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September 10, 2023
Hainan University Turns into a Talent Magnet with Innovative Measures

A view of Mission Hills Campus, Hainan University

A view of Mission Hills Campus, Hainan University

Talents are of paramount importance for any great cause. Hainan University is currently building the world’s first-class disciplines and needs high-caliber professionals more than ever, which also means a more enabling environment is created for them.

In recent years, Hainan University has strictly enforced the Code of Ethics for Teachers and adhered to the philosophy of “seeking platform-driven growth, highlighting special characteristics, attracting high-caliber professionals, opening up and making innovations”. It has implemented the strategy of building the university through innovations in talent development. With a series of proactive and efficient measures, Hainan University has substantially empowered its faculty.

Helping Teachers Grow into Distinguished Educators in the New Era

Hainan University prioritizes professional ethics and virtues, and seeks to build a “five-in-one” mechanism which features “enhancing theoretical guidance, clarifying roles and responsibilities, giving full play to key groups, learning from role models and warning with bad examples.” Professional ethics is the first consideration in the annual performance evaluation, employment contract extension, professional promotion, and excellence recognition/awarding for teachers. The “fail-one-fail-all” policy is carried out with zero tolerance for ethics violation.

Against this backdrop, a large number of role models have appeared for their dedicated teaching or outstanding service to national development, such as Prof. Zou Ligang who polishes students’ dissertations conscientiously, Prof. Yang Na who helps students seek truth through her courses in Marxist theories, Prof. Zhang Jiachao who has become an “big” expert in his “small” research field and Prof. Yu He who won the 1st prize in the ideological and political theory courses group in the 6th National Teaching Contest for Young University/College Teachers.

Maximizing Potential of Talents with Reforms and Innovations

In accordance with the standards for role model teachers, Hainan University has innovated teacher evaluation mechanism and deepened reforms featuring the multi-form academic peer evaluation, multi-channel allowance financing mechanism and innovative mechanism for employing excellent post-doctoral fellows. Such reforms and innovations have successfully helped to develop a high-performing faculty.

First, Hainan University Guidelines for Professional Qualification Evaluation (trial) are amended annually to highlight the candidates’ innovative ability and the quality, effectiveness and contribution of their academic achievements. The evaluation mechanism of representative academic achievement is implemented and an academic integrity/conduct commitment statement is added. The time cycle of professional qualification evaluation is optimized, a particular group for excellent talents is established according to their academic achievement, and experts from other universities are invited to be the judges for online interviews.

Second, the advantages of the Special Committee for the Professional Evaluation and Employment for High-level Professionals are leveraged, and a talent allowance financing mechanism has taken shape, which comprises “school project fund”, “college fund” and “personal research project fund” to increase the compensation for high-caliber professionals. Besides, a “valuation adjustment mechanism” may be applied to the annual allowance within the employment period in a bid to stimulate their enthusiasm and creativity.

Third, Hainan University has removed the institutional constraints for the employment of postdoctoral fellows and enhanced the function of postdoctoral programs as a faculty “reservoir” to optimize the faculty structure. It has made vigorous efforts to apply for mobile postdoctoral station programs which can considerably help Hainan University to develop the world’s first-class university and disciplines. More career opportunities are available for postdoctoral fellows: they can apply for full-time research posts or directly apply for teaching/research posts and become official employees.

Building Various Platforms for Talents to Realize Full Potential

Hainan University spares no effort to build various platforms for high-caliber professionals. In this academic year, it is authorized to co-build two national key laboratories: Tropical Crop Biological Breeding Lab and Digital Medical Engineering Lab, which is breakthrough progress in this regard. Currently, there are 124 research platforms of different levels and types, including the National Key Laboratory, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory, Ministry of Education Engineering Center, Innovation Platform of Academician’s Team. The strategy to “attract talents with platforms” has gradually produced desirable results.

Since April 13, 2018, Hainan University has recruited a total of 1,351 talents with doctoral degrees, including 73 foreign talents; 597 people have study/work experience abroad, accounting for 44.2%; 218 hold a doctoral degree from outside the mainland of China, comprising 16.1%; 902 are under 35 years old, constituting 66.8%.

Under these favorable policies, Hainan University has made breakthroughs in the application for national talent programs. Its number of national-level talents has increased from 5 to 60, of which 15 are newly recruited in the 2022-2023 academic year, and 15 were born after 1980 and 1990; the number of high-level academic leaders (including national-level talents) has increased from 38 to 130.

“In the three years to come, Hainan University will recruit another 1,000 high-caliber professionals. By 2025, the size of full-time faculty will reach 3,300, including 100 national-level talents and 100 high-level academic leaders, with doctorate holders accounting for 75% and overseas-educated individuals making up 40%. Hainan University will implement a more active, open and effective talent policy, focusing on their training, recruitment, treatment, evaluation and utilization. It will deepen the reform and foster a culture in which talents are recognized, respected and utilized effectively. Meanwhile, it will build a comprehensive service platform to help them solve practical problems in life.

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