoming undergraduate students, SUSTech added 2 credits of "Writing and Communication" as a compulsory general course for all freshmen, with the goal of giving students the necessary writing and communication skills to lay a solid foundation for future professional learning. As soon as the course was opened, every class position was selected. This course was covered by numerous media outlets, including Xinhua News Agency, Guangming Daily, China Education News, People's Daily, Shenzhen Special Zone Daily, Nanfang Daily, Southern Metropolis Daily. Faculty members and teachers of this specialist class introduced the experience at writing class seminars held by Tsinghua University in November and the national general education seminar held by Fudan University, where they were highly praised by academics across China.
The Humanities Center also offers courses such as “Science Fiction: from Fiction to Film” and “The History of Art in Space,” both of which are extremely popular with students. The Social Sciences Center offers equally unique courses in Chinese history, industrialization and social transformation, and the relationship between architecture, space and culture. These courses show students passion for studying the liberal arts while improving their cultural literacy.
New Integration of Science, Technology and Humanities
According to Director Chen Yuehong of the Humanities Center, more than half of the faculty members at the Humanities and Social Sciences Center are full-time lecturers with either liberal arts backgrounds, or liberal arts plus science backgrounds. He himself studied geological exploration during his undergraduate studies, while Dr Liu Yang studied physics and is an accomplished author of science fiction. Professor Tang Keyang, a graduate of Harvard Design College, has studied precision instrument casting, comparative literature at Peking University, and ancient Chinese art in Chicago.
In November, SUSTech hosted a sub-forum of the 2018 China Science Fiction Conference. Liu Cixin, Wang Jinkang and SUSTech Vice President Tang Tao, Professor Liu Ke attended the forum along with many other science fiction writers. The two topics of the "Fantasy Image" were discussed, and the forum received much attention.
Research in science fiction is not only for writing pieces of fiction, but also to understanding the length and breadth of human imagination. What is the relationship between science, fantasy and human imagination? This is something that SUSTech is currently investigating when exploring the integration of liberal arts and sciences.
To this end, SUSTech has established a research center for science and human imagination, and has held “In Search of the Source of Imagination – 2018 Annual Meeting of Human Imagination Research", "Redefined Culture - secondary and entertainment Internet" and many other seminars. Experts from different fields such as science and technology, humanities, internet, science fiction and etc. gathered together and explored the relationship between imagination and innovation, science and technology, education and development, and hoped to find the best way of integration between science and imagination. .
The Humanities Center seeks to continue its scientific research. With the Voice Lab, the Space and Media Lab, the Science and Human Imagination Research Center, and the Computing Humanities Research Center, the Humanities Center has conducted a variety of different scientific research projects throughout 2018. The seminars on “Research on Youth Innovation Culture in the Greater Bay Area”, “Development of Chinese science fiction in the context of global science fiction innovation” and “space innovation in the City of Design” are good examples. A series of research projects with technological integration are also established in SUSTech.
The integration of science, technology and humanities has begun to show results. In the comprehensive study of turquoise animal surface unearthed from Panlongcheng site, The SUSTech Cultural Heritage Laboratory of the Science and Technology Center used interdisciplinary techniques to study the processing techniques of turquoise and gold to analyze the original support of turquoise. They also observed the original appearance of the object in order to reconstruct it over a period of 8 months. The Heritage Laboratory also cooperated with Assistant Professor Zhou Youmin from the Department of Ocean Science and Engineering, to jointly conduct pilot fieldwork in the ancient karst caves in Guizhou Province, with particular interest in both Niupo and Zhaoguo Caves. The SUSTech Center for Social Sciences (CSS) collaborated with BGI (Beijing Genomics Institute) and did a sampling study of the horse and chariot pits from the Shang Dynasty at CSS' Cultural Relics Laboratory.
New achievements in liberal arts construction
In 2018, SUSTech has made fruitful academic achievements in the field of Humanities and social sciences. It hosted 91 high-level academic lectures throughout the year, creating a strong cultural atmosphere. A series of academic papers, books and white papers were also published by Center of Humanities, with 30 papers published in academic journals at home and abroad. 4 papers were included in CSSCI and the core academic journals of Peking University. Faculty members from Center of Humanities also participated in the compilation of 5 books. At the same time, 37 papers and 12 books were published by the faculty members from Center of Social Sciences.
The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences has also received lots of important awards, including Professor Li Fengliang's selection of the 10,000-person plan, Guangdong Province's cultural talents, 20 years of academic contribution awards from the Chinese cultural industry, and outstanding papers in the cultural and creative industries. Professor Tang Keyang was awarded as the Southern People's Weekly Person of the Year, and Liu Yang’s book "The Ladder of Heaven" won a Silver Medal at the 9th Global Chinese Science Fiction Nebula Award.
In an interview with the media, SUSTech University Council Vice Chairperson Li Fengliang said that humanities should be the cornerstone of the development of talent pipelines at universities so as to create innovative scientists that meet the needs of the times. In the future, SUSTech’s liberal arts development will focus on developing and highlighting its own unique characteristics, while coordinating the liberal arts with science, engineering and medicine at a higher level. It will play a more important role in personnel training and development, and provide better service and support for the economic and social development of Shenzhen.
Source: Center for Humanities and Social Sciences
Text Arrangement: Liu Hui, Tong Xiaojin, Yu Bei
Translated and Adapted: Chris Edwards
Proofread: Pan Anting, Xia Yingying
Main Drawing Design: Qiu Yan