Recently, Tianjin University(TJU), famous for its engineering subjects, introduced the internationally recognized French mode of training engineers. It is a big step towards the higher engineering education reform. At the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, Tianjin International Engineering Institute(TIEI) and the enterprise club held an inaugural ceremony on May 13 in the eighth conference room of the conference building. TIEI, as the cooperative fruit of Tianjin University and the French Polytech Nice-Sophia University, is aimed at training international engineering talents of high level as well as making further exploration on the reform in teaching, cooperation between universities and enterprises, organization of scientific research and so on.
The French Embassy, the Polytech Group, the Ploytech Nice-Sophia University, Tianjin Alliance Francaise, the representatives from Tianjin High-tech Development Zone and Tianjin Educational Committee, the representatives from Freescale Semiconductor Company, Honeywell, Novo Nordisk Pharmaceutical Company and nearly 20 domestic and foreign well-known enterprises, Tianjin University’s president Li Jiajun, vice-president Yu Jianxing and president’s assistant Hu Wenping attended the ceremony.
At the ceremony, Li Jiajun announced the establishment of TIEI, and jointly inaugurated the institute with Philippe Gourbesville, the president of the French Polytech Nice-Sopia University,. Yu Jianxing and Qi Te, the product manager of ZTE Corporation and vice president of CITEN Corporation, respectively on behalf of Tianjin University and enterprises, signed an association agreement.
Li Jiajun expressed his heartfelt thanks in the speech to people from all walks of life who have made unremitting efforts to the establishment of the institute, and introduced the background of the institute and the general framework of Tianjin University’s engineering education reform.
Li Jiajun said, since Tianjin University’s establishment in 1985, it has cultivated a large number of senior engineering and technical talents for the country. As the Ministry of Education launched the national engineering education reform in 2010, Qiushi Honors College of TJU emerged as the times require, and the newly-established TIEI is also run and managed in the same manner. TIEI aims at training high-level engineering talents strictly in accordance with the international standard and in combination with China’s practices. In addition to sthe bachelor degrees and the master degrees awarded by Tianjin University, graduate students can also get French engineer certificate through CTI’s authentication.
“But training engineers is not the only thing that Qiushi Honors College’s engineering education reform focuses on,” Li Jiajun said, “we are considering to establish a School of Engineering and Science so that undergraduates can directly get a PhD degree. There are different options offered to the students, and at the same time there are strict eliminations. In addition there are “overpass bridges.” Meanwhile, connecting with key middle schools in Tianjin, Tianjin University is trying to add engineering education in the high school stage. Li Jiajun also emphasized that engineering education reform needs enterprises’ support and cooperation. He hoped that everyone involved could work together to cultivate outstanding talents for China and the world.
Philippe Gourbesville extended congratulations to the establishment of the institute and thanks to all staff. He said, newly-established TIEI did not copy from the existed French mode of training engineers but would give full consideration to the Chinese society’s development and China’s enterprises’ needs to cultivate senior engineering and technical personnel with innovative spirit and in conformity with Chinese society’s development. This training mode retained the essence of the French mode - internship which provides students with a good opportunity to fully understand the culture, management and operation of the enterprise before employment. The biggest highlights of this new institute is that professors and students will study and work cross-functionally for inspiration and innovation. Philippe Gourbesville hoped that the new institute could become one of the best international institutes of engineers in the world. At the same time, he emphasized the successful operation of the institute requires the combination of universities, enterprises and the government.
Laure Castin, the Commissioner of Education Cooperation Department at French embassy, congratulated the establishment of the institute. In her speech she said, when President Xi Jingping visited France this year, the leaders from both countries put forward that China and France should consolidate the political, economic and cultural exchanges. “Leaders and people from France and China hope to have more exchanges and cooperations. French President François Hollande proposed in particular that the student exchanges between the two countries should be attached more importance to. And the French government will try their best to help the promotion of the constructive agreement.”
Goulven Inial, representative from enterprises and R&D Director of VWS in Asia, said in his speech that, with an increasing demand for all kinds of technical personnel, high-leveled skilled talents have always been hardly found, retained and trained. “TIEI and the enterprise club set up a channel for training talents for enterprises. We will spare no efforts to participate in the institute’s teaching in order to achieve a win-win situation between universities and enterprises through broader and deeper cooperation.”
Yin Jihui, the Deputy Director of the Management Committee of Tianjin High-tech Development Zone and representative from Binhai High-tech Industry Park, congratulated the establishment of the institute. He said, the institute will cultivate market-oriented and international engineers to meet enterprises’ urgent needs, which has great significance to the development of the high and new technology of the city. The institute and the enterprise club have offered a platform and organizational guarantee for the cooperation between university and enterprise. As Tianjin’s training base for enterprises of technological innovation and high and new technology, Tianjin High-tech Development Zone will provide strong support for Tianjin University. It is hoped that Tianjin High-tech Zone and Tianjin University could bear fruitful results.
Xue Xinnan, a student from Qiushi Honors College and representative from the first group of students in TIEI, expressed in her speech the expectation for the French mode of training engineers and the confidence in successful graduation from the institute.
In the afternoon, representatives from France and enterprises talked more about specific cooperation matters at the meeting.
It is reported that TIEI starts officially in September this year. The first group of 60 students will be selected from junior undergraduates and first-year postgraduates in Tianjin University, and they will directly enter the study stage of engineers for three years when the term begins. The institute has opened courses in four professional fields: electronics and information system, civil engineering(intelligent building and water environment), biological engineering and computer science. About one quarter of the courses are taught by enterprises personnel. These courses lay emphasis on cultivating students’ ability to practice and innovate and attach great importance to humanity and quality education such as economy, management and communication. During the study, students must accept three-times specialized practices in the enterprises, including a one-month enterprise cognition practice; a three-month corporate trainee internship; and a six-month or more post practice. Students also have the opportunity to study or practice overseas.
Different from traditional point-to-point cooperation between universities and enterprises, the institute established an enterprise club and a center of innovation and research to form industry network which can achieve sharing resources and complementing each other’s advantages in crossing fields as to explore new partnerships. As enterprises deeply participate in the teaching practice, they provide actual projects, internships, enterprise instructors and teachers for co-cultivating engineering talents with the institute. The center of innovation and research breaks the boundaries of disciplines and fields, helps to develop students’ ability to practice and innovate and provide intellectual support and talent pool for enterprises, which will further promotes the transformation of scientific achievements and cultivates business opportunities.
Polytech Nice-Sopia University is affiliated to University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis and is also an important member of “Polytech Group”, the biggest alliance of engineering universities in France. Polytech Nice-Sopia University won the international award of France’s best engineering university in 2010 and 2011. French engineer education, founded in the Napoleonic era, has won a high admiration in Europe through the accumulation of more than 200 years. It has cultivated a large number of high-quality talents who master cutting-edge technology and are proficient in management.