Among the 37 newly approved courses, seven have the word “smart” in their names. They cover a wide range of areas, such as smart mining, smart husbandry and smart aircraft design, according to a statement posted by the Ministry of Education on its website in late February.
A staff member presents an exhibit during the 2020 Smart China Expo Online in southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality, Sept. 15, 2020. The expo serves as a platform to promote global exchanges of smart technologies and international cooperation of the smart industry. (Xinhua/Tang Yi)
“The ‘smart’ subjects show the growing importance of AI technology. In previous years there were new courses on AI itself; now the technology has been connected with more traditional subjects,” Xiong Bingqi, director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute in Beijing, told the Global Times on Monday.
Security is another keyword in the new subjects. The China People’s Police University has been approved to open a course named “Overseas Security Management.” Another course, “Counterterrorism Police Affairs,” will be launched at the Criminal Investigation Police University in China, the Global Times learned.
Xiong noted that the new courses may be taking international anti-terrorism cooperation into account, and they will provide professional talent for it.
The Shanghai Customs College will start a course called “Customs Inspection and Quarantine Safety.” Xiong didn’t think that this was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as such courses are usually designed over a long period, but the pandemic has proved the urgency of maintaining talent in customs inspections.