Welcome to the Tuning EU-China study for the modernization of higher education in China
During an 18 months period (November 2012 – May 2014) EU Tuning experts and academics of a selection of renown Chinese Universities worked closely together to find out whether the Tuning methodology successfully applied in many parts of the world would also be a good strategy to reforming higher education programmes in China both at undergraduate and (post-) graduate level.
The joint EU-China TUNING Study, co-financed by the European Commission and the Chinese Ministry of Education, was initiated in April 2012 by the EU-China High Level People-to-People Dialogue (HPPD). It should allow for (i) strengthening the compatibility of EU and China education systems, (ii) enhancing outcome-based education, (iii) overcoming obstacles to mobility, (iv) establishing commonly acknowledged quality criteria and (v) developing tools for mutual recognition.
The outcomes of the study offer insight in the strength and weaknesses of higher education programmes in China in general and three selected disciplines, Business, Civil Engineering and Education, in particular. The study implemented offers a good basis for enhancing outcome-based learning of higher education programmes in China. As in most other parts of the world in China degree programmes are still staff centred. It is the official policy of the Chinese authorities, however, to move to outcome based education, which in practice means a shift of paradigm in the way education is organised and offered. By basing higher education programmes on outcomes the compatibility of Chinese and European higher education (degree programmes) will be enhanced as well as mobility and recognition will be facilitated.This applies to mobility and recognition in both directions.
Main conclusions of the EU-China TUNING Study:
- The Tuning ‘student-oriented and competences based’ approach is in compliance with the Chinese reform policy for Higher Education;
- The theories and methods of Tuning have obvious value as reference for the planned reform process of the talent – training model of Higher Education in China;
- The lack of a credit mechanism to compare and recognize periods of studies between China and Europe (ECTS) proves to be a substantial obstacle for the extension and deepening of cooperation. This conclusion is supported by the experience in the Erasmus Mundus Programmes
The Joint Tuning Study has identified as a road-map ahead of its study the following topics:
- Disseminate and discuss the outcomes of the Pilot Study among HE institutions in China which offer degrees in the three disciplines covered: Business, Civil Engineering and Education;
- Widen the group of disciplines to cover other academic domains of Higher Education (Natural Sciences, Health Care, and Arts and Humanities);
- Align the EU and Chinese credit systems by focusing on the outcomes of the learning process and the workload of students, which might imply to move forward the reform process of the present credit system(s) in China.
- Align the quality assurance mechanisms in China and the EU to facilitate recognition and mobility.
- Disseminate outcomes of Pilot Study in Europe by publication of book and articles in English and on Tuning Website and offer presentations at designated conferences