Robotics will enter the curriculum of a Chinese university for the first time in the history of the country’s tertiary education, Chinese media reported on April 19.
China’s Ministry of Education recently published the results of a review that universities and colleges nationwide will add 1,641 subjects and dropped 925 as part of the ministry’s overhaul of college curricula.
Notably, Southeast University in Nanjing, one of the top 20 universities in China, said it will open a new course on “future robotics.”
According to the university, the course is the only major within a number of interdisciplinary engineering-related subjects that are newly added to the school’s curriculum.
The course will become an amalgam of multiple disciplines, including mechanical engineering, control science and engineering, information technology, electronics, computer science, material science, biomedicine and medical imaging, said the school.
The new course will start recruiting its inaugural class of students in September this year. With a goal to recruit 50 to 60 students, the course will be taught in a small-class format, with a faculty-to-student ratio of about 1:1.
Starting from the freshman year, each faculty member who teaches the course will provide hands-on tutelage and mentorship to one or two students, taking them on trips to robotic and automation businesses to conduct real-world research.
As robotics rose to prominence as a both an applied technology and a growth driver in China, the need to nurture talent to fuel the industry’s development has become ever greater.
More universities are likely to follow the lead of Southeast University in starting new courses on robotics.