In response to future demands for interdisciplinary talents, Soochow University is starting to provide 36 “Second Specialty” course modules for students to take in 2019-20 academic year. Students can get an extra certificate upon graduation when fulfilling 16 credits under any of the 36 modules.
It is estimated that at least 49% of today’s jobs will disappear or be replaced by machines within the next 15 years because of the joint influence of the development of three technologies: cloud computing, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence. The challenge for higher education is how to equip students with “interdisciplinary skills,” “innovation and creativity capabilities” and “outstanding foreign language ability” in addition to teaching them professional knowledge.
Soochow has already been offering many interdisciplinary courses for its students. Now in order to make more efficient use of elective courses under departments other than students’ majors, all schools and departments are ready to provide second specialty course modules with “professional subjects” as a major focus and “industry-academia cooperation” as a supplementary theme.
Ideally, students are advised to take 16 credits of courses between a pool of 12 to 18 course credits under any of the 36 modules to get a certificate of second specialty within the minimum of 128 credits for graduation requirements without extending the years of their study or increasing the required course credits.
To help all faculty and students better understand the contents of “Second Specialty Interdisciplinary Learning,” the Registration and Curriculum Division has set a webpage to provide related information in detail. In addition, many explanatory sessions hosted by Dean of Academic Affairs have also illustrated the learning opportunities, current situations, courses, schedules, and limitations of “Second Specialty Learning.” It is hoped that students can cultivate more skills in different fields as early as possible to increase their competitiveness in the future job market.
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