Edison Yan - CEO & Cofounder of GEC Academy

In January 2022, we invited our Academic committee chair, Edison Yan, to share his story, insights and expectations for 2022.

Edison Yan - CEO & Cofounder of GEC Academy

For the past five years of development, with the enduring support of our faculties across the world, here welcomes its 5-year-old birthday at GEC Academy. An infant idea of connecting students and educators for better access to opportunities, watered by consistent faith, passion, and commitment, grows to what GEC is today, offering project-based learning and teaching opportunities for 12,000 students and 1000 professors and educators every year.

GEC’s mission, which has evolved over years, stays true and unchanged to its originality: to promote cross-cultural communication and exchanges by educating young students to serve, to lead, and to succeed in the future. We believe that when education transcends borders, it opens minds, enabling people to go beyond building connections to solving problems together.

When GEC Academy was founded 5 years ago, we couldn’t imagine the environment we now inhabit. The pandemic marks a period in which online education technologies become more important than at any time in history. At the same time, a rapidly changing world is running towards us, with no brake to stamp, that calls for young students today to embrace new technologies, new ideas, new subjects, new challenges, new environment, and interdisciplinary requests to prepare for the future.

With years of commitment to bridging the domestic Chinese students to the international education resources, the knowledge on the book to the practical world, and the conventional in-person classroom to the remote online teaching technologies, GEC Academy is pleased to witness the increasing numbers of students and instructors across the world benefited from its organization of project-based courses. And more importantly, an engaged international study community was built up, empowering both students and educators to explore the new model of learning and teaching in the disruptive global pandemic environment. At its 5th anniversary of creation, GEC Academy has developed dramatically with the trust and support from students and educators across the country, and the other parts of the world. Looking back, for the past 5 years, GEC’s founding team has grown from the very first four young graduates from American universities, who had seeds in mind to promote experiencing teaching and learning, to a 300-people professional team across China in 7 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, etc. Looking forward, GEC is ready to continue its effort to provide an efficient and inclusive platform, with a high level of academic integrity, to interconnect students and educators on diverse knowledge fields, in preparation for the competence of today’s young students for the future.

Every piece of the effort counts.

In 2022, faculty facilitation and support will be, as always, of our best interest. GEC Academy will continue its effort to listen to our faculty’s suggestions and reflections based on their teaching experience and expert views, to make sure this is always a comfortable and supportive place to teach, with high integrity standards. We will keep the constructive and proactive format of our faculty roundtable seminars to synchronize best teaching practices and new research findings among our faculties.

In 2022, student satisfaction and competence building will be, as always, of our highest pursuit. GEC Academy will continue its efforts to collect subject topics of students’ interests by interviews, questionnaires, market investigation, and statistical analysis to make sure this is always a useful and supportive place to learn cutting-edge knowledge and skills in need for future, and of course, to meet with their peer colleagues in the teamwork environment, which could end up with unique friendship beyond GEC experience.

In 2022, professionalism and interdisciplinary research-oriented curriculum design will be, as always, of our simplest direction. GEC Academy will continue its efforts to work with local universities, schools, education experts, counselors, and administrators, to explore the best model to enforce the international exchange into the local teaching practices. The innovative methods and technical prototypes of teaching practices at GEC Academy could be good pilots and demonstrations to summarize useful innovative teaching models, that will be accessible to its partners and collaborators.

In 2022, teaching and learning for global humanitarian purposes will be, as always, of our definite vision. Living in this high-paced world, we are encountered with full of changes. Global challenges, such as global warming, covid-19 pandemic, misunderstanding and conflict, unfairness, and poverty, are all lying on the top of human society’s to-do list that today’s students need to prepare themselves beyond their educational background, race, and nationalities. Today, students need to be equipped with critical thinking, communications, socioemotional and language skills in order to work effectively with their counterparts around the world. Understanding and appreciating our diverse background and the rest of the world, including different cultures, histories, religions, and points of view, are essential elements of the next generation.

In 2022, we still believe that action speaks louder than words. GEC Academy is a young team, yet the GEC community, together with its students served and faculty members on board, we can make a difference. Effective international exchange and communication play an especially critical role in bridging the gap and minding the misunderstanding. Global and cultural competencies for our young students are in need, which comprises the knowledge and skills individuals need to be successful in today’s interconnected world and to fully engage in and act on issues of global significance.

Difficult and long way to go as it is, let’s keep calm and carry on, from where we started five years ago, from now.