Newly added undergraduate majors including national security studies better serve national strategy

By Zhang Yuying (Global Times) 15:17, March 20, 2024

China has approved the addition of 24 new majors for undergraduate programs, including national security studies and electronic information materials. Experts said on Tuesday that the adjustment was guided by the goal of supporting the high-quality development of the economy so as to better serve the country's national strategy.

The addition was released by China's Ministry of Education (MOE) on Tuesday, with the ministry saying that the newly approved majors will be open for undergraduate admission in 2024.

According to the MOE, the addition of majors such as national security studies and overseas interests security is based on serving the needs of national strategy, while the establishment of majors such as electronic information materials and intelligent marine equipment aims to cultivate talents in the fields of cutting-edge science and key technologies.

Other important new majors include Chinese classical studies, as well as soccer and sports health preservation, respectively aiming to promote the innovative development of traditional Chinese culture and to help establish China as a leading sporting nation.

The ministry also released the latest version of the undergraduate major catalog for regular higher education institutions, which includes 93 major categories and 816 majors.

The new majors were added in response to overarching development requirements at the national level, spurred by the evolving needs of emerging industries and formats, Xiong Bingqi, director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The addition also reflected the guidance and support for universities to establish new majors urgently needed for national strategies and regional development, with a focus on serving the high-quality economic and social development, analysts said.

Regarding the major of national security studies, observers pointed out that it aims to cultivate talents with a solid foundation in national security theory and technical skills, as the current international order is undergoing significant changes.

In addition to adjusting the disciplines and majors of universities according to changes in social demand, Xiong said that each college should also set up relevant majors based on its own situation and characteristics to ensure the quality of talent cultivation in their chosen majors.

In 2023, the MOE issued a reform plan for adjusting and optimizing majors in higher education, stating that by 2025, a new range of disciplines and majors that are in line with new technologies and industries will be established, while those that lag behind in economic and social development will be eliminated.

The optimization and adjustment of undergraduate majors is a long-term process, and it is essential to offer effective teaching and training programs to support the development of each student, so that the academic majors offered by universities are aligned with the evolving demands of the job market, Chu Zhaohui, a research fellow at the National Institute of Education Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The MOE will persist in advancing the dynamic adjustment of majors, tailored cultivation of national strategic and high-demand talents, so as to bolster the role and impact of education in fostering high-quality development.

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Liang Jun)


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