The following document, issued by the PRC Ministry of Education in 2020, recommends a number of measures to improve China’s system for cultivating AI talent. Most of the recommendations address two basic problems: The disconnect between academic training of AI graduate students and the AI work being done in industry, and the difficulty of designing curricula for a field as interdisciplinary as AI.
The Chinese source text is available online at: https://web.archive.org/web/20201217173647/http://www.gov.cn/zhengce/zhengceku/2020-03/03/content_5486326.htm
To the education departments (education commissions), development and reform commissions, and finance departments (bureaus) of all provinces, autonomous regions, and province-level municipalities; to the Education Bureau, Development and Reform Commission, and Finance Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps; and to the education departments (bureaus) of all relevant agencies (units), and relevant institutes of higher education:
In accordance with the New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan issued by the State Council, the Ministry of Education, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and the Ministry of Finance have formulated Certain Opinions on Promoting Curricula Merging at “Double World-Class” Institutes of Higher Education and on Accelerating the Cultivation of Graduate Students in the AI Field, which are hereby issued for careful implementation.
Certain Opinions on Promoting Curricula Merging at “Double World-Class” Institutes of Higher Education and on Accelerating the Cultivation of Graduate Students in the AI Field
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a strategic technology leading a new round of scientific and technological (S&T) revolution, industrial transformation, and social transformation. It has a major and profound impact on economic development, social progress, and international political and economic patterns. Cultivating and gathering high-level talents with innovative capabilities and a spirit of cooperation is an important mission of institutes of higher education. Compared with developed countries, China still faces a big gap in the basic theories of AI, original algorithms, high-end microchips, and ecosystems. Interdisciplinary merging of curricula must be deepened, and the orientation of talent cultivation must be strengthened. In order to implement the important deployments of the Party Central Committee and the State Council on accelerating the development of new generation AI, promoting the construction of “double world-class” institutes of higher education, striving to build an AI talent cultivation (培养) system that approaches the international advanced level, and accelerating the cultivation of high-level talents who dare to rush into “uncharted territory” (“无人区”), the following opinions are hereby offered.