【China Education News】President Chen Jie: systematic promotion and continuous deepening of "double first-class" development

February 22, 2022

Editor's note: the "Suggestions on Further Promoting the Development of World-Class Universities and First-Class Disciplines" was issued a few days ago, and the updated list of “double first-class” development universities and disciplines was released. Over the past few days, the new round “double first-class” development has aroused widespread concern from all walks of life, especially from higher education sector. Starting from this issue, the "High-end Viewpoint" column of Higher Education Weekly will invite people from some of these universities to discuss how to further the new round “double first-class” development in a sustainable manner.

The article by President Chen Jie published in China Education News

The development of "double first-class" is an important strategic decision made by the Party and the State, which has laid the foundation for the long-term development of China's higher education and enhanced national core competitiveness. It is proposed to accelerate the development of first-class universities and disciplines and to achieve the internal development of higher education in the report of the 19th Party Congress. The Opinions on Further Promoting the Development of World-Class Universities and First-Class Disciplines emphasizes that it is necessary to firmly grasp the key issues in talent cultivation, adhere to nurturing people for the Party and the nation, and stick to serving the strategic needs of the country. The Opinions also point out the importance of targeting the frontier research in science and technology, optimizing the structure of discipline development and talent cultivation, and building high-level academic teams. Meanwhile, attention should be paid to deepening the integration of science and education in cultivating talents, and strong support should be provided in accelerating the development of the world's important talent centre and innovation highland. At present, to be rooted in China, adhere to the direction of socialism, implement the fundamental task of establishing moral education, follow natural rules, promote systematically and deepen continuously the "double first-class" development, is the way to realize the modernization of education, build a world-class university and serve the great cause of national rejuvenation.


Adhering to the direction of socialism and leading the development of a first-class university with first-class party building

General Secretary Xi Jinping points out that to run our higher education well, we must adhere to the leadership of the Party, firmly grasp the leadership of the Party over the work of higher education institutions so that they will hold fast to leadership of the Party.

Adhering to the direction of socialist schooling and deepening first-class Party development is fundamental for the development of first-class universities. Guided by Xi Jinping's thought of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, Tongji University focuses on the fundamental task of establishing moral education, promotes the party building demonstration and quality improvement, and opens a new chapter of the development of world-class university with Chinese characteristics with first-class Party building.


We will take the following measures. First, to continue to strengthen the political development, firmly grasp the direction of socialist schooling, and maintain a high degree of consistency with the Party Central Committee in politics, thought and action. Second, to continue to strengthen the ideological development, strengthen the moral development of teachers and to improve teacher styles, construct the "three whole education" education system, guide the majority of teachers and students in the "double first-class" development of the ideological consensus. Third, to continue to strengthen organizational development, and further improve the responsive three-tier system of "university - school - party branch" grass-roots Party building, for the "double first-class" development of good organizational security. Fourth, to continue to strengthen the development of working style, the formulation of "Suggestions for Tongji University middle-level administrators to implement their duties and responsibilities", for the "double first-class" development of a clean and upright political ecology. Last but not least, to continue to strengthen the discipline development, strengthen the prevention and control of integrity risks in key areas, and promote the development of "double first-class" under the overall governance of the Party.

At present, the University is moving along the trend of developing first-class university led by first-class party building. The University has been selected to build the first batch of national model universities for party building work and passed the acceptance with excellent results, selected as one of the first batch of national pilot universities for the comprehensive reform of "three comprehensive education" and carried out comprehensive reform in depth, selected to build the third batch of national key Marxist colleges, and awarded as a national "civilized campus " while teachers and students actively practice the core socialist values.


Adhering to the goal of world-class development and exploring the laws of development and development of first-class universities

One of the main goals of the "double first-class" development is to form a group of world-class universities in China. A world-class university should be a place where the world's best students aspire to be, a cradle for the cultivation of top innovative talents, a gathering place for the world's top talents, and a place where cutting-edge scientific exploration, major scientific and technological discoveries and technological inventions are made. China's "double first-class" development should adhere to the goal of world-class development, combined with China's reality, rooted in Chinese soil, and constantly explore the laws of the development and development of first-class universities.

From the perspective of system science, a first-class university is a complex dynamic system. After receiving high-level input from the government and society, a first-class university produces the output of various outstanding graduates, research and other high-level results through the coupling between slow variables (e.g. talent training, basic research, team building and culture development), medium variables (e.g. curriculum, textbook building and laboratory development) and fast variables (e.g. social services, engineering applications and campus landscape construction). However, in the process of development, the University is subject to multiple constraints such as funding, space, time, history and status quo. At the same time, the effect from the output of this complex feedback system will be fed back to the front end to regulate the input. Through the creation, inheritance and infiltration of a first-class university culture, building an academic community that unites people and pursues excellence, and stimulating the intrinsic vitality of teachers and students is a key element in promoting the development of a first-class university. A system concept should be established for the development of a first-class university so that we will systematically think about the coupling effect of various variables and the output, and continuously improve and enhance our development in a positive manner.



Holding fast to integrated development to serve national and regional strategic needs

Tongji University, based on Chinese characteristics and aiming at world-class university, has made great progress in comprehensive strength, discipline level, talent training and team building after the first round of "double first-class" development, and has achieved outstanding results in serving national and major regional strategic needs.

First, we achieved a major breakthrough in basic research. In the marine research in the South China Sea, significant breakthroughs have been made in the "plate margin rift" in the formation of sea basins, the "low-latitude drive" in climate evolution and the "ocean-land interaction" in the marginal sea. The new method of "atomic lithography + soft X-ray interference lithography" was proposed for the first time in the world, and a 106.4nm silicon grating with a pitch traceable to the natural constant was developed. By focusing on stem cells and translational medicine, we have achieved the world's first human autologous lung stem cell transplantation and regeneration, promoting the regeneration of human internal organs from laboratory to clinical application.

Second, we served the major strategic needs of the country. To serve the national deep space exploration strategy, we have made a breakthrough in remote sensing space information credibility theory and precise laser measurement technology, providing technical support for the first soft landing on the back of the moon to hover and avoid obstacles. To serve the national ocean strategy, the university has gathered scientific and technological research on the "three deeps" (deep drilling, deep network and deep diving) and built the national major scientific and technological infrastructure "undersea scientific observation network". To serve the national strategy of strengthening transportation, we have developed China's first intelligent traffic management system and participated in the development of a high-speed magnetic levitation transportation system with independent intellectual property rights at a speed of 600 km per hour.

Third, we provided support for the development of major national projects. We have given full play to our strengths in civil engineering disciplines and have continued to contribute "Tongji wisdom" in major national projects. We have organised nearly 10 technical teams to support the development of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), including the key technologies for the design and development of the artificial island. We also played a key role in the integrated control of the overall progress of the development and operation preparation of Beijing Daxing Airport and the key technology for the development of an intelligent integrated transportation hub at the airport.

Finally, we promoted the economic and social development of Shanghai. We have Integrated into the development of Shanghai's globally influential science and innovation centre and global city of excellence. We have taken the lead in building the Shanghai Science Centre for Autonomous Intelligent Unmanned Systems to support the development of the "Shanghai Highland" for the development of artificial intelligence. We took the lead in building the China (Shanghai) Digital City Research Institute to provide theoretical, technical and human resources support for Shanghai's digital transformation and digital city development.

In the new round of "double first-class" development, Tongji University will further implement Xi Jinping's thought of socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era, deepen the integration of science and education, and the integration of industry and education. We will follow the development plan of "to be led by advantageous engineering disciplines, promoted by the integration of heavy science disciplines, driven by the synergy of distinctive medical disciplines while sharing and remaining linked with fine arts disciplines and interactive with cutting-edge crossover innovation", strengthen the innovation of institutional mechanisms, focus on building a high-quality and sustainable discipline system, strengthen the construction of basic disciplines, and deepen the construction of first-class disciplines.

Meanwhile, the University will focus on the goal and development blueprint of "walking with the motherland, helping the world with science and education, and building a world-class university with Chinese characteristics", continue to deepen the development of world-class universities and first-class disciplines, and work hard to enhance the university's comprehensive strength and international competitiveness. We will make all endeavors to build a world-class university with Chinese characteristics at a new level. We will make greater contributions to building a nation of strong higher education with strong science and technology, and to realising the "Chinese dream" of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.



by  CHEN Jie

President of Tongji University