Provide talent support for regional development to facilitate national governance system and capacity modernization

日期: 2020-12-15

By the coast of Zhejiang, there lies a university like Sungkyunkwan in Zhou Dynasty, it aims to facilitate national governance system and capacity modernization. After the reform and opening-up, complexity of public affairs governance becomes increasingly high in China. It is urgent to cultivate mote leader talents possessing national governing philosophy, and grasping public administration knowledge and methods in the field of public administration. Dedicated to satisfying practical needs of talent cultivation, Zhejiang University has become one of the first 24 universities entitled to grant a professional degree in Master of Public Administration (MPA) since 2001 throughout China. Over 18 years, MPA education program of Zhejiang University persists in a guiding principle of Being Demand Oriented & Quality as the Priority and such a theory on school management as World Affairs as Responsibility and Truth as Faith, and regards providing important nation-wide talent support for regional development based on Zhejiang as the core objective of running a school. Up to now, significant progress has been made in terms of innovative teaching models and education quality improvement.

Combining the academic circle, the political circle and the industry to serve regional development of the Yangtze River Delta Area

MPA education program of Zhejiang University always makes it its mission to serve local government administration innovation and social governance innovation in Zhejiang and the Yangtze River Delta Area, and defines cultivating high-quality public administration leadership talents meeting local demands of being practical and at the forefront as its radical task. In the Yangtze River Delta Area represented by Zhejiang province, both market mechanism and social forces grow rapidly, which requires the transition from ruling to governance in the public sector represented by government. Hence, not only can public services be provided during market and social cooperation, but social governance is carried out. For this, governmental resources, corporate resources, as well as research resources at home and abroad, in and around the school are integrated to form a cultivation mechanism combining the academic circle, the political circle and the industry together.

Up to December 2017, there are 83 full-time teachers (51 of whom have a senior title such as the professor) assuming routine teaching activities involving curriculum, thesis supervision and social practice, etc.. In addition, 65 off-campus supervisors are also hired from well-known universities at home and abroad, and Party and government offices as well as social organizations at all levels to offer cutting-edge lectures, practice guidance and special cases at individualized teaching links to our students.

Design a cultivation system based on Being Demand Oriented & of Indomitable Spirit; cultivate leaders in public sector

PMA program of Zhejiang University dedicates itself to forging students' spirit of serving the public, and improving their leadership and policy advocacy skills. Centering on the goal of talent cultivation, a curriculum of Indomitable Spirit is established in the course of teaching to not only emphasize international development and probe into frontier theories of public administration from the perspective of international comparison, but also stress analysis on the latest practice of regional governance in a practical situation of China by putting focus on practice. Thus, a three-in-one teaching model of theoretic guidance + case study + base has been set up innovatively.

We exert a particular emphasis on students' abilities to apply theory to reality. Dependent on regional development advantages, 16 distinctive practice teaching bases such as Innovation Demonstration Base for New Rural Construction in Deqing County of Huzhou City, Successful Innovation of Modern Countryside-Tengtou Village in Fenghua of Ningbo City. Besides, cutting-edge cases associated with the Matter Concluded Once reform, a grass-roots governance model of Self-government, Rule by Law and Rule of Virtue, and Featured Town construction and development, etc. have been also continuously expanded in Zhejiang.

International education is also regarded as a critical part of talent cultivation. Since 2015, NASPAA certification has been officially launched for the purpose of improving fostering standard and quality system of the program. From 2016, an overseas course elective module was established in the curriculum system of this program. In cooperation with Syracuse University of America, the Public Administration & Policy module was set up. Moreover, the Resource Environment & National Governance module was opened jointly with Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany. Each year, about 20 MPA candidates can study abroad for two weeks. These modules have gained wide popularity among them.

Matched with the national strategy to assist balanced regional development

MPA education program of Zhejiang University is actively matched with the Great Western Development Strategy and the Belt and Road Initiative to cultivate high-level talented personnel for balanced regional development. At the very beginning of running this university, we have adhered to serving for the Great Western Development Strategy. This is embodied in the admission of 75 students from Guizhou in 2001, 2002 and 2004 successively. In 2006, a ZJU MPA Leading Cadre Class for Western Regions was opened in Zhejiang University together with the former State Council Western Development Office. For this class, 700 students have been recruited, covering all provinces (cities) and regions in Western China and containing minority students taking up a proportion of 20%. Together with 8 other universities including Peking University and Tsinghua University in 2018, Zhejiang University assumes the responsibility of public administration talent cultivation for targeted areas of Tibet and Sinkiang, opens up the Class for Tibetan Students. In its first year, 20 candidates have been admitted.

Regarding unique demands of social and economic development in Western China, we especially establish the teaching content of Interpretations on Eastern China Cases + Practice in Eastern China Bases to enhance western students' abilities of using experience of the developed region for reference and promoting balanced regional development. Southwestern China and Northwestern China Public Administration Seminars are also founded in Chengdu and Xi'an in succession, and they serve as platforms for students' lifelong learning. Regional Coordination, Scientific Development & Social Harmony and Western China in Transformation Development: All-round Exploration with forewords written by Cao Yushu, the Deputy Director of the former State Council Western Development Office, and Wei Liqun, the former Dean of Chinese Academy of Governance are two symposia based on papers of MPA candidates revealing academic achievements of the students from ZJU MPA Leading Cadre Class for Western Regions.

To perfect the management structure & improve education quality

Through years of development, MPA education program of Zhejiang University has achieved increasingly abundant teaching materials, and an unceasingly mature teaching model. Up to June 2018, we have officially taken in more than 3,800 MPA candidates from over 20 provinces (cities), autonomous regions and 19 minorities.

In order to guarantee educational quality, we pay particular attention to management structure optimization and institutional mechanism running. Except MPA Education Center Zhejiang University, full-time staff is also appointed to be in charge of routine teaching management for MPA. Besides, an MPA Education Steering Committee and an MPA Teaching Profession Steering Committee, etc. are also specially set up. As for critical education and teaching links, senior professors engaged in public administration discipline construction and talent cultivation in a long term are assigned to check on MPA cultivating program design, teaching reform and innovation and teacher selection, etc.. Recently, we are preparing to establish an MPA External Advisory Committee constituted by employers, graduates, MPA candidates and full-time teacher representatives, etc. which functions to provide program quality supervision and feedback. By building such a management structure that perfects decision, implementation and supervision, various problems in teaching can be timely found and rectified. On this basis, we are able to set up an Education Quality Guarantee & Continuous Improvement Mechanism, found a Textbook & Lectures Project making response to students' demands for course materials, carry out an MPA Case Teaching Model Reform to enhance their capabilities of applying theoretical knowledge to practical management, and explores a 'Course Team' System & Course Pay Overall Rationing System, etc..

Under the joint efforts of teachers, students, schoolfellows and employers, the talent cultivation quality has achieved striking results. As indicated by questionnaires and follow-up visits targeted at graduates, MPA graduates highly recognize that their abilities to carry out investigations, fulfill tasks in accordance with laws and regulations are improved by virtue of such a program, and that the program also plays a positive role in elevating their public policy making and analysis capabilities. Relevant data analysis also shows that, if compared with freshmen, MPA graduates have gained a stronger sense of competence in actively participating in public affairs. In school, MPA candidates have outstanding performance. In the Case Center Cup Chinese Postgraduate Public Administration Case Contest, the team of Zhejiang University was awarded the first prize in 2017, and the second and the third prizes in 2018. Graduation papers of MPA candidates are also of high quality, and three of them obtained the National Excellent Paper Award and one was nominated. Moreover, graduation paper of Jiang Xiaoping acquired the Xue Muqiao Price Research Award granted once every three years. After graduation, professional performance of MPA students is also considerably outstanding. Many of them are able to practice what they have learnt and actively take part in the Award Program for Innovations and Excellence in Chinese Local Governance. In addition, positions of a vast majority of them are also improved.

In the future, MPA Center Zhejiang University will keep holding fast to a theory on school management as World Affairs as Responsibility and Truth as Faith to continuously improve education quality and serve our nation and mankind better!