The Advisory Committee of Undergraduate Courses (ACUC) of Tsinghua University was established in December 2014 in order to maximize students’ main role and to ensure that a positive feedback mechanism could continue to ensure the quality of undergraduate education. It became the first committee to participate in education management and reform of the university.
From being the recipients of learning to policy makers and managers, the committee within three years of its establishment has actively participated in the promotion of reforms about syllabus revision, waiting list for electives and much more.
All of the students in the committee are recruited publicly. The first 20 student members of ACUC were from science, engineering, literature and art disciplines, from freshmen to seniors. Nearly half of them had experiences of going abroad. Lu Sen, the first chairman of ACUC said that everyone is a “legend”. Some are top in academics, some are winners of competitions, some are art talents, and all of them have their own specialty and creativity.
ACUC went straight to work right after its establishment. The 20 students not only completed the research about class teaching but also designed their Wechat account logo and regularly publish the opinions of their fellow peers. Lu Sen was then an undergraduate student from the Academy of Arts and Design. He and the other members always went into a long brainstorming session at Zijing Cafeteria. Within a month, they designed an investigation questionnaire on the reform of basic courses, and received 786 replies in a week.
So far, ACUC has held over 20 formal meetings with Dean’s Office and teachers from the schools and departments. 35 proposals have been put forward and have gained much attention. At present, all of the proposals have been adopted in Tsinghua’s education reform.
Furthermore, the students also discussed with Tsinghua’s President Qiu Yong about the curriculum. They have promoted the reform about academic evaluation. Also they suggested that every semester, students could select a course that won’t have its grades being included in the final result. That way, it encourages students to challenge and manage their own study.
Qiu Yong once said to the students, “Cultivation is fundamental to any university. The education reform depends on the teachers and the students. You are the main force behind such reform.” His words inspired the students from ACUC to devote themselves to their creative work.