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Introduction - University of Chinese Academy of Sciences

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UCAS Undergraduate Education

UCAS's mission for undergraduate education is to cultivate future leading scientists dedicated to the pursuit of scientific excellence and service to the country through innovation in education. For undergraduate students, UCAS follows the approach of “liberal education with a solid foundation and emphasis on practice”, and strives to provide individualized quality education by adopting the following measures:

  1. Academic Tutor System. A team of 400 academic tutors of high research capabilities has been formed, including academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), recipients of the “National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars” and members of “1000 Talents Plan”. Their information is accessible to the applicantsfor the UCAS undergraduate program to inform their early decision-making. These tutors come from colleges related to mathematics, physics, chemistry, bioscience, material science and engineering, and computer science and technology, and all hold positions at CAS research institutes in Beijing. Once officially admitted, students will choose one tutor from the team. During their undergraduate study, students can join the research team led by their tutors (including the tutors' assistants and fellow students) aside from everyday academic experience. Here, students will benefit tremendously from their tutors' advices and help in everyday life, course selection, learning methods, research and practice, style and ethics, interest development, mental health, lifelong pursuits, career plan, and future development.
  2. Small-Size Class. After embarking on specialized courses, students will enjoy small-size classes made possible by CAS's advantage in its wide range of disciplines and huge number of accomplished scholars. In stark contrast to the rote-learning approach, the purpose of small class size is to introduce heuristic, interactive and seminar-style teaching in a bid to encourage active thinking, bold questioning, free expression of ideas and deep inquiry, making teaching and learning a worthwhile experience for teachers and students alike.
  3. “Three-Phase” Education System. “Those who have a solid foundation can go farther” and “those who have interest tend to be more innovative.”With these beliefs in mind, we have put in place the “three-phase” education system for undergraduate students. The first phase of undergraduate study centers on public basic courses. After one and a half year studying in such fields as mathematics, physics, language and culture, students will be entitled to a second chance to choose their majors based on their own interests and academic performance and may apply to change their academic tutors as well. The following one and a half year centers on fundamental courses in their respective majors. Upon the completion of the second phase, students will choose the specific fields within their majors for further study and research and choose their supervisors. In the third phase or the fourth year of the undergraduate program, students will continue with their study and research in their specialized fields as well as conduct scientific research and practice. After the students have determined their specific fields and supervisors, the university will arrange for a semester of study and research at a well-recognized university or institute overseas with close partnership with CAS. After the study-abroad experience, students are to return to the research team and laboratory of their supervisors to continue with their seminar-style learning and work on their graduation theses. They will also be able to transfer smoothly to graduate study if all relevant conditions are met.
  4. The Credit System. UCAS implements the credit system, which means students could enter the next phase of study in advance after acquiring all the credits needed.
  5. International Exchange and Training. For undergraduate students, international exchange and training takes the following form:first, foreign languages courses are primarily taught by foreign teachers; second, lectures given by internationally recognized scholars on a visit to CAS will be arranged on a regular basis; and third, a semester of study and research at a well-recognized university or institute overseas with close partnership with CAS will be arranged in the autumn semester of the fourth year of undergraduate study. On top of these arrangements, bilingual teaching might be experimentedwith on certain specialized courses for senior students.
  6. Top Teachers. UCAS is in a particularly advantageous position to call upon the teaching resources of CAS to provide the best learning experience for students. The effort to get the top scholars to come andteach students has always been a focus in our graduate education. Similarly, UCAS will invite the very best scholars to teach undergraduate students and will also arrange competent teaching assistants for Q&A sessions.
  7. A Spectrum of Lectures. One of the many important components of UCAS's undergraduate education is the first-class lectures in a variety of fields. Blessed with the huge number of leading experts and scholars of CAS and visiting scholars that come in their thousands every year, UCAS capitalizes on its unparalleled advantage in holding all kinds of lectures.
  8. Advanced Research Facilities for Teaching and Practice. Leading research findings are made possible by advanced research facilities. Over the past decade, the 104 institutes of CAS have all built internationally advanced laboratories with the support of the government. The vast majority of major state-funded scientific facilities are also operating under the management of CAS. CAS upholds the strategy of scientific research and education integration and gives great importance to the cultivation of talents. The advanced laboratories and facilities therefore can also serve as the platform for teaching and practice for both graduate and undergraduate students.
  9. Tuition, Scholarships and Grants. UCAS follows the national tuition standard and strictly implements national policies regarding scholarships, grants and student loans. The UCAS President Scholarship and other scholarships are established to encourage academic excellence. Though it is not our intention to attract the top scorers with scholarships and grants, we do strive to provide the greatest support and opportunities possible for those with huge potential.
  10. Student Life. A place for science, UCAS also instills human spirit. Scholars and authorities from both home and abroad, dignitaries, trailblazers of new industries and business start-ups can be found having intellectually stimulating face-to-face communications with students in such lecture series as “China Sciences and Humanities Forum”, “Lectures of Academicians”, “Ming-De Lectures”. Entrepreneurship activities including “Entrepreneurship Competition”, “Business School for Entrepreneurship”, and “Business Pool”constantly excite the campus with talents and ideas. Various student art societies performing on a regular basis, the seasonal “Campus Art and Cultural Festival”, and “Classic Art on Campus”, among other activities, can all be found on campus enriching student life.