People's Daily Reports the vigorous initiative for resolute reform of the pilot school

On September 26, People's Daily reported the vigorous initiative for a resolute reform of the pilot school
As one of the 17 pilot schools of famous universities in China, School of Economics and Management of Beijing Jiaotong University has strongly promoted its pioneering reform—blazing a new path for conducting the unprecedented experiment (in the frontline of the teaching reform )
Reporter: He E’na

 “People’s Daily” (released on 18th Column on September 26, 2013)

Pilot School holds higher the reform banner but the key and difficult point of the reform lies in the breakthrough of the current institutional mechanisms to relieve both teachers and students of their future worries and troubles, thus achieving the targets in enhancing the teaching and research level of the teachers and cultivating the students’ top-grade creative capability.

-- Cao Guoyong, Party Committee Secretary of Beijing Jiaotong University

Education reform has entered into the “abyssal zone”, so the solution to the difficult problems necessitates the top-level design and overall consideration and integration. In October 2011, Education System Reform Leading Group Office of the State Council distributed “Circular Concerning the Creative Talent Cultivation Experiment to be conducted at 17 Pilot Schools or Colleges in Peking University, etc.,” so 17 pilot schools or colleges were delicately identified as the special “experiment zones” to conduct the unprecedented experiment and reform to tackle hard problems in the reform development of the higher learning in China.

School of Economics and Management of Beijing Jiaotong University, as one of the 17 “experiment zones”, conducted the bold and pioneering reform in many aspects, such as, the student independent recruitment and selection, new college cultivation solution and the cultivation model, personnel system and institutional mechanism, etc. A few days ago, this reporter had an exclusive interview with School of Economics and Management of Beijing Jiaotong University and had the up-close glimpses of the experience and achievements in the reform process.  

 “AB Track” System effectively lends itself to the solution to the HR system reform problems

In the overall reform framework of the pilot school, the reform of the personal appointment, evaluation and remuneration system is the very core of the problem as well as the knottiest part of the problem. How to retain talents and stimulate the talents through the HR reform is key factor to decide whether the pilot school reform can obtain the comparatively greater breakthrough.

 “It is necessary to have a complete set of scientific and earnestly feasible solutions to creating favorable conditions for excellent talents to distinguish themselves, so as to guarantee the care-free teaching of teachers and scientific research without any hidden trouble and uncertainties and also assure the stable reform and the establishment of the talent transfer and withdrawal mechanism,” says Liu Yanping, the chief leader and President of School of Economics and Management of Beijing Jiaotong University.

Through the pre-stage sufficient survey, argumentation, the school ultimately establishes the “AB Track” system as the core HR system reform model, so “A Track Positions” adopt the current school evaluation and remuneration system while “B Track Positions” adopt the annual salary system based on the “entry barrier” coupled with the evaluation of the talent cultivation, etc., as the landmark achievements by setting the incremental salary so that the annual salary for  lecturers, associate professors and professors can reach 0.2, 0.3 and 0.4 million yuan respectively.

Some young teachers having successfully applied for “B Track positions”are the beneficiaries of the HR system reform, so it seems to them that anyone can obtain the better opportunities as long as he can forge ahead for the inspirational struggle in a pioneering spirit no matter what academic background he has. As a matter of course, as for those who fail to apply for “B Track positions” or fail to comply with the required conditions, the combined “AB Track” system can also give them the fair and sufficient opportunities. According to the solution, teachers working at “A Track positions” can fulfill the evaluation tasks for “B Track positions” within their respective appointment periods; they may be entitled to the treatment of “B Track positions” at the close of their appointment period subject to the examination and approval of the school evaluation and appointment committee. However, the corresponding flexible incentive mechanism is the rigorous transfer and withdrawal mechanism. According to a responsible person of the school, the pilot school of Beijing Jiaotong University has a total number of 186 teachers who are newly contracted for the new appointment period, 15% of whom positively apply for “B Track positions”.

The core “New College” talent cultivation model

The so-called New College cultivation model is based on the building of the comparatively centralized dorms, classrooms, labs, library and network resources as the carrier by taking the team learning (teaching, scientific research and practice) and management as the organizational structure to integrate the ideological and political education and moral education and professional education based on the master-postgraduate-doctor integrated cultivation model and adopting and implementing the new-style cultivation model of the full-range dual tutorial system (moral tutor and academic tutor).

In School of Economics and Management of Beijing Jiaotong University, there is no boundary among students in terms of grades and specialty, but they are divided into several undergraduate, postgraduate and doctor integrated student research teams and academic tutor teams composed of 6-8 students. Each academic tutor team shall be liable for guiding several student teams and the academic tutor team shall set great store by the thinking model to cultivate the students’ Methodology and the Critical Thinking Capacity so that the cultivation of the analysis and research capacities can be fully incorporated into the specific studies and life of the student teams.

The school will try to encourage the students to independently organize their own student teams by organizing the research-oriented curriculum training, sand table simulation, securities simulation, commercial negotiation competition, innovation challenge cup and thesis competition, etc., or independently organize the communication and exchange between tutors and students, stimulate the learning and research initiative of the student teams and cultivate and train the students’ cooperative spirit, professional quality and comprehensive learning capacities.

So in this connexion, School of Economics and Management of Beijing Jiaotong University has conducted the bold and pioneering reform either in personal appointment or in student cultivation. Sure as it is, the reform has just got started and the future tasks will be more arduous and complicated. Just as Ning Bin, President of Beijing Jiaotong University puts it, “the school’s internal governance structure reform is highly demanding, so the success of this reform lies in the systematic design as the basic foundation and the earnest implementation as the key target.”