Introduction

Background

On 29th March 2013, SBC and seven key high schools co-established national bases for talented high school graduates to select potential and qualified high school graduates for SBC and its nine British partner universities. The initiative also aims at providing more top Chinese students with an international vision the opportunity to obtain international education. The seven schools include Hangzhou Senior High School, Hangzhou No.2 High School, The Affiliated High School to Hangzhou Normal University, Ningbo Xiaoshi High School, Nanjing Jinling High School, Nanjing Jinling High School Hexi Campus and Xi’an Gaoxin Tangnan High School.

The establishment of the national bases for talented high school graduates is aimed at deepening the cooperation between high schools and colleges/ universities as well as promoting mutual understanding of higher education and basic education and interaction and cooperation in sharing teaching resources and organizing academic exchanges between China and the UK. The cooperation is also symbolic of common educational concepts and standards for talent between the two countries. In order to establish these national bases for talented high school graduates, SBC has not only set up a special scholarship totalling 320,000 RMB to select outstanding students for our Business Management degree program with the University of Sheffield, but also established a long-term cooperative mechanism in terms of sharing academic resources and academic discussions. The first phase of academic cooperation will focus on EAP (English for Academic Purposes) and EMI (English as a Medium of Instruction). The two aspects combine the advantages of SBC, which is English language teaching, with the real teaching needed at each high school. For the next step, each party will keep seeking communication and coordination in aspects such as students’ career development and communication between Chinese high school students and international students from SBC.

Method of Cooperation

Set up a special scholarship for “University of Sheffield Business Management Degree Program”

The scholarship is aimed to encourage more outstanding Chinese high school students in the student source bases to enter for the degree course in Business Management with University of Sheffield at SBC.

The scholarship is only given to high school graduates who have been recommended by partner high schools in the national bases and have officially registered the Business Management degree program with the University of Sheffield at SBC. The students need to apply for the scholarship after they have begun studying at SBC. Once approved, winners will be awarded a scholarship certificate jointly signed by their high school principal and SBC principal, along with 10,000 RMB cash. They will get 5,000 RMB in the first year and another 5,000 RMB in the second year. 

Establish a long-term cooperative mechanism to share academic resources and academic discussions

Biannual Academic Seminar for English Teaching and Learning

To deepen academic communication and cooperation between SBC and high schools in the national bases, SBC and the high schools in the bases launched a series of academic seminars in 2013. The seminar will be carried out twice a year. English teachers from high schools in the bases will be invited to come to SBC and discuss with teachers at SBC’s EAP Centre to explore how to improve English teaching at high schools.

So far, seminars have been held twice and been a success on both occasions, focusing on EAP and EMI. Teachers have discussed how to strengthen communication when teaching English and how to put it into practice in the real classroom. Meanwhile, teachers have also discussed the challenges and potential solutions for academic English writing and how to design courses and activities. Both high school teachers and SBC teachers have benefited from the seminars, and the exchange of experience is surely helpful to their future teaching in the classroom.

As the first project to share academic resources and discussion, the English teaching series seminars are aimed to keep the students up with SBC’s selection standards in their ability to use language for an academic purpose. In the long run, SBC also hopes such seminars can help students improve their ability of self-motivated learning and communication. We hope such seminars can be a starting point for more academic discussions between SBC and high schools such as might guide students to plan their career and introduce international students at SBC to communicate with Chinese high school students.

Student Mentorship Program (SMP) for University of Sheffield Business Management Program

The Student Mentorship Program or ‘Student Leader Program’ was launched at SBC in 2012. It is a very popular program at overseas universities, especially in the UK.

As a student management measure, SMP will select top senior students at SBC or the University of Sheffield as mentors for high school students in the student source base to help them quickly adapt to college life and learn how to study their major. The program is carried out by elected senior students, with academic-related counselling and guidance from Andy Ritchie, academic leader of Business Management Degree Program with University of Sheffield.

SMP covers the following aspects:

1)    Problem-solving and peer companion

Mentors can talk to new students regularly and make their own plans based on their own learning and experience to help new comers reduce study and psychological pressures. Mentors can discuss issues amongst one another to help new students find their optimal groove.

2)    Tailored tutoring

SMP takes in all new comers who enter for the Business Management Degree Program with University of Sheffield at SBC. The one-on-on tutoring will feature contents including class teaching mode, academic English learning, analysis of difference between Chinese and western cultures and psychological counselling to help new students.

3)    Be a mentor

SMP is a long-term project at SBC. Students can help each other through the Internet and senior students can help junior students in both their study and their personal life. Many new students will benefit from the program and become mentors themselves the next year.

Wu Guofeng

Vice Principal, Jinling High School Hexi Campus, Jiangsu Province

“As the demand for talent continues to rise, how to select talent becomes very important. The trend of the international curriculum in China will inevitably move towards an integrated cultivation mode of cultural education, language training and comprehensive qualities instead of merely language training. Only in this way can we make students better prepared for what they will face in society. SBC has done very well in this aspect, and many international schools would do well to learn by it. This is also an important reason why we have cooperated with SBC.”

(Adapted from Principal Wu’s speech on SBC’s unveiling ceremony and press conference of the National Bases for Talented High School Graduates on March, 2013)

Xia Wen

Director, Ningbo Municipal Government College Admission Office

“I’m very happy to see an in-depth cooperation between SBC and key high schools from different areas. With the rising demand for talent, it is important to optimize the way that we select talent. I think such optimization should not only be based on the way, but also on the definition of talent. High schools are the cradle of qualified applicants to colleges. Therefore, it is important to find out how to cultivate talent at the high school period, so that more qualified and competitive talent can be provided for the high-speed development of the society.”

(Adapted from Director Xia’s speech on SBC’s unveiling ceremony and press conference of the National Bases for Talented High School Graduates on March, 2013)

(Adapted from Professor Gow’s speech on SBC’s unveiling ceremony and press conference of the National Bases for Talented High School Graduates on March, 2013)