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1 Reflection and Prospect on Undergraduate Education of Environmental Engineering in China ZHANG Huanzhen* ZHANG Xiaoran Erasmus Mundus LEANES workshop.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Reflection and Prospect on Undergraduate Education of Environmental Engineering in China ZHANG Huanzhen* ZHANG Xiaoran Erasmus Mundus LEANES workshop."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Reflection and Prospect on Undergraduate Education of Environmental Engineering in China ZHANG Huanzhen* ZHANG Xiaoran Erasmus Mundus LEANES workshop 27 th April 2011 Brussels School of Water Resource & Environment China University of Geosciences, Beijing

2 introduction After development of 30 years in China, undergraduate majors of environmental engineering (UMEE) has already become one of the backbone majors in many universities. A large of outstanding talents engaging in technology and management on environmental protection have been brought up. Undergraduate education of environmental engineering (UEEE) played an important role in Chinas development of environmental protection and met the requirement of social and economic development generally. In order to improve UEEE and ensure its development in the right direction, facing the new situation of economy rapidly developed in China, it is necessary to systematically analyze the historical evolution, training objective, educational quality & scale and developmental trend of UEEE. Also, it is significant to fully recognize the social demand for undergraduates in environmental engineering (UEE).

3 outline 1234 The historical evolution of UEEE Analyses on quality of UEE Analyses on demand for UEE Developmental trend of UEEE

4 A.Social background of UMEE setting up in universities B.The establishment and specification process C.Number of distribution The historical evolution of UEEE 1

5 A. Social background of UMEE setting up in universities YearIndicationEvent 1940awarenessFrequent environmental pollution incidents 1965original ideasThe World Conference on Education. Kiel, Germany. People discussed environmental education specially, and brought forward to develop theory on environmental education and attempted to put it into practice. 1972original developmentThe 1st UN conference on Human Environment. Stockholm, Sweden. Environmental education was firstly defined and the significance was confirmed. 1975real establishmentThe United Nations Environment Education Programme (UNEEP) was established. International Seminar on Environmental Education. Belgrade. Outline Belgrade Charter was adopted and theoretical framework of international environmental education was established basically. 1977flourishing periodThe 1st Intergovernmental Conference on Environmental Education. Tbilisi. Theory and practice of environmental education were systematically discussed to confirm and specify the theory further 1992new directionThe United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. Rio de Janeiro. Environmental education concept on adapting to sustainable development was established. International The historical evolution of UEEE 1

6 YearIndicationsEvent 1970awarenessAccidents of environmental pollution caused by industrial enterprises have frequently happened, and the natural ecological environment has been obviously deteriorated in China since. 1973point out the set up of majors and courses Several Regulations about Protecting and Improving Environment were issued by the State Council. 1979define EELaw on Environmental Protection of the People's Republic of China (Trial) 1983fundamental state policyThe 2nd national conference on environmental protection. Not only the significance of public education was pointed out on environmental protection, but also environmental protection was established as the fundamental state policy. 1992guidelineThe 1st national conference on environment education. The experience of environmental education over 10 years were summarized and the guideline Environmental Protection, Education-oriented was put forward. 1995improve scientific and cultural quality of whole nation The National Education Awards Ceremony held in Beijing. it was proposed that the environmental education is a strategic measure to carry out sustainable development and an important way to improve the scientific and cultural quality of the whole nation. China The historical evolution of UEEE 1

7 B. The establishment and specification process 1973 Offered courses related to environmental protection or set up specialty direction of wastewater and waste gas treatment in relevant majors such as: Water Supply and Drainage, Chemical Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering etc. There were seven universities enrolling students in environmental majors such as Treatment & Utilization of Waste Gas, Waste Water and Waste Residues, Engineering of Environmental Pollution Control, Environmental Protection and Engineering of Environmental Pollution Prevention & Treatment. 1978 1984 10 universities use Environmental Engineering was used initially as major name in nearly 10 universities. Other names was also used. All these were unified by Ministry of Education (MoE) in 1984. Then Environmental Engineering and Environmental Monitoring were established in environmental category, and Environmental layout and Management was trialed. 1977 The historical evolution of UEEE 1

8 1987 1993 1998 The major catalogue was revised by MoE in 1987. Environmental Geology was trialed in science and Environmental Protection in Agriculture was set up in agricultural science. The catalogue was revised. Environmental Engineering, Environmental Monitoring and Environmental layout and Management were established in environmental category in engineering science and Environmental Protection in agriculture in agriculture science. Revise the catalogue once more. Environmental Science and Environmental Engineering were set up in environment and security category in engineering science. The majors including Environmental engineering, Environmental Monitoring, Environmental layout and Management (part), Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology (part), Environmental Protection in Agriculture (part) etc., were covered by Environmental Engineering. The historical evolution of UEEE 1

9 Objectives of professional training 1.Students should have knowledge of prevention & control of wastewater, waste gas, solid wastes and noise in cities and towns, water supply & drainage engineering, layout of water pollution control and water resources protection 2.Students should be able to engage in programming, design, construction, management, education and research in government departments, planning departments, economic management departments, environmental protection departments, design institutions, industrial and mining enterprises, scientific research institutions, schools etc. Requirements of professional training Students should study mainly basic theory and knowledge of General Chemistry, Engineering Mechanics, surveying, engineering drawing, microbiology, hydraulics, electro- technician, environmental monitoring and subjects of environmental engineering, train basis of foreign languages, computer technology and drawing, pollutants monitoring and analysis, engineering design, management and programming, and have basic ability of scientific research, engineering design and management programming in environmental science & technology and water supply & drainage engineering. The historical evolution of UEEE 1

10 C. Number of distribution Number of UMEE set up in Chinas universities As one of the fastest increased undergraduate majors since the reform and opening up in China, the number of UMEE had an average annual growth of 19.1%. In the beginning, UMEE was only set up in a few engineering universities. With the increasing social demand of UEE, however, UMEE gradually appear in universities of science, agriculture, medicine, economy and management. In the past decade, undergraduate education sites were increased rapidly in China. UMEE was set up in most of engineering universities in Jiangsu, Liaoning, Hubei, Hebei and other provinces. The distribution of UMEE is imbalance in different areas, more undergraduate education sites in the developed eastern areas such as Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Liaoning etc., but less in undeveloped western part such as Tibet, Qinghai etc. The historical evolution of UEEE 1

11 Chinas UEEE played an important role in controlling environmental pollution effectively for having brought up a large number of senior talents in decades. Generally, the quality of UEE graduated before 2000 was affirmed by the society. It was shown in: 1.With solid basic knowledge, profound professional foundation and all-round quality, they were employed in all fields of society, and many of them have become technical backbones and nucleus of governmental departments on environmental management, enterprises and institutions. 2.The knowledge of pollution control on waste water, waste gas, noise and solid wastes were grasped commonly. After 2~3 years of work, most of them were able to undertake design, construction and management of environmental projects, find the way to solve practical problems, own the sense of engineering and exploring and obtain the ability to solve practical problems. 3.Many UEE graduated early engaged in management, assessment, education, propaganda on environment, and even municipal projects, water supply & drainage projects, chemical projects, metallurgical projects etc. All of them were competent to their works after 1~2 years of adaption. Analysis on quantity of UEE 2

12 Since 1998, influenced by the idea of the basis broaden, the professional weaken in higher education, the proportion of foreign languages, computers, politics, humanities and social science courses were increased obviously in UMEE. Elementary teaching is commonly solid and specialized teaching is relatively weakened. This resulted in the breadth and depth of professional knowledge grasped by graduates was insufficient obviously, who knew little about the latest technological progress in environmental protection at home and abroad, lack of laws, regulations and policies of environment. In addition, the resource of universities, after expanded rapidly, was limited, conditions for experiment and practice was deficient. Graduates consequently had poor professional capacities. In addition, some of them was not dedicated to their profession to a certain extent. UEEE had not been improved in time to meet the demand of economic and social development in the new situation since the 21st century. Scaled according to compound talent, the quality of UEE should be improved further. Analysis on quantity of UEE 2

13 A.The demand for quantity is increasing slowly B.The demand for quality is enhancing constantly C.The employment fields are changing obviously D.The employment pressure is increasing obviously 3 Analysis on demand of UEE

14 A. The demand for quantity is increasing slowly The positions for pollution control and environmental management should be increased: 1. A large number of pollutants were produced by traditional industries of high energy consumption such as steel & iron, thermal power, fertilizer, paper, cement, coal chemical industry and dye chemical industry etc. 2. Urbanization grew up at the rate of near 1% every year. At the end of 2008, total number of cities in China was 655, and the rate of urbanization was 45.7%, and urban population was 607 million. The environmental problems accordingly were more and more serious and complicated. 3. The level of economic and social development and people's living standards are rising rapidly, the GDP per capita would reach near 3700 dollars (2009), so the demand for environmental quality have changed a lot. 3 Analysis on demand of UEE

15 B. The demand for quality is enhancing constantly Relatively integrated institutions have been built and a greater group has been nurtured to deal with business of environmental protection. The previous UEE played an important role during the development process. However, masters or doctors graduates will be needed by most environmental protection administrations of state, provinces and cities and their subsidiary institutions or research institutions. With the EIAE & EPE system having been established since 2004, especially, new requirements were put forward for talents engaged in environmental impact assessment and environmental engineering design. Contrasted with the current objectives of professional training, there is a great difference between UEE and EIAE & EPE in terms of quality. Although the UMEE, as the cradle of EIAE & EPE, is not served for EIAE & EPE, it is no doubt that quality requirement of EIAE & EPE for UEE should be considered enough. 3 Analysis on demand of UEE

16 C. The employment fields are changing obviously The employment fields of UEE are narrowed: Environmental protection administrations --the number of personnel is reducing Environmental monitoring departments --overstaffing, adjustment Experiencing or finishing market--need masters and doctors The state-owned monopolistic enterprises-- reduce staff to improve efficiency. Industries enterprises--choose graduates of higher qualities. Universities-- need masters and doctors. Main employment fields of UEE should certainly turn to: Environmental protection industries–The construction, operation and management of pollution control facilities will be separated from production industries. Environmental professional companies--consulting, design and environmental impact assessment. The undeveloped regions-- environmental talents were lacked. 3 Analysis on demand of UEE

17 D. Improve the comprehensive quality of talents It has become a hotspot concerned by the whole society that the initial employment rate of graduates is reducing year by year in China Since 2000. The reasons are as follows: 1. Imbalance between supply and demand. Chinas universities enrolled number: 1.8 million (1998) to 5.99 million (2008) enrollment rate: 5% (1997) to 23.3% (2008). 2.Environmental protection industry developed relatively slowly and lagged seriously. Institutions: 11,623 (number), 2.39 trillion Yuan (the original value of fixed assets), 457.21 billion Yuan (the total sales), 39.39 billion Yuan (profit) Employees: 1.595 million (2004). 3. Employment outlook is unrealistic. Aim at the environmental protection industry and the large undeveloped central and western regions. Employment firstly, career choice secondly. 3 Analysis on demand of UEE

18 A.Stabilize the education scale B.Deepen the reform of curriculum system and content C.Strengthen specification and characteristics of major D.Improve the comprehensive quality of talents Developmental trend of UEE 4

19 A. Stabilize the education scale Many universities (especially local ones) had hurriedly established UMEE or blindly expanded enrollment regardless of their own conditions in recent decade. The quality of UEEE was affected in different extent. An imbalance between supply and demand of graduates was brought about. With the reform of higher education and requirements for improving educational quality, the expanding speed of UEEE slowed down. The scale of UEEE should be relatively stable in the future. UEEE will focus on quantity stabilized and quality improved. Developmental trend of UEE 4

20 B. Deepen the reform of curriculum system and content Many universities emphasized too much on unprofessional education and general education, weakened the professional education: the total teaching time was shortened too much, and professional courses were reduced, and courses on politics, foreign languages and computer were expanded, and many courses were outdated, and experiment and practice were weak. In the future it should be focused on that optimize the professional knowledge. For instance, the politics, foreign languages and computer courses should appropriately be reduced, and courses with professional characteristics such as Environmental Management, Environmental law & regulations and standards and environmental impact assessment should be strengthen, and teaching on pollution control technologies of wastewater, waste gas, solid waste and noise should be improved, and professional experiments and practical teaching should be strengthen. Developmental trend of UEE 4

21 C. Strengthen specification and characteristics of major UEEE should emphasize specialization, while insisting on Uniformity. Uniformity -- training specification and elemental requirements should be unified. Specificity -- talents brought up should have features or advantages in one or more fields according to the requirements of employment fields, subjects advantages and own conditions of universities. Because most UMEE were born from the other traditional majors in China, affected by original majors, they were differed greatly in varied universities. In spite of professional catalog revised repeatedly by MoE, the curriculum system, teaching content, training objectives and basic requirements should be unified with the social needs. To strengthen characteristics, the opportunities and challenges provided by EIAE & EPE system should be taken full account of in universities. Developmental trend of UEE in China 4

22 D. Improve the comprehensive quality of talents More attention should be paid on: 1. Mental quality developed. Graduates should be aggressive strongly, and dedicated in professional, independent on thinking and exploring, and valued in combining theory with practice, and dialectic to treat and resolve problems. 2. System knowledge grasped. Not only professional knowledge but also laws and regulations, cultural and social knowledge. 3. Comprehensive capabilities improved. Through an intensive experimental and practical teaching, in particular, graduate design, undergraduates should be involved as much as possible in actual research or projects to improve their abilities to analyze and solve problems. 4. Flexibility trained. Base on the solid foundation of science and technology, graduates could engage in not only own profession but also jobs in other fields by continue education and professional training in the fierce market competition. Developmental trend of UEE 4

23 conclusion UEEE in China has grown through construction and development during the past 30 years and brought up numerous talents to meet the needs of social and economic development. Since 21st, new opportunities and challenges were brought forward by the changing social demand for UMEE. China's UEEE should focus on the healthy development and quality improvement of UMEE in the further.

24 Thanks for your attention

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