At 10:40 Beijing time on 16 November 2018, staff sergeant Wang Yatao of the 92118 troops met with experts in Beijing to finish the bachelors’ degree dissertation defence for the Open University of China (OUC) 2018 Autumn term on the medical ship, Peace Ark. Twenty-three non-commissioned officer students from the army, navy, rocket force, and armed police force participated in the dissertation defence.

Wang Yatao giving a dissertation defence on the Medical Ship, Peace Ark

Professor Zhang Tiejun Questioning Wang Yatao

The Bayi School dissertation combines both on-the-spot and distance online defences. There was an on-the-spot dissertation defence for five army students stationed in Beijing, and online ones for students in Hebei, Fujian, Zhejiang, Liaoning, Henan, and Chongqing, as well as those on overseas mission on the medical ship Peace Ark and in the escort sailing formation in the Gulf of Aden. This flexible methodology allows the non-commissioned officer students to complete their dissertation defence on time and to guarantee that they graduate on time as well.

“The non-commissioned officers don’t need to leave the barracks for either study or examinations. They can also take their dissertation defence at this ‘mobile barracks.’ This flexible method is very convenient”, Wang Yatao said to the Bayi School teachers.

Wang Yatao is an undergraduate student in administrative management at the Bayi School in the spring semester of 2016. On 29 June 2018, he set sail on the medical ship Peace Ark from Zhoushan port in Zhejiang to conduct humanitarian medical services in 11 countries, including Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu, to fulfil the “Harmonious Mission 2018”. Even while he has been overseas, he has kept on studying in active preparation for his dissertation defence. He contacted the school’s dissertation advisor to discuss the outline and writing skills of his dissertation. The topic of his dissertation is Research on the Motivation Mechanism for Non-Commissioned Officers Based on the Two Factor Theory, which was recognised by the panel of reviewers.

Experts from the review panel for Computer Science and Technology

Experts from the review panel for Law Sciences presiding over the defence

Experts from the review panel for Administrative Management and Business Management

Staff sergeant Zhang Songjie making his dissertation defence from the ship

“With the advancement of the objective of strengthening the army, non-commissioned officer students are increasingly committed to training, drills, and field missions, making distance dissertation defence a suitable choice for them. We will positively organise and implement more diversified dissertation defences in order to help non-commissioned officers graduate”, vice president of the Bayi School, Wang Chunli, said.

The review panels for this dissertation defence were made up of experts from the relevant colleges of the National Defence University of the People's Liberation Army. Professor Zhou Wenming, Professor Zhang Tiejun, Professor Luo Yinglv, and Associate Professor Wang Limeng from the College of Joint Logistics, and research fellow Cong Wensheng and associate research fellow Lin Gaosong from the Academy of Military Sciences acted as experts on the review panels for Computer Science and Technology, Administrative Management, Business Management, and Law Sciences, respectively. As experts from the relevant fields of the army, they have been teaching their respective majors for years and have rich experience in dissertation instruction. During the course of the dissertation defences, the experts from the review panels asked serious questions, offered sincere suggestions, and gave meticulously corrections where necessary, so as to help every student to benefit greatly from their dissertation defence.

The dissertation defence ceremony

By Zeng Jianhua, OUC Bayi School