On May 13, Yingyi Qian, a well-known economist, senior professor of liberal arts at Tsinghua University, and chairman of the board of directors of West Lake University, came to ZUFE as a guest of the "Lecture Hall of Famous Teachers" to provide guidance.
In the morning, Professor Yingyi Qian, accompanied by Jinchang Li, secretary of the university’s party committee, visited the halls of Archives of Sun Yefang Economic Science Prize and Documents of the Nobel Prize in Economics, and presented his signature work Understanding Modern Economics to ZUFE. Mr. Li accepted this book gift on behalf of the university. Prof. Qian fully affirmed the fruitful achievements ZUFE has made in talent training and academic research in recent years, expressing his appreciation for the building of archive halls of the "Two Prizes" and recalled his acquaintances with many winners of the "Two Prizes".
In the afternoon, Prof. Qian talked about his opinions on the reform of undergraduate education with the topic of "Thinking and Acting on the Reform of Undergraduate Education" in the Conference Hall of the Center for Academic Exchanges, also sharing his thoughts on education reform from two dimensions of "individuality" and "ability". He pointed out that undergraduate education should emphasize "cultivating students' human character" rather than "educating talents" at the value level, "thinking" rather than "knowledge" at the ability level, and the "long term" rather than the "short term" at the knowledge level. He believed that undergraduate education should contain at least two aspects, namely general education and professional education. He also introduced the curriculum concept and practice of general education at Tsinghua's School of Economics and Management (SEM), and expounded in detail on courses including Chinese Writing, Critical Thinking and Moral Reasoning, and A Brief History of Physics, talking about the essence and values of critical thinking and creative thinking, as well as the achievements of and reflections on curriculum reform at a certain stage. At the end of his lecture, he quoted from Einstein to share with everyone the essence of education: “The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think.”
Xiaomin Zhong, president of ZUFE, presided over the meeting and said that what Professor Qian expressed was both thoughtful and practical, explaining profound theories in simple language and clear logic. We admired and were touched by his educational philosophy of "Universities for students, also for their lifetime." Professor Qian, combining his years of management and teaching experience, explored the core of university education from two aspects: the concept and the practice of university education. He hoped that all departments and offices of the university would be student-oriented, cultivating students through ethical and moral education and continuously thinking and exploring in order to actively make systematic and in-depth exchanges and discussions, so as to further elevate the quality of talent training in the university.
More than 400 people were present in the conference hall, including school leaders, all middle-level cadres, young cadres, department heads, the director of the Teaching and Research Office, principal persons in charge, teaching secretaries, and representatives off teachers.
During his stay at ZUFE, Prof. Qian also went to the School of Economics to give guidance and put forward constructive suggestions on talent training, scientific research, and discipline construction.