Devoting five days a week to painstaking major courses at the School of Medicine of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Liang Lei finds a way to free her body and mind of tension. Every weekend, she takes a minor course in painting at the North Zhongshan Road campus of ECNU.
“I spend an afternoon every week painting and that makes me very relaxed,” the sophomore majoring in nursing said. “Art can calm you down.”
She is one of more than 30 university students from across Shanghai who take the ECNU painting course in spare time. It was the first time for the university to open a minor course in painting. It attracted students from a dozen universities, such as Fudan University, Jiao Tong University and Tongji University, since it was launched by the Fine Arts Department in May.
Eleven of them come from ECNU, whose majors vary from French language, psychology, Chinese language, news, history, PR, public administration and advertising. Most of the students are art buffs with zero basis of painting but eager to improve the taste of art. They have to complete the course containing 17 curricula and obtain 60 credits the course provides within two and a half years before being granted a minor art bachelor’s degree, on the condition that they receive a bachelor’s degree in their own major.In Shanghai, it has been a practice prevailing for more than 20 years for universities to set up inter-college minor courses for interested students. Each year, ECNU opens 10-strong minor courses.
“Opening a minor course is a successful integration of talent cultivation reform and disciplines,” Prof. Wei Tianyu with the Fine Arts Department said. “I hope such courses will open up a new door for the students.”