Chinese universities add emerging industry programs


Yangtse Evening Post, February 16, 2011

China’s Ministry of Education has released a list of 140 new programs that will be offered to prospective undergraduate students taking the gaokao matriculation exam this year.

The programs cover a range of theoretical and applied sciences. One of the most popular is IOT Engineering (物联网工程), the Internet of Things. Today’s Yangtse Evening Post puts a local spin on the news by noting that six universities in Jiangsu Province, and thirty-one total nationwide, will be adding IOT programs this year. In all, thirteen Jiangsu institutions will add twenty-two new majors.

The subject of the front page photo and a lengthy feature inside is Pan Zhilin (潘植林), a young man who spent five months semi-comatose after suffering a sudden brain hemorrhage in his sleep. When he finally woke up, he could no longer speak, and his personality had changed. Post-coma Pan was outgoing, crazy about music, and had a remarkable memory.

That was last June; the paper recently visited Pan to see how he was getting on. He’s now partially recovered the ability to speak, but if anything his love for music has only gotten stronger. One professor quoted in the article worries that Pan’s “music addiction” is keeping him from exposure to spoken language that would help treat his aphasia.

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