The Basic Education Department of Central Academy of Fine Arts（CAFA） was established in 2001. CAFA was the first academy among academies of fine arts in China to set up a unified basic education department. Undergraduates who are enrolled to the discipline of plastic arts at CAFA are supposed to enter the Basic Education Department to study for one year. With qualified grades at the end of the period, and based on the overall ranking of the major courses and general courses, students are supposed to fill in the application form and are assigned to Oil Painting Department, Printmaking Department, Sculpture Department, and Mural Painting Department to continue their study.
The Basic Education Department of the discipline of plastic arts first focuses on developing students' ideological and moral character. Combined with the unified ideological and political teaching of the whole school, the Basic Education Department pays more attention to cultivating students’ sense of collective and team cooperation, helping students to integrate individualism into the new era of social development and change and establish correct view of life and values, and guiding students to make correct choices and judgments on the road of art and life in the future. Secondly, the Basic Education Department conducts teaching by centering upon the basic understanding of generalities and artistic quality requirements of the majors of plastic arts. Eight major courses are set: sketch, color, spring sketch, structural anatomy, clay sculpture, perspective, calligraphy, and traditional line drawing. The setting of these courses reflects the educational concept of “broad basics”.
The Basic Education Department attaches great importance to cultivating students’ overall ability in plastic arts, tries to incorporate the different ideologies and perceptions of Eastern and Western plastic arts into the teaching, and guides students to understand the artistic concepts under different cultural backgrounds. This not only inherits the excellent cultural traditions of the Chinese nation, but also deepens students’ understanding and practice of plastic arts. Eventually students are able to understand their own characteristics and strengths from the perspective of their major and choose their major orientation in a more rational way.
The Basic Education Department of the discipline of plastic arts aims to provide students with all-round training and improvement in one-year study by means of ideological establishment and major teaching so as to deliver art talents with solid skills and fine integrate quality for all majors of the discipline of plastic arts.