ECNU & UConn holds Global Elites Academic Program



East China Normal University (ECNU) and University of Connecticut (UConn) held the online academic program themed “Global Elites in Humanities and Social Sciences” this summer. It creates a multiple platform for ECNU undergraduates to look into the frontiers of disciplines, expand their research ideas and methods and strengthen awareness of interdisciplinary research without going abroad during the pandemic.

From July 12 to 30, the program was successfully held online. Based on the international cultivation of undergraduate talents specializing in Humanities and Social Sciences at ECNU and supported by the high-end teaching resources in humanities and social sciences at UConn, this program covered lectures, introductions to classics reading, workshops, seminars, group collaborations, teacher-student interactions and other varied forms of communication and learning.

During a live class

Teacher-Student Interaction

Group Discussion

A total of 50 outstanding undergraduates specializing in Chinese Language and Literature, History, Philosophy, Sociology, Law, English and other majors participated in the program.

Themed on “Critical Thinking, Academic Research and Global Citizenship in the 21st Century”, this program consisted of three thematic modules --- humanities, social sciences and research.

This program also offered distinctive courses, such as Comparative Study in Chinese and Western Philosophical Thoughts, Introduction to Classics Reading: Classics and Intercultural Understanding, Critical Thinking in Contemporary Society, Globalization and Global Governance, International Cooperation in Academic Research, and Interdisciplinary Studies--Interdisciplinary Thinking and Research Approaches, thus introducing cutting-edge academic research achievements in combination with the current social focuses.

In order to provide the students with an immersive learning experience and an enhanced process evaluation, UConn has equipped the program with HuskyCT, a teaching assistance system used by its full-time students. This platform, with the curriculum at its core, integrates online teaching, learning and curriculum management to build an individualized learning space for the students.

The Tutor Auxiliary Platform of HuskyCT

Presentation for the Completion of the Program

I have benefited a lot from this program. Whether in comparative philosophy, consumer society, or global governance, I can feel the importance of the cross-cultural perspective. Since even the same phenomenon may have different manifestations in other cultures, it is of critical significance to take into account cultural factors, which can not only broaden our horizons, but also enhance our ability to analyze problems.”

--By Wang Huan majoring in Sociology (Class of 2020)

Individually speaking, interdisciplinary learning can broaden our horizons and enable us to think from multiple perspectives, instead of confining us to a single one. Besides, it can better promote the academic cooperation between individuals and scholars of different majors from other countries to jointly explore problems. To sum up, interdisciplinary academy contributes more to the training of new talents adaptable to the 21st century.”

--By Wu Fei majoring in Philosophy (Class of 2019)

This exchange program has promoted my understanding of humanities and social sciences to a new level. Through the exploration of humanities, we can learn how to think creatively and critically, so as to make inferences and ask questions. All these skills access us to a new insight into everything. More importantly, the humanities science has opened up more possibilities for us to understand the world in which we live.” 

--By Fang Chenchen majoring in English (Class of 2019)

Interdisciplinary learning and cross-cultural collaboration should be a concept itself. The citizens worldwide in the 21st century are the subject of modern governance. What I gained most from this program is my awareness of the global citizenship, and I can change the society with my own actions.”

--By Han Ze majoring in Journalism (Class of 2020)

In recent years, ECNU, adhering to its intensive development of undergraduate international exchanges, has encouraged its students to go deep into the world’s forefront of disciplines and cultivate critical and creative thinking.


Copy editor: Philip Nash

Editor: Yuan Yiwei


East China Normal University