Shanghai school inks fast-track deal with UCLA

The agreement allows high school students at the Soong Ching Ling School of China Welfare Institute to gain credits for US universities.
Ti Gong

UCLA Vice Provost Cindy Fan (left) signs the agreement with Feng Lirong, principal of Soong Ching Ling School .

A Shanghai school has signed a deal with a top US university to allow students to take university courses and gain advance credit toward future degrees at US institutions while still in high school.

The deal is between the Soong Ching Ling School of China Welfare Institute and the University of California, Los Angeles under the university’s “Global Classroom” program.

The 10-year-old Shanghai-based school, named after Madame Soong Ching Ling, will open its high school division in September with 50 students.

Students will be selected based on their performance in the city’s united high school entrance examination and on quotas for each district, said Liu Wei, director of the high school division of Soong Ching Ling School.

It has joined hands with No. 2 High School of East China Normal University, one of the top schools in Shanghai, to develop its high school curriculum.

“Students will also be able to take some optional credit-bearing courses delivered by the US university, including calculus, physics, chemistry, computer, macro and micro economics, American popular culture, national environment protection, introduction and methodology of sociology, as well as academic writing,” said Liu. “More courses will be added in the future.”

“When students graduate, they will receive not only their high school diplomas, but also the certificates from the UCLA showing the courses they have taken and the grades they achieved,” she said. “And the academic credits of the courses are accepted by 97 percent of the American universities.”

Soong Ching Ling School is the second school in China for UCLA to join the “Global Classroom” program.

Jinling High School in Nanjing, capital city of Jiangsu Province, joined in 2010 — the first Chinese mainland school in the university’s program.

Liu said the program was expected to better connect high school teaching with university education and to cultivate academic rigor and critical thinking among students to improve their capability in research and creativity.

The school has employed Chung K. Law, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, as a consultant to provide suggestions on its cooperation with higher education institutions at home and abroad.

It also plans to invite more professors and scientists from leading universities, such as Harvard, Stanford, MIT, the California Institute of Technology, Tsinghua and Fudan, to give lectures or organize short courses or summer camps for students.

It is expected to help them better understand disciplines and majors at universities and make earlier plans on their future study and career.

The school said it will also encourage qualified students to build connections with research teams in universities or carry out their own programs to improve research and creative competence.

Ti Gong

 Soong Ching Ling School of China Welfare Institute

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