Edition 180 - April 2016

China - New national report on quality in higher education

China’s Ministry of education (MOE) has released on 7 April a new report on the quality of higher education. The research, which commenced in 2012, involved a joint effort between the MOE and a number of experts from leading universities across the country.

The report shows that China currently hosts 37 million students in higher education- the greatest number of student seats world wide- across 2,824 institutions, with and enrolment rate of 40 percent. For the first time evaluation criteria include dimensions such as training objectives, educational resources, social demands and satisfaction level of both students and private employers.  According to the report expenditures in education have significantly increased, but quality seems to still be lacking behind. Areas that are highlighted to demand improvement include the skills level of teachers, teaching content, a low transfer rate for scientific research into professional applications and a dissatisfaction of employers with practical skills and professional ethics of new graduates.

With more than one third of China’s student body majoring in engineering and about 90 percent of institutions offering course in the subject, education in this field is of particular national importance and a special report has been classified. Developing quality education in the field of engineering is seen as key to advancing the county's industry and ‘Made in China 2025’ agenda that introduces a new era of manufacturing based on future technologies. To remedy some of the shortcoming the government is planning closer collaborations with industry and trade sectors, developing joint talent training plans and MOE recently launched a survey platform with graduate and employer evaluations.

According to a recent press release of the MOE, China will place fairer and equitable access to quality education as a top priority area on its education agenda in the coming five years.  A work report and the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) both stress the importance of educational reform at all levels ranging from preschool to higher education. Particularly private education, offering diversified services, is seen to play a crucial role in advancing national education.

It is to be anticipated how plans to promote professionalization in teaching, encouragement of some universities to transform into vocational schools and a strive to increase employer satisfaction will shape quality characteristics of the education system, and enable Chinese universities to meet world standards. 

Although the report is stated to exist both in Chinese and English language, it is currently is not available on public sources.

Link 1&2 only in Chinese  
Chinese Ministry of Education
Chinese Ministry of Education (more information)
in English 
Chinese Ministry of Education, press release-  priorities of national education agenda

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