With the passage of time, the ‘born after 2000’ student group has stepped into the university campus and gradually become the main force of the college student cadre team. It has brought many new challenges while playing a huge role. The ‘born after 2000’ student group has distinctive group characteristics under the brand of the times, such as strong self-consciousness, rich material conditions and diverse network behaviour. The management of the college student cadre team needs to make new changes based on the characteristics of the ‘born after 2000’ student group. Therefore, from the perspective of competence, this paper combines the characteristics of the ‘born after 2000’ student group with the competence training and carries out countermeasures research on the competence cultivation of ‘born after 2000’ college student cadres from the four aspects of selection and appointment, education and training, supervision and assessment, reward and incentive, to solve the practical problems in the cultivation of college student cadres under the new situation, and provides some reference for the future-related theoretical research and educational practice.
- ‘born after 2000’ students
- college student cadres
Student cadres play a bridge and link role between college, teachers and students. While receiving education, they also participate in the management of student affairs. They are also the specific organisers, coordinators and implementers of student affairs. They play a huge role in the management of college students. Student cadres need to have communication ability, organisational ability, adaptability, language expression ability and a sense of identity for the position. In the student group, they need to play an exemplary and service role. With the rapid increase of the number of students in colleges and universities, student organisations continue to grow and contradictions become increasingly prominent. How to cultivate talents in colleges and universities? What kind of person can better handle student affairs? What are the significant differences between excellent student cadres and ordinary student cadres in the types of competence and performance level? All of these have become important research topics of university management. With the increasing proportion of ‘born after 2000’ students in college student cadres, it has also greatly changed the thinking and behaviour mode of college student cadres. From the perspective of competence, selecting and cultivating ‘born after 2000’ student cadres with high competence has important strategic significance. Because it can help them grow into talents, deepen the education of the core value of Chinese socialism, promote the campus civilisation construction and promote the reform of China’s higher education.
In 1973, McCelland first put forward the concept of competence. He defined competence as an individual characteristic that can distinguish excellent performance from general performance in a certain job. Competence can be reliably calculated or measured, such as motivation, attitude, values, knowledge, behaviour and skills . After that, it soon became a research hotspot and was widely used in the field of management, especially in the field of human resource management, education and medicine. It can be said that the competence model is an important basis and technical premise for the implementation of various functions in human resource management. Spencer believes that competence refers to the internal characteristics of individuals associated with excellent job performance . Chinese scholars have also conducted in-depth research on competence. Chen and Zhao believe that competence is the key feature that can distinguish between general performance and outstanding performance . Wang and Chen point out that competence includes knowledge, values, motivation and other characteristics, which is conducive to the production of higher management performance . Chen et al. propose a student cadres competence model that includes fourteen competences such as teamwork, leadership, affinity, problem-solving, humour, self-confidence, respect, conflict management, enthusiasm, self-control, communication ability, learning ability, initiative and influence .
Therefore, this paper holds that competence refers to the excellent characteristics of individuals who can distinguish general performance from an excellent performance in practical work. Competence includes not only explicit features such as knowledge and skills but also implicit features such as values and personality traits. Meanwhile, scholars have reached a certain consensus on the positive significance of competence to the cultivation of student cadres. The application of competence to the work of college student cadres is conducive to providing a scientific basis for the selection, training, supervision and assessment of ‘born after 2000’ college student cadres, meeting the various needs of ‘born after 2000’ college student cadres under the new situation, improving the comprehensive qualities of student cadres, and laying a solid foundation for the ‘born after 2000’ student cadres to move towards the society.
College student cadres refer to the students who hold certain positions in the college student group and assist the school in management. They mainly include class cadres, party and league cadres, student union cadres and student association cadres. Student cadre team is the main body of students to realise self-education, self-management and self-service. It represents excellent young students and is also the backbone of student management. It plays an important role in student education and management.
‘Born after 2000’ refers to the new generation born from 00:00 on 1 January 2000 to 23:59 on 31 December 2009. Most of them are the only children. In the Chinese mainland, ‘born after 2000’ students were born in the era of material enrichment after China’s reform and opening. As a matter of fact, the first generation of ‘born after 2000’ students are moving towards colleges and universities.
It is necessary to cultivate and train the ‘born after 2000’ student cadres with excellent political quality, solid professional quality and outstanding comprehensive ability. It requires us to accurately grasp the characteristics of the times of ‘born after 2000’ student cadres, constantly improve the training mechanism of student cadres, and effectively improve the comprehensive qualities of ‘born after 2000’ student cadres.
Strong self-awareness is the most significant feature of the ‘born after 2000’ student group. Compared with the ‘born after 1980s’ and ‘born after 1990s’ student groups, the family conditions of the ‘born after 2000’ student group are richer. They are Internet aborigines and good at using mobile Internet tools to receive rich information resources. They are the new generation group born in the rapid development of the Internet. Therefore, ‘born after 2000’ college students have strong self-awareness, more distinctive personality and active thinking in work. They are rich in innovative consciousness and pay attention to their own emotional experience and realise personal values , but they are also too concerned about the views and evaluation of others, lack a certain spirit of dedication, and have different degrees of utilitarianism. However, the ‘born after 2000’ student group has more active thinking and more extensive interests and is easy to accept all kinds of new things and new experiences. Therefore, the ‘born after 2000’ student group has greater plasticity .
‘Born after 2000’ students are facing great challenges in the process of changing the role of student cadres. They need to coordinate the time division of learning and work tasks, and need to change from students to cadres in the face of the rapid transformation of identity. In addition, the student cadres do not pay attention to their own image and sometimes violate the rules. All of these will damage the prestige of student cadres, and eventually lead to their inability to carry out student work, and put themselves and student work in a dilemma. On the one hand, ‘born after 2000’ student cadres are prone to self-centred, individualistic supremacy and other misconceptions, which lead to the lack of collective consciousness, leading to the failure of student organisations to form a joint force and the lack of a better mass base for cadres . According to the survey of some college students, most students think that college student cadres lack the necessary sense of responsibility, and the sense of service is not strong enough, which is one of the places where college students generally hope that student cadres can improve. The conflict between individuals and collective roles is obvious. On the other hand, student cadres need to play the dual roles of educator and manager. Some ‘born after 2000’ student cadres cannot adapt to the tense and fast-paced work and life of students. They are not familiar with the work with management nature and are not strong in execution. They are in a passive acceptance state. At the same time, they are faced with academic pressure and are difficult to deal with their study, work and life. Because of the lack of self-discipline, the student cadres themselves cannot fulfil the requirements of the school. The conflict between the role of the educated and the role of the manager is significant, and there are feelings of fear of difficulty, conflict and even a sense of escapism.
Based on the competence theory, the competence of college student cadres is the intersection of the characteristics of school organisation environment, the abilities and qualities of post requirements, and their own abilities. Student cadres need to increase the intersection, strive to be competent for their posts, obtain good work performance, and promote personal rapid development . At present, there are still some deficiencies in the abilities and qualities of the ‘born after 2000’ student cadres, such as cognition, belief, motivation, knowledge and skills. There is a certain gap between them and the post standard in many aspects. The ‘born after 2000’ student cadres have not formed a clear understanding of themselves, especially the deep-level characteristics such as values and motivation, and do not know that they are far away from a qualified student. There are many problems, such as low task completion, low work efficiency, poor team cooperation, and weak service awareness and so on.
At present, there are still many problems in the cultivation of student cadres in colleges and universities. Some student cadres cannot meet the corresponding competence requirements, which leads to the ineffective performance of the functions of the management organisation and affects the operation and management of the school. How to maximise the potential of college student cadres and improve the quality and level of personnel training is an urgent problem to be solved.
Under the new era, general secretary Xi Jinping puts forward new specific requirements for the cadres of the Communist Youth League. Most of the “born after 2000’ student cadres have become League members before they enter college. Therefore, the ‘born after 2000’ student cadres are the main force of the Communist Youth League in the new era. Training and improving the competence of ‘born after 2000’ student cadres is the key to promote students’ personal development, meet the needs of work posts and effectively stimulate work efficiency . Competence can measure the personality characteristics of different people, distinguish outstanding student cadres, dynamically analyse personal development, and effectively predict the future work performance of student cadres. Colleges and universities can incorporate competence into the selection, training and assessment system so that there is evidence to rely on. Student cadres can establish the direction of future growth and development based on competence . There are still many problems in the current assessment of student cadres in colleges and universities, which are difficult to meet the new requirements in the new era, mainly as follows.
In the selection of student cadres in colleges and universities, it is generally carried out within the organisation members through competitive employment. Follow the principles of fairness, impartiality and openness, organisation members select competent, knowledgeable and capable student management talents. The selection process is mostly organised by students and elected by personal recommendation, interview and defence, democratic voting and other methods. In the selection process, there is a lack of scientific, systematic, specific and quantifiable evaluation standards. The refinement, ideals and beliefs cannot be effectively measured . There is no unified standard for the selection mechanism among various organisational departments. The selection relies on the opinions of teachers and former student cadres, and voters are likely to choose candidates who are familiar with themselves or have good relations with themselves, which has great subjective randomness . At the same time, the existing selection methods will also be more beneficial to students with an open character, good eloquence and strong interpersonal skills. It is likely to cover up some potential problems and shortcomings. Some student cadres who are usually down-to-earth but lack eloquence and are not good at expressing themselves have no advantages and may be eliminated. Therefore, there are many unreasonable aspects in the current selection methods, that reduce the democracy and fairness of the selection work, and it is difficult to select the candidates who match the jobs.
Most colleges and universities have not formed a scientific and perfect training mechanism for student cadres, and the training contents are too general and lack pertinence. This kind of training has no practical effect and wastes training resources, which cannot improve the management level and management ability of student cadres.
At present, the cultivation of student cadres in colleges and universities mainly adopts the traditional way of ‘teaching, helping and guiding’ by teachers in charge and former student cadres. It lacks scientific overall planning and fails to form a systematic training system. On the one hand, it pays more attention to tradition than innovation, and mechanically follows the previous or old working methods, which inhibits students’ innovative thinking. On the other hand, it pays more attention to the results than to the cultivation, and there are some problems such as the one-sided pursuit of work achievements and neglect of students’ personal development. Therefore, students cannot balance their study and work, and they are difficult to find their own orientation and future development direction, which leads to confusion in their actual study and work. The training contents are not updated in time. Most of them focus on the ideological and political, system learning, work standards and other aspects, which cannot really develop the competence potential of student cadres. It is difficult to make student cadres keep their working enthusiasm continuously rising, and it is also possible to curb their innovative consciousness and innovative thinking.
At present, a small number of core student cadres hold the vast majority of power, and lack of effective supervision in the process of exercising power, which is prone to abuse of power, seek privileges and pursue bureaucracy. In fact, there is a lack of independent supervision department to supervise them . The members of student organisations dare not supervise and the teachers in charge are unable to understand the truth. In terms of the evaluation mechanism, the assessment and evaluation system which can accurately reflect the work efficiency of student cadres has not been established. Most of them adopt the methods of activity observation and centralised discussion, lack of specific performance measurement standards, and the phenomenon of being not open, opaque and unclear occurs from time to time, which makes it difficult to objectively and accurately evaluate individual performance, thus reducing the management level of student cadres.
The following principles should be established in the cultivation of the competence of ‘born after 2000’ college student cadres: the selection and appointment of student cadres should match the characteristics of post competence and personnel; the training and development should combine the education and training objectives with the needs of personal growth and posts, to achieve the joint development of people and posts; the assessment and evaluation should combine the work performance with the post objectives, and optimise the personnel and posts. Faced with the new characteristics of ‘born after 2000’ student cadres, and the prominence and importance of college student cadres in student work under the new situation, colleges and universities should build a competence-based selection, training, supervision and assessment system of student cadres, improve the management level of student cadres, cultivate systematic student cadres, and actively promote the implementation of the fundamental task of moral education in colleges and universities in the new era.
In the human quality and ability model, the top knowledge and skills are relatively easy to develop, but the potential quality is difficult to cultivate. Instead of developing a person’s basic quality, it is better to consider it when competing for employment. According to the characteristics of competence, the colleges and universities should investigate the implicit competence characteristics of student cadres, including self-positioning, values, personality traits and so on. The selected student cadres must have clear self-orientation, correct values and perfect personality traits, so they are all student cadres with perfect recessive competence, which lays a foundation for the cultivation of student cadres. The outlook on life and values of the ‘born after 2000’ students tend to be realistic, and there are some phenomena such as strong utilitarianism, blindly following the trend and seeking privileges.
In the process of selection and appointment of ‘born after 2000’ student cadres, first of all, it is necessary to clarify the selection intention, establish the purpose of serving students as the standard, and guide students to participate in student organisations rationally. Secondly, colleges and universities should determine the required competence according to different positions, analyse and determine the post competence standard jointly by the leaders in charge, instructors and student cadres, and clarify the post responsibility and work authority. Finally, based on the competence requirements of different posts, colleges and universities should formulate scientific and strict selection contents and procedures, pay attention to the comprehensive consideration of explicit quality and implicit quality, and through a variety of tests on learning ability, working ability, moral quality, the quality of sense of responsibility and sense of service should be inspected. The student congress and graduate congress should be taken as the carrier to carry out democratic evaluation and accept the supervision of people to ensure fairness and openness.
To improve the education and training system of ‘born after 2000’ student cadres, colleges and universities should start from the competence requirements of different posts, adhere to the goal-oriented, and carry out service-oriented and systematic training programmes to help student cadres find their own learning and working methods and improve their comprehensive quality while establishing correct concepts. For example, for new student cadres who are not familiar with the work business and environment, colleges and universities can build an experience-sharing platform, carry out experience exchange meetings, let experienced and outstanding student cadres impart experience, answer questions and solve doubts. For middle-level student cadres who have certain experience and ability, but the enthusiasm, sense of responsibility and sense of service will decline and are also in the critical period of future development. Therefore, colleges and universities should strengthen the sense of responsibility education, achievement education, career planning and so on, so as to promote the self-development of student cadres. The ‘born after 2000’ student cadres are deeply influenced by the Internet. Colleges and universities should actively utilise WeChat’s official account, Tiktok and micro-blog to enrich the educational form and content, and develop the subjective initiative. Colleges and universities should develop activities that are popular with ‘born after 2000’ students, stimulate their interest in learning, explore their potentials, and effectively enhance the competence of student cadres. The education and training system of student cadres is shown in Figure 1.
Through the in-depth training of student cadres in colleges and universities, we can make them aware of their own lack of ability and make up for their own shortcomings. At the same time, we can consider different individuals, and realise the improvement of management ability and training efficiency.
The fundamental difference of competence lies in the differences of characteristics and work behaviour between excellent performance and ordinary performance. The performance assessment of college student cadres is not only the test of the competence level of student cadres but also the test of the selection and training of student cadres. To carry out the performance assessment of student cadres in colleges and universities, we should first design the performance assessment index, make clear the target, and implement the quantitative assessment. However, assessment is not the purpose, the key lies in the evaluation. In the process of a quantitative assessment of various indicators, the work results of student cadres are investigated from multiple perspectives, and then the assessment results of student cadres are evaluated. Through the evaluation of work performance, one can find out the lack of knowledge, skills, comprehensive ability, and the need to carry out more targeted self-improvement in future work.
The ‘born after 2000’ student cadres have strong self-awareness and active thinking, and are prone to bureaucratism, utilitarianism, self-centred and other wrong ideas. It is necessary to combine the characteristics of the ‘born after 2000’ students with the post competence requirements, establish and improve the scientific and standardised supervision mechanism and evaluation mechanism, and dynamically evaluate the competence of student cadres. Students, student cadres, instructors and leaders in charge should be included in the supervision and assessment mechanism. Various ways should be adopted, such as a forum, work report, questionnaire survey and mutual evaluation of cadres. The basic indicators of post competence requirements include post cognition, work performance, academic performance, moral cultivation, to stimulate the enthusiasm of student cadres, establish their responsibility and service consciousness firmly, eliminate one-sided or wrong cognition and encourage them to be outstanding representative of the student group. At the same time, according to the results of supervision and assessment, colleges and universities should carry out rewards and punishments in time. Student cadres with outstanding achievements and widely praised should be rewarded and commended. Student cadres with negative work, students and teachers’ disgust and low quality should be criticised and educated. If serious, their posts should be adjusted or removed.
In the student cadre team at all levels, colleges and universities should set up supervision organisations and strengthen the value guidance of ‘born after 2000’ student cadre team by democratic supervision, to promote the student cadre team to rationally understand themselves, actively improve their ability and scientifically perform their duties. In the suppression of deviant words and deeds of student cadres, we should maintain the advanced nature of ‘born after 2000’ student cadres in universities. The establishment and improvement of democratic supervision mechanism can not only promote the recognition of the majority of students to the ‘born after 2000’ student cadre team but also promote the internal supervision of the ‘born after 2000’ student cadre team so that excellent performance, noble morality, helping others and possessing outstanding ability should become the common value pursuit of all student cadres.
‘Born after 2000’ student cadres pursue the satisfaction of personalised needs and the realisation of self-worth and have great enthusiasm and motivation for the things they recognise and love. To strengthen the effective incentive mechanism, colleges and universities should start from the characteristics of the ‘born after 2000’ student cadres, stimulate their internal potential, make them have continuous innovation and work enthusiasm, pay attention to the process of work rather than just the results. Colleges and universities should also pay attention to the future growth and needs of students, and enhance their sense of achievement and satisfaction of self-development. Therefore, the first is to carry out commendation at multiple levels and widely carry out publicity work. At the school level, colleges and universities can establish the selection of school level excellent student cadres, merit students and social work scholarship. Colleges and universities should create a positive and healthy culture of student cadres. The construction of student cadres should set an excellent example for students, actively publicise the typical deeds of excellent student cadres, and positively encourage student cadres. At the college level, colleges and universities can establish the selection of social work excellence award, excellent minister and excellent department member. The second is to give priority to the development of joining the party. Excellent student cadres with outstanding competence and active application for party membership shall be recommended and considered. The third is to give strong support for excellent student cadres in their future development, such as establishing the system of recommending graduate students to be free from examination for them and enhancing their self-efficacy.
Based on the competence, combined with the characteristics of the “born after 2000” student group, this paper researches the countermeasures to cultivate and enhance the competence of the ‘born after 2000’ student cadres, deeply analyses the problems existing in the training of the ‘born after 2000’ student cadres, and puts forward targeted and reasonable countermeasures and suggestions. In the new era, competence has become the necessary comprehensive quality of college student cadres, which plays a positive role in promoting the self-development and self-improvement of ‘born after 2000’ student cadres and promoting the ‘personnel job matching’ of college student work. It is of great significance to establish a selection, training, supervision, assessment and incentive system based on competence for improving the management level of colleges and universities. The future research should carry out extensive research on how to build a general and effective competence model of college student cadres, and how to effectively apply the competence to the training system of student cadres, to provide theoretical guidance for building a contingent of student cadres with excellent quality and outstanding ability and promoting the effective development of student work in colleges and universities.