Social Education 58(7), 1994, pp. 437-438
National Council for the Social Studies
In colleges and universities, there are many students at the Departments of Political Science and International Relations. For them, the UN is one of the subjects required for mastery. For those with other majors, the knowledge of the UN does not seem to be emphasized. They are required to master knowledge about the UN to the extent that they can pass their examinations in the political knowledge course.
For example, Shandong Teachers' University (STU) is the second largest university in Shandong Province in eastern China. The enrollment is 7,000 full-time students, plus another 7,000 part-time students. There is a department of political science at this university, where many students major in international politics and relations. The UN is a required subject for these students. In addition, there is a teaching section for non-political science majors, which carries out the responsibility for teaching general political knowledge to the students in other departments. Periodic lectures on current international events and developments are held, in which the UN is frequently mentioned. Interested students and teachers attend these lectures and feel free to argue with the main speakers. If something important happens at the UN, students are given access to detailed information not only in their political knowledge classes but also in public lectures. What is interesting, however, is that there are at least ten foreign teachers and about thirty foreign students working at STU every year. They are often invited to give seminars on whatever they would like to talk about. Sometimes they speak about the UN so that the students obtain knowledge about it from their perspectives.
China's Involvement with UN Specialized Agencies
In pursuing economic reforms and development, China has maintained effective and satisfactory cooperation with all UN agencies, which, in return, have helped China with its social progress. As a member of the UN Security Council, China has made its contribution to the exercise and vindication of UN rights together with other member states. Having the largest population in the world, China has received understanding and support from the UN Population Council during the process of implementing family planning. Great progress has been made in the joint program undertaken by China and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Fund for Population, and the World Health Organization, which aims at providing adequate medical care for every citizen in China by the year 2000. Additionally, China has achieved a great deal in developing education, science, and culture under the guidance of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Many international conferences sponsored by the UN are held in China, concerned with a variety of areas. All of these facts are stressed in education about the UN. Other UN agencies familiar to Chinese students are the UN Economic and Social Council, the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Labour Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, the UN Development Program, and the UN Environment Program.
Education about the UN in China has served as a bridge linking China and the UN as well as a window through which the Chinese students have observed various world developments. It is expected that as a large country, China will play a more significant part in the international community and will have more efficient cooperation with the UN. All of this cannot be separated from effective education of the UN. China is doing its part.
Wu Jianqiang is an administrator at Shandong Teacher's University, China. He is currently engaged in postgraduate studies in vocational education at Nottingham University, England.