(Yicai Global) July 28 -- Beijing’s Tsinghua University is to discontinue its accounting major after recently also halting its journalism major as part of the Ministry of Education’s plan for first-class universities to focus on training hi-tech subjects in which the country is short of talent, the China Science Daily reported today.
The undergraduate degree of accounting will now be part of the economics and finance major, said Xiao Xing, director of the university’s accounting department. It will no longer be a stand-alone specialization. Artificial Intelligence will not replace accounting and Tsinghua accounting students will not be replaced by machines, he added.
In January, the Ministry of Education set about reforming the basic disciplines in institutions of higher education to have more of a focus on high-end chips and software, intelligent technology, new materials, advanced manufacturing, national security and other humanities and social sciences.
One third of all enrollments must now be in these subject areas, which means cutting student numbers in other disciplines.
Accounting is a very popular subject and career. As the latest batch of high school graduates prepare their university applications, the withdrawal of Tsinghua’s accounting program has prompted lots of questions on social media.
By stopping the separate specialization of accounting at an undergraduate level, top universities such as Tsinghua and Peking University can develop more general education programs for students and allow them to determine their professional direction at the graduate level, said Lu Chuang, professor at the School of Accounting of the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing.
Accounting education at the undergraduate level in Chinese universities needs more attention, said Xia Lijun, director of the accounting department at the Antai College of Economics and Management at Shanghai Jiaotong University.
Editor: Kim Taylor