Suzhou Vocational University, established in May, 1981, is a fulltime university ratified by the Ministry of Education The University lies in the Stone Lake Scenery District at the foot of Shangfang Hill on the southwest of Suzhou City. The famous scenery spots of two ancient small countries Wu and Yue during the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-446BC) and the original residency of Fan Chengda, a pastoral poet and educationist in Ming Dynasty (1368AD-1644AD) are scattered around it. Under the proposal by Suzhou Municipal Party Committee and Suzhou Municipal Government to further adjust local resources for higher education, November 2003 witnessed its merge with Suzhou Education Institute, Suzhou TV & Radio Broadcasting University and Suzhou Staff and Workers Science and Technology College to establish a new municipal university with tertiary education mainly on engineering with other majors developing coordinately. The University has been relocated in the new campus by September, 2005. Simultaneously, application has been handed to the government of Jiangsu Province for the permission of Suzhou College with undergraduate education. The new Suzhou Vocational University has 4 campuses, occupying an area of 841750 m2, among which the construction area of school buildings is 490000 m2 . Its library has a collection of 1.386 million books. The total value of Teaching and scientific researching devices is 0.183 billion RMB. The university has 12 schools (departments), giving courses related to 63 majors in science, engineering, liberal arts, administration, normal education and Fine Arts. The University has an enrollment of over 15000 students, and a faculty of 1029, including 63 professors, 358 associate professors and senior engineers, as well as 13 part-time professors and associate professors ,
Guided by the principles of education by the market demand, majors of the industrial feature and courses for the prospective posts, the University has been cultivating urgently-needed talents for local economic development and playing an active role in Suzhou’s initiative in achieving all-round well-off society and basic modernization. Sticking to the principle of “Guided by employment; Based on education quality; Endeavored for Service”, emphasizing the education ideal “People Oriented and Harmonious Development Pursued”, the University has formed a feature on cultivation talents with advanced technology applicative ability, i.e. “ability as main, application as purpose and creativity as core”. Among peers in Jiangsu Province, the University is one with the largest scale, most comprehensive majors, strongest education abilities, best social reputation and most brand majors. It enjoys comparatively high celebrity within the province.
The University pays great attention to practical education in the cultivation of talents. It advocates scientific research for the promotion of teaching and the cultivation of creative talents. Research and academic atmosphere are dense on campus. In the past three years, 16 monographs have been published, 1392 papers published on formal periodicals on provincial level. More than 40 awards have been obtained from province, ministers and cities as well as 5 awards on achievements of education. Facing the demands of enterprises, aiming at the cultivation of abilities, the University by means of proper structures of majors and flexible teaching approaches is devoted to cultivating applicative talents with adequate qualities on production, management and service.
The pattern of mutual cultivation of talents by efforts from both the University and enterprises has been practiced for a long time, which enlarges the serving function of the University by diverse education forms. The University not only enjoys a close relationship with local enterprises but also 310 outlet practice bases for talents cultivation and cooperation on research. An advisory council, with entrepreneurs as advisors, has been set up to make its courses fit for the needs of local enterprises, and a steering committee has also been brought into being, which involves specialists from local enterprises in the fields of mechanics, electronics and secretarial work. The committee evaluates the major set-ups and teaching plans, and offers advice and suggestions helping to shape standards for vocational capabilities and construction of campus bases for practice. In the past years, the University has offered thousands of graduates to Suzhou local area, especially Sino-Singapore Industrial Park and the Suzhou National New and Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, which makes our graduates blooming peach and plum trees sending fragrance throughout the city.
Taking its own advantage and facing increasing demands for talents in the city, the University adopts patterns of menu-course designing for enterprises and joint education to cultivate talents that often fall short of demand from local enterprises to in practical fields for development of Suzhou’s economy. 2006 witnessed Suzhou Talents Service Center’s setting up sub-branches in International Education Park for talents service, Human Resource Market and Employment Guiding Center for college graduates, which fully demonstrates good circumstance of the graduates’ employment and the key role of the University in the cultivation of advanced vocational talents in Suzhou.
The University actively carries out international education communications and cooperation to draw on advanced foreign experiences and import quality foreign education resources. It has been on good cooperating terms with universities and institutes from Canada, Australia, Singapore, Great Britain, Germany and Japan. It has implemented effective cooperation with Canadian George Brown Institute, Australian North Melbourne Institute of Technology, Chisholm Institute and Singaporean Shelton College of Commerce on setting up new majors, program co-building and language training. We have made it possible for the students to receive international advanced knowledge on culture and management and diplomas from foreign colleges without going abroad, which makes the University more internationalized, qualifications and reputation improved and experienced gained for talents cultivation.
Facing a new round of opportunities for development, the University will make integration as a turning point and the construction on subjects and majors as the entrance for a breakthrough, to deepen the reform in education and administration systems, take the path of coordination of industry, education and research, promote education level and cultivate more talents for Suzhou City’s “keeping ahead in building a well-off society in an all-round way and realizing basic modernization”.