According to the "Three Steps" development strategy, Tianjin University aims to build a well-known high-level university in 2020, and to build a "comprehensive, research-based, open, international" world-class university in the middle of 21st century. As a high-level research-based university, the fundamental task of TJU is to train outstanding innovative talents with social responsibility, global vision and innovative spirit. Through more effective international cooperation and exchange with higher leveland broader range, Tianjin University will deepen the reform of education and teaching, toraise the teaching level and research capability of teachers, as well asthe level of university running, to ensurethe education quality.
To achieve these goals, Tianjin University promulgated the "Outline of the International Strategy Implementation of Tianjin University" in 2010, and proposed that the fundamental task of TJU is to train high quality innovative talents with social responsibility, global vision and innovative spirit. Four projects of internationalization strategy are raised in Internationalization Strategy Implementation Compendium of Tianjin University:
1. “Students’ Global View Expansion” Project
(1) Promoting the reform of education and teaching. TIEI shall carry out the Party’s educational policy, absorb and use the educational concept, teaching method, teaching management model and evaluation method of world-class universities and bring in overseas high quality teaching resources, including course and textbook, etc. TIEI should explore and set up specialized courses to strengthen students’ cross-cultural understanding and international communication ability to carry forward the reform of talent training mode. TIEI shall promote diversified forms of cooperation with famous international universities in depth. By 2015, we shall establish one or twounion colleges to jointly enroll and train students. We shall dedicate to applying for professional international certifications. By 2015, one or two professional international certifications will be added and completed. By 2020, open and internationalized education systems with characteristics of TJUare to be formed through constant reform and exploration.
(2) Enriching students’ experience in overseas visiting study. TIEI shall promote contacts and cooperation with overseas universities and enterprises, developing a variety of projects, such as, joint cultivation, exchange student, short-term visit, summer school, overseas internship, short-term cultural exchange, international competition, etc. By 2015, the proportion of undergraduate students who have overseas visiting experience during school days will reach 15%. Besides joint cultivation, TIEI shall vigorously boost postgraduate students’ participation in international cooperative research projects, international conference and short-term visitingto increasethe proportion of postgraduate students who have overseas experience duringschool daysto 20% by 2015. By 2020, various, multilevel and multipath work systems will be basically developed to ensure students’ overseas experience.
2. “International Scientific and Technological Strategy Cooperation” Project
(1) Strengthening international scientific and technological cooperation. TIEI will actively encourage and support teachers to participate in bilateral, multilateral and regional international scientific and technological cooperation. We shall endeavor to undertake research projects of international framework and international organizations. We shall reinforce scientific and technological cooperation with well-known international universities and large enterprises. We shall significantly increase the amount of international scientific and technological projects and the proportion of corresponding research funds in the university. By 2015, expenditure of international scientific and technological projects will be quadrupled than that of 2010. By 2020, we shall be able to undertake a batch of international scientific and technological projects that focus on technological frontier of the world and have significant international influence.
(2) Enhancing international influence of major disciplines. The disciplines with superiority will be further developed, and some emerging disciplines with great significance as well as interdisciplinary subjects will be constructed.The construction of platforms shall be strengthened for substantial cooperation with first class university and research institutions. By 2015, four or five international scientific and technological cooperation platforms will have been established. By 2020, high-level technological cooperation platform for most preponderant disciplines will have been established.
3. “Teams’ International Competitiveness Enhancement” Project
(1) Vigorously introducing overseas outstanding talents. We shall make efforts to introduce top-notch personnel and excellent youth talents with good development potential and attract a batch of excellent international teachers to participate in teaching and scientific research work in TJU through various flexible forms. Meanwhile, evaluation system used for high-level talents will be improved. We shall further optimize the structure of teachersand ensure the proportion of newly employed teachers that have overseas doctorate is no less than 1/3.
(2) Enriching teachers’ overseas experience. Effective measures and mechanism will be established to enrich the teachers’ overseas experience, especially young teachers’ to diversify the educational backgrounds. Some measures have been taken, which include making and carrying out “Young Teacher Overseas Training plan”, “Managerial Staff Overseas Training Plan” and “Instructor Overseas Training Plan”, etc. By 2020, the proportion of teachers who have long-term overseas experience in TJU will be increased to 80%.
(3) Enhancing academic level of teachers. The English proficiency of TJU teachers will be improved for effective communication with international peers during overseas visit to meet the demand for the internationalization of talent training.The international influence and competitiveness of teachers shall be greatly enhanced and the regulation on the overseas sabbatical levelof teachers shall be formulated and implemented. Teachers will be encouraged and supported to take office in high level international academic and industrial organizations, to act as editorial board member, participate in important international academic conference and give invited lecture and keynote speech.
4. “Overseas Students’ Studying in Tianjin University” Project
(1)Expanding scale of overseas students and optimizing structure. By 2015, atotal number of overseas students in TJU will reach 3,000 and the proportion of degree-applying students will be no less than 30%. By 2020, the number will be increased to match the development of TJU.
(2)Establishing degree course system of academic education. By 2015, three to five internationally compatible degree course systems all in English and the corresponding full-Chinese course systems will have been formed, which are based on the first-class disciplines (covering bachelor, master and doctoral students). Education and teaching reform of the university shall be promoted. English courses shall be improved by cooperating with international high-level universities, employing international teachers to give lessons, etc. By 2020, more systematic full-English academic education systems will be established.
(3) Improving preppy and short-term visit study education system. We shall build Chinese learning and Chinese culture learning with characteristics of TJU and strive to become one of the preferred schools for overseas students of science and engineering major to learn Chinese. We shall actively promote the construction of Confucius Institute to improve the level and influence of foreign Chinese teaching.
TIEI is an experimental area to train international engineering talents, created by Tianjin University and Polytech Nice-Sophia together, with the advantages of resources and cooperation. It aims to develop leading talent international engineers for China's economic development and the progress of the world. Tianjin as an international city has a wealth of cultural exchange forms, which requires talents with international perspective, global vision and the adaptability to the internationalization. Internationalization is not only the educational mission of TIEI, but also the main method to enhance the international competitiveness of TIEI.
In the process of internationalization, TIEI established "Orientate by Subject, Participate by Demand, Guide by Incentive" as working mechanism and implementation strategy, aiming to grasp the latest international information of higher education development, to implement national policies by reasonable work arrangementand overall resource plan.The existing superior disciplines should be promoted to be internationalfirst-class level. To provide better service and support, TIEI carries out guidance according to the different characteristics of talent training, scientific cooperation and industrialization of scientific achievements, and taking into consideration the actual situation. By the end of 2015, the number of overseas students in the university will reach 3,000 in total with over 30% of degree-applying students. The number will be increased to match the development of TJU by 2020. Moreover, three to five internationally compatible degree course systems all in English and the corresponding full-Chinese course systems have been formed, which are based on the first-class disciplines (covering bachelor, master and doctoral students). Education and teaching reform of TIEI shall be promoted. English courses shall be feasibly improved by cooperating with international high-level universities, employing international teachers to give lessons, etc. By 2020, a more systematic full-English academic education system will be established.
TIEI will make full use of "internationalization" to raise the quality of teaching and improve the ability to serve society. It will further promote the scientific research to meet the need of society forthe favorable development.
For students in TIEI, international exchanges can be taken in the form of internship or educational exchange (semester). In order to implement the international strategy and provide convenience for students to study abroad, Tianjin University signed project agreements with Rhein-Waal University in Germany and other international universities, so that students who meet the requirements could get a chance to be exchanged to European countries or other countries.
Meanwhile, Tianjin University has been cooperating with several international educational institutions to set up international courses, especially with Polytech Nice-Sophia, Georgia Institute of Technology and Ecole Nationale Superieure D'architecture et de Paysage de Bordeaux. Tianjin University provides educational assistance to these educational institutions and participates in curriculum development.
At present, there are totally 72 professional teachers in Tianjin International Engineering Institute (TIEI). The proportion of teachers with title above associate professor is 63%. Taking teacher sources into consideration, numbers of teachers in relevant institutes of Tianjin University is 59 (including 5 scholars of “Thousand Talents program”) in total. There are 5 teachers from Polytech Nice-Sophia, 5 are teachers of other universities (i.e. 1 teacher of Tianjin University of Technology, 1 teacher of The University of Queensland in Australia, 2 teachers of Civil Aviation University of China and 1 teacher of Nankai University) and 5 are selected from the enterprises of the board of directors. All theadministrative staff of TIEIhas master degree or doctorate. About 20% of them are overseas returnees and another 20% have experience in overseas further study and learning.
In recent years, Tianjin University has provided an increasing number of English courses, which has produced positive effect: on one hand, students' English skills have been improved; on the other hand, TJU has attracted more and more international students. TIEI offers three majors that contain a total of 43 courses, in which 80% are taught in English or bilingual.
TIEI actively recruits international students. It is included in the China Scholarship Council (CSC) English lesson program, to accept short-term exchange students and degree-applying international students.International students in the China’s national plan have priority to be accepted by TIEI. TIEI does not reject foreign students in the national plan unless the major is extremely special or no matching major could be offered.