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Smart Academy, a virtual education platform, has gained popularity among Nankai University students.
A launch ceremony for Turing Academy kicks off. [Photo/ WeChat Account of Nankai University]
"The virtual organization aims to provide a characteristic interdisciplinary education environment to Nankai students, as a supplement to the professional colleges," said Li Chuanyong, director of the university's academic affairs office.
With the project in place, teachers and students of different disciplines are closely linked to create a new type of community that promotes online and offline collaboration and helps students develop in an all-around way. In the process, daily communication between teachers and students is highlighted.
Since the first Smart Academy's opening in 2019, Nankai has built 11 of them, each with different characteristics. These include Mu Dan Academy and Turing Academy. This year, ten of these schools will enroll 1,020 undergraduate students.
Mu Dan Academy teachers and students exchange ideas face-to-face. [Photo/ WeChat Account of Nankai University]
A tutoring system was adopted by the academies, where personality fostering is no less important than imparting knowledge. An academy usually consists of more than ten interdisciplinary professional teachers and senior counselors, who can give students guidance in terms of academic planning, learning, career and life.
Accordingly, each academy has a teacher-student ratio of one to ten. That means each tutor helps with ten students of their own. Each training cycle lasts one year.
No 1 Smart Academy holds a wine-tasting activity. [Photo/ WeChat Account of Nankai University]
At No 1 Smart Academy, 14 tutors come from 12 liberal arts and science colleges. The school has also recruited many corporate tutors.
"After two cycles, the academy has attracted nearly 300 students," said Qiu Hanqin, dean of the School of Tourism and Service at Nankai and head of the academy. She said that an essential part of No 1 Smart Academy is to provide students with many opportunities to put their ideas into practice.
Mu Dan Academy has opened professional foreign language courses to 149 students from 16 departments of the school. It also launched a series of activities, including a drama festival, poetry festival and theme lectures. Students can take one or two courses based on their own interests and needs and will obtain honorary credit certification from the School of Foreign Languages.
Turing Academy has the strongest 21-member tutor group. In order to facilitate students' in-depth understanding of computing science, the academy provides professional intelligent equipment.
"With so many choices, there is always one for you," Li said, "We hope that students can proactively grow, innovate and develop themselves here."