Singapore University of Social Sciences

Innovation Spirit in Shenzhen

Innovation Spirit in Shenzhen (OEL330)

Applications Open: To be confirmed

Applications Close: To be confirmed

Next Available Intake: To be confirmed

Course Types: To be confirmed

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Linguistics and Languages, Business Administration, International Trade, Science and Technology

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: College of Interdisciplinary & Experiential Learning


The objective of OEL330 is to provide students with the conceptual tools and learning experiences to develop a deeper understanding of innovation spirit in Shenzhen vis-à-vis the progress of China’s reformation plan. This objective will be achieved through a combination of experiential learning, elearning, classroom activities, and participation in an overseas trip to Shenzhen, China. 40 years ago, Shenzhen was called Baoan County (now a district of this city), nothing but only a barren village inhabited by farmers and fishermen. Its eventual designation as one of the four special economic zones in China saw its GDP climb to the 3rd place in the country within merely 4 decades, and establishing several Chinese “firsts”: the first stock certificate, the first theme park, the first millionaire on mainland China, the first joint-stock commercial bank, the first real-estate agency, and the first McDonald’s. This accomplishment was achieved through maintaining a fine balancing act between reformatory policies at the national level and innovative practices amongst its residents. In this course, students will have the opportunities to witness various manifestations of Shenzhen’s innovative spirit, to observe how this spirit flows through the conduct of its residents, and most importantly, to reflect on its relationship to the larger reformative movement that enveloped China over the past few decades. This would allow them to better appreciate what is meant by the Socialism with Chinese Characteristics”.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every January


  • Experiential learning
  • A brief history of Shenzhen
  • Shenzhen’s innovative spirit
  • The Chinese reformation movement
  • Shenzhen’s role in China’s reformation
  • Deng Xiaoping and Socialism with Chinese Characteristics
  • TMT industries in Shenzhen
  • Innovative practices in business, education, and policy formulation
  • Talent management approaches
  • Shenzhen’s role in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area
  • Shenzhen’s transformation from piracy to innovation
  • Shenzhen slogans

Learning Outcome

  • Identify the key characteristics of Chinese socialism
  • Examine the role that Deng Xiaoping played in China’s reformation
  • Explain how Shenzhen’s approach towards innovation differ or resemble that which is found in western socities
  • Apply social scientific perspectives to relate Shenzhen’s innovative spirit to Chinese reformation
  • Deconstruct preconceptions about China and its approaches towards innovation
  • Analyse how reformation policies and innovative practices shape one another
  • Construct new ways to relate Shenzhen’s innovative spirit to Chinese reformation
  • Verify new interpretations with local stakeholders
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