Comparison of Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Curriculum of Universities in China and Ethiopia

Getaye Aytenew, Chang Chen


In this paper, a comparative evaluation of the undergraduate program of Chemical Engineering curriculums of Chinese and Ethiopian universities was performed. The study employed systematic qualitative methods to synthesize the current qualitative researches into an explanatory process. To comprehend the Chemical Engineering curriculum structure in two countries, a survey of courses from each country institution is presented. Since both countries use harmonized chemical engineering curriculum with their respective institution, top university from each country was taken as a representative sample, Tsinghua University (THU) from China and Addis Ababa University (AAU) from Ethiopia. The major aspects in the comparison were the lengths of the programs, measurement of student workload, practical curriculum, and the ratio of general, core, compulsory and non-compulsory courses. At the THU, the minimum length for the undergraduate program is 4 years, whereas at AAU a minimum of 5 years is expected. While general education courses occupy 70% of the total credit in the THU curriculum showing more emphasis on general courses, the AAU curriculum gives more focus to core courses by allocating 70% of its total credit. The THU curriculum proves to be more flexible, offering more elective courses at different stages of the program; the AAU curriculum has provided the chance for a range of specialty streams offering elective courses in the final year of the program. Thus, it is highly appreciable for both countries’ universities to optimistically add more courses to their present curriculum based on their socio-economic trait, cultural backgrounds, national demands, and resource availabilities.

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)  Email:

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