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State Council eyes world-class higher education

Updated: Nov 5,2015 11:50 AM

China plans to build a series of world-class universities and disciplines in as short as five years, according to a State Council document released on Nov 5, which vowed increasing financial support and stronger performance management.

The new policy is expected to tackle problems such as solidified status, redundant construction and lack of competition, brought about by the current official higher education programs of “985” and “211”, which were initiated by the government in the 1990s to build world-class institutions of higher education.

According to the document, a number of universities and disciplines will work to edge up to the world’s top level by 2020. The number will further increase by 2030, with a significant increase in the overall education quality. By mid-century, the quantity and quality of China’s top-class universities and disciplines should be among the front-runners of the world.

The State Council urged improving the quality of university teaching staff and their research capabilities through optimized internal management and enhanced international cooperation. It also encouraged the cultivation of more innovators and the transformation of scientific achievements into industrial output.

The education authority will have five-year sub-plans for the blueprint starting in 2016, which will also get endorsed through special funds from central financial departments. The mechanism of third-party assessment will also be adopted to monitor the spending of funds and the performance of universities.

Furthermore, the State Council called on various government departments and enterprises to participate in the initiative.