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Action Scheme for Invigorating Education towards the 21st Century

                                                                                 Ministry of Education, P. R. China

                                                                                       24 December 1998


The Fifteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China set the grandiose goals and trans-century task of socialist modernization, and mapped out the overall plan for implementing the strategies for invigorating China through science and education. To fulfil the task and achieve the goal set by the Fifteenth National Party Congress, to implement the strategy for invigorating China through science and education, this Action Scheme is formulated in order to push forward educational reform and development in a comprehensive way and to improve the quality of the whole nation and enhance its innovative capacity.


With the advent of the new era of reform, opening up and modernization, Mr Deng Xiaoping emphasized time and again, science and education have become the kev to the achievement of socialist modernization with education as the very foundation. At the great moment when the new century is dawning President Jiang Zemin pointed out with penetration, "In today's world, scientific and technological progress marked by the advancement of information techno1ogy happens with each passing day. The speed at which high-tech achievements transform into actual productive forces has become all the faster. The emerging knowledge economy betokens the coming of new and enormous changes in the socio-economic life of mankind. "I the approaching 21st century, since knowledge economy with high-tech at the core will dominate, the comprehensive strength and international competitiveness of the nation will increasingly depend on the level of educational development and innovation in science and technology and knowledge, and educational development will remain a strategic priority. The extensive use of modern information technology in education will engender profound changes in the educational sector, and lifelong education will be a requisite condition for both educational development and social progress, At present, the governments of many countries have made educational invigoration one of their basic policies towards the 21st century, These trends indicate profound changes in the scenario of education in the future. We should lose no time in preparing to meet the new challenges.


Since the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of CPC was convened, education in China has scored remarkable successes. Historical advances have been made in a nine-year compulsory education and eliminating illiteracy among young and middle-aged people. Vocational and adult education has witnessed rapid advancement, the scale of higher education is being steadily enlarged. Reforms of the educational structure and of teaching practices are making progress in a deep-going way; and the physical facilities and staffs of educational institutions are being improved with concomitant enhancement of the quality education. The basic framework of educational legislation has taken preliminary shape. All these achievements have laid a solid foundation for invigorating education in the 21st century. However, the educational development in our country is far from being adequate. The structure and management system of education, the prevailing concepts and methods, and patterns of human resources development are yet to fit in with the demands of modernization. At present and for some time in the near future, the lack of creative talents of the highest caliber is one of the major constraints unfavorably affecting the innovative ability and competitiveness of the nation. Therefore, to invigorate education is the objective and pressing demand of socialist modernization and national revival as well as a move to accommodate the needs of the times. We will hold high the great banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory, conscientiously follow Deng's strategic guiding principle of "gearing education to modernization, to the world, and to the future" , ands seize the opportunity, deepen reforms , and advance with dashing spirit to push forward education in China , full of vigor and vitality, in its march towards the 21st century.


The Action Scheme for Invigorating Education Towards the 21st Century is our blueprint for educational reform and development for the new millennium. We must make overall planning with priorities highlighted and implementation stressed. It has been conceived as an instrument for implementing the Education Law of the People's Republic of China and is an outgrowth of the Guidelines for the Reform and Development of Education in China. Overall planning, proper selection of priorities , grasping firmly the key issues and placing emphasis on implementation constitute its salient features.


The major objectives of this Action Scheme are as follows:


It is envisaged that by the year 2000 9-year compulsory education will be made basically universal throughout the country, and in the meantime, illiteracy will be basically eliminated among young and middle-aged adults, and significant advances will have been made in implementing suzhi jiaoyu (EQO education) [translator's note's a term of high currency in Chinese educational literature , which is tentatively rendered as essential-qualities-oriented (EQO) education]. The system of vocational education and training and the system of continuing education are to be improved so that all new members of the urban and rural work force and all people in employment will have unhampered access to educational and training programs of all types and levels. Higher education will be actively and steadily developed, and the participation rates of the corresponding age cohort in higher education will reach 11% or so. Targeting at the objectives of the state innovation system, a group of highly qualified and innovative professionals will be fostered through training. Research and development will be strengthened in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to enable high-tech-based enterprises affiliated with universities to contribute to the cultivation of new growth points in economic development. Efforts will be made to deepen reforms and establish a basic framework for a new educational system that actually meets the needs of the economic and social development of the country.


Based on the overall realization of the "two basic" objectives, that is, the universalization of nine-year compulsory schooling and the elimination of illiteracy among young and middle-aged people, by the year 2010, upper secondary education will have been popularized in urban and economically developed areas by steps. The average duration of schooling received by the Chinese people will catch up with that attained by the more advanced developing countries. University participation rates will approach 15% with considerable enlargement of the scale of higher education. Quite a few higher education institutions and a number of key disciplinary areas or fields of study will play or nearly play the role of first-rate institutions and centers of excellence of their kinds in the world. A lifelong learning system will be established in the main and provide plentiful expertise support and knowledge innovation to the state innovation system and the modernization drive.


Implementing the "Trans-century EQO Education Project" and Enhance the Quality of the Nation


1. To realize the "two basic" objectives as scheduled by the year 2000 constitutes the "top priority" of national educational undertakings. We are now at the crucial stage of this process , and the realization of the national objectives must be ensured. The central and westen parts of the country make up the key and most difficult areas in universalizing compulsory education.


Efforts will be made to continue implementing the" National Compulsory Education Project in Poverty- stricken Areas", concentrating on mountainous, pastoral and border areas. Efforts will be made to further strengthen educational inspection and improve the inspection agencies and their working procedures so as to ensure the quality of "two basics" and the smooth implementation of EQO education.


2. EQO education will be promoted earnestly in all educational sectors so as to improve the quality of the nation and enhance its innovative capacity through implementation of the "Trans-century EQO Education Project". We will carry out reforms in curricular and the evaluation system so that by the year 2000 a framework and standards of basic education curricular will have taken preliminary shape and progress made in reforming the content and methods of teaching, in promoting a new system of evaluation, in the in-service training of teachers, and in launching experiments on new school curricula. It is envisaged that on the basis of experiments extending over ten years or so, we will be enabled to implement a new system of basic education curricula and teaching materials for the 21st century throughout the country.


3. We should strengthen moral education and improve moral education in schools. We should continue to strengthen education in patriotism, collectivism and socialist ideals, intensify education in the rule of law and in discipline, and foster the sense of public morals. We will carry forward education in the fine tradition of the Chinese nation and in our revolutionary tradition. We should also conduct education in labor skills and mental health. Thus our students will be brought up with fine morality, sound mentality and lofty sentiments.


4. Physical and aesthetic education, being important components of EQO education, should be strengthened. We should help all students to develop a strong physique. Aesthetic education not only can enrich students with lofty ideals but can also stimulate their interest in study, promote their intellectual development, and enhance their creativity. With the operational Rules on Aesthetic Education in Educational Institutions being issued, and with progress made in deepening reforms and in improving relevant facilities, it is envisaged that by the year 2001, scientifically sounder systems of physical and aesthetic education will have taken preliminary shape. An important feature of these systems is the dovetailing of physical and aesthetic education provided in schools at all levels. Beside, efforts will be made to ensure schools of all types and levels staffed with an adequate number of qualified teachers of physical and aesthetic education to guarantee the quality of instruction.


5. EQO education should be closely attended to from early childhood. Scientific methodology should be adopted to develop young children's intelligence, physical fitness, good habits, lively personality and a keen desire for knowledge.


Due attention should be given to the education of people with special learning needs. We should render efforts to provide access to schooling for disabled children, to inculcate in them the spirit of independence and self-improvement, and to enhance. their living and developing capacities.


6. We should keep enlarging the scale of educational programs for ethnic minority students in inland educational institutions to promote quality improvement for all minority groups. At the stage of basic education , we should strive to run well the existing inland classes (schools) for minority people from border areas and properly enlarge their scale of operation. The inland HEIs should make greater contributions to the training of highly qualified professionals for ethnic minorities. Due attention should be given to strengthening bilingual education and teachers' training in minority areas.


7. A system of legal decrees and regulations for Chinese language work needs be instituted and improved and language work should be promoted in a systematic way. An important component of EQO education in schools of all types and levels in general, and in primary and secondary schools and teacher training institutions in particular is the endeavor to speak well putonghua (common speech) , to write well standard Chinese characters , and to enhance the ability of both teachers and students in the practical use of written and spoken Chinese. Macro-level management of information processing for both ethnic Han Chinese and minority languages should be strengthened. The whole society should strive to raise their consciousness of using normative language and characters in accordance with the existing legal provisions. By the year 2010, standard language and character usage should have been basically realized throughout the country, fitting in with the needs of economical, social and cultural development in our socialist construction.


Improving Energetically the Quality of Teachers through Implementation of "Gardeners' Promotion Project Across the Centuries"


8. Great efforts should be taken to improve the overall quality of teachers with particular stress laid on developing teachers' professional ethics. Within the next three years efforts will be made to provide diversified in-service and continuing education programs for the entire body of school principals and full-time school teachers, and an endeavor will be made to consolidate and perfect the system of job-related training for school principals and the system of prior certification for them. We should strengthen the development of teaching materials for the continuing education of school teachers. Training in computer literacy fundamentals should be provided for all full-time school teachers and student teachers enrolled in teacher training programs. In areas with the necessary conditions full-time teachers in primary schools should have at least two-year post-secondary education , and those of lower secondary schools should at least have completed first-degree level undergraduate education around 2010. In economically developed areas , recipients of master's degrees should constitute a certain proportion of the full-time teachers and principals of upper secondary schools. Efforts should be made to strengthen and reform teacher education in order to improve the initial training of prospective teachers. It is incumbent on all the stronger HEIs to make their contribution to the initial and in-service training of school teachers.


9. Great importance should be attached to development of a contingent of backbone teachers. In the period l999-2000 , 100 , 000 backbone teachers from primary, general secondary and vocational schools are to be selected for training, and l0,000 among them will be given special training organized by the Ministry of Education. These backbone teachers will play a leading role in local pedagogical reforms through school-based experiments, lecturing tours, seminars, training workshops, and exchanges with teachers and trainees from other schools. These activities will effectively disseminate the knowledge and skills of the backbone teachers.


10. With respect to the employment of school teachers, a system of employment based a contract will be adopted to cover the entire school faculty. Periodic assessment of teachers' performance will be conducted, and vacancies in teaching positions will be filled through competitive applications so as to enhance the qualities of the faculty. Around the year 2000, schools will be run with higher efficiency with staff quality being improved through raising the pupil-teacher (as well as pupil-staff) ratios and dismissing unqualified and diverting the redundant members to other jobs. The channel of recruiting new teachers should be broadened to include graduates from non-teacher-training tertiary institutions who are qualified to be teachers, so as to improve the structural composition of the contingent of teachers.


The problem of the shortage of teachers in schools located in remote and poverty-stricken areas must be attentively tackled. The system that graduates from teacher training schools should render their services in those areas for a designated period is to be further improved. Graduates from HEIs (including non-teacher- training ones) are encouraged to teach in remote and poor rural areas on a rotational basis and they shall enjoy preferential treatment in remuneration as stipulated by the government. Civil servants working in governmental agencies at all levels are encouraged to teach in schools.


Implementing "High-level Creative Talent Development Project", Strengthening Scientific Research in Higher Education Institutions and Taking Active part in the Development of the State Innovation System.


11. HEIs should follow closely the frontiers of international scholarly pursuits in all major fields of study and become the bases for knowledge innovation and the cradle of high-1evel creative talent.These talented people should be brought up in an atmosphere of solidarity, teamwork and dedication. Efforts should be made to attract distinguished scholars from domestic and foreign institutions to work in China's leading universities, and these scholars should be able to lead their colleagues and graduate students to do research at the cutting edge of their own fields of specialization. In principle such a scholar should be appointed as soon as he or she has been chosen, and a special fund will be provided to support the relevant academic programs, and the principal researchers so selected shall enjoy full autonomy in the recruitment of personnel and in the disposal of research funds within the scope permitted by the State's policy.


12. A group of young and middle-aged talent able to break new grounds in advanced research will be brought up to ensure that the knowledge and innovation bases in HEIs will make fruitful innovations as soon as possible. From 1998 onward, some vacancies for specially appointed professors have been set up in a number of key disciplinary areas in some HEIs all over the country. These vacancies are open to outstanding young and middle-aged scholars at home and abroad. A special fund has been set up for this purpose. Local governments and institutions are encouraged to provide similar positions and incentives.


13. 10,000 backbone teachers will be carefully selected in various fields of study batch by batch through competition from HEIs all over the country. The financial support provided to their research work will be strengthened by funds appropriated by the government and funds raised by the HEIs themselves so as to improve the quality of research and teaching and upgrade the facilities and equipment at their disposal. A special fund of reward will be set up to support the research and teaching of highly distinguished young teachers in HEIs. Starting from l999, 100 such young teachers (under 35 years of age), who have made significant contributions in research and teaching, will be selected each year to enjoy stronger financial support to their research and teaching for five years running.


Continuing and Speeding up the " 211 Project" to Enhance HEIs' Capabilities in Knowledge Innovation


17. The "211 Project" started in l995 focuses on the priority development of a number of higher education institutions and fields of study. This Project has already laid an important foundation for training creative and innovative talents and developing the state innovation system. With the advent of the Ninth Five-Year Plan period, the Project has entered a substantially constructive stage. Efforts should be made to ensure the completion of the first phase of the "211 Project" by the year 2000, and to initiate on this basis the second phase of the project for further improvement of the knowledge innovation capability and research level in HEIs.


The funds needed for the second phase should still be jointly raised by the central government, all the sectors concerned local governments and the HEIs concerned. The intensity of investment contributed by the central government will be no less than that of the first phase. This part of funding is mainly used to strengthen those programs already initiated for developing selected fields of study. Project management should be improved to ensure cost-effectiveness of the fund used.


Founding a Number of First-rate Universities and Disciplinary Areas or Fields of Study Reaching International Advanced Level


18. It is of strategic Importance to develop China's own first-rate universities ranking with the best ones in the world. As President Jiang Zemin pointed out in his speech at the conference celebrating Peking University's centenary, "To realize modernization, China must have quite a few first-rate universities of international advanced level." Through long-time developmental efforts and the accumulation of scholarly achievements in a few leading universities in China, the level of research in a small number of fields, including some high-tech fields, has attained or approached international advanced level. They have highly qualified faculty, and the undergraduate and graduate students trained are of a high quality, laying the requisite conditions for developing these leading institutions into first-rate ones in the world.


19.  It goes without saying that all the first-rate universities in the world have invariably built up tbe fame and prestige through efforts exerted over many years. The development of a first-rate university requires governmental support and financial input. What is more important is the commitment and persistent and dedicated efforts exerted by its leaders, faculty and students over the years. Especially, graduates from these universities should enjoy publicly acknowledged repute on their posts, both at home and abroad. Of course, these leading institutions should have a high concentration of distinguished professors. There fore, it takes a historical process to develop a university into a first-rate one in the world, and in the process it must undergo the test of social practice. We must have a down-to-earth style of work as well as an ambitious goal in this regard. Therefore , the development of a number of key disciplinary areas or fields of study in selected universities should be the point of departure. These centers of learning either have already approached international advanced level or are promising to attain such standard in the foreseeable future. It is desirable to concentrate the limited financial resources of the state on their development and at the same time mobilize other sources of funding to intensify and speed up their development. By so doing it is envisaged that a number of Chinese universities and a larger number of key dlisciplinary areas or fields of study might rank among first-rate academic institutions or centers of excellence in the world within ten to twenty years.


Implementing "Modern Distance Education Project" to Build up an Open Education Network and a Lifelong Learning System


20. Modern distance education is a new type of education that has come into being with the development of modern information technology. It is a major means to build up a lifelong learning system meeting the needs of people living in an era of knowledge economy. The "Modern Distance Education Project" implemented on the basis of existing distance education facilities and making full use of modern information technology can effectively take full advantage of available educational resources. This is inline with the international trend of developing science and technology education. In view of the shortage of educational resources, this is a strategic step to extend access to education for the large population of our country and therefore the development of this important infrastructure must be intensified.


21. The demonstrative network CERNET and the existing satellite video transmission system can serve as our basis of development and it is desirable to raise the transmission speed of the backbone network of CERNET, and make full use of the telecommunication resources of the country to further enlarge the transmission capacity and network size of CERNET. We should strive to link all higher education institutions offering bachelor's degree programs and over 1000 secondary schools with CERNET and make access to network possible at home to 50 ,000 university faculty members by the year 2000. We should develop an integrated information system based on CERNET for online enrollment of students admitted to HEIs, computer-aided management of students , record and status , and network service for new graduates seeking employment.


22. Satellite-relayed television education programs will continue to function in modern distance education. However, the existing TV education transmission network needs to be reformed by setting up a central station, achieving its high-speed connection with CERNET, and connecting a part of distance education sites to computer networks. It is envisaged by the year 2000 most schools in rural areas will be enabled to receive TV educational programs. Excellent teachers and modern teaching methods should be involved to ensure the quality of TV educational programs in an endeavor to meet the educational needs of remote, insular, mountainous, forestry and pastoral areas.


23. The outmoded model of distance education software development, which suffers from unnecessary duplication of efforts, should be discarded. Here the government should exercise its function of macro-level regulation and full advantage should be taken of the educational resources possessed by schools of various types and levels. Competition and the market mechanisms also should have their role in software development. All the above-mentioned measures will contribute to the development of high-quality educational software.


24. The Ministry of Education is in charge of the development of our modern distance education program and is responsible for organizing the formulation and implementation of the national "Plan for Developing Modern Distance Education". The strategy for developing the "Modern Distance Education Project" is characterized by governmental support at the initial stage and self-financed operation in the long run. The advanced means of information technology should be adopted in light of China's actual conditions to keep upgrading modern distance education.


To create a favorable condition for the development of modern distance education, it is desirable for the telecommunications companies to give preferential treatment to the operation of the modern distance education network by reducing the rates of fees in accordance with current international practice. Besides, tariff concession should be accorded to imported equipment, including both donated and purchased items , in accordance with applicable legal provisions.


25. We should establish and perfect the continuing education system to meet the needs of lifelong learning and knowledge renewal. All HEIs with necessary conditions should provide continuing education courses and set up bases for conducting continuing education. With the backing of the modern distance education network we will provide on-line courses taught by first-rate teachers in the country to realize the sharing of educational resources and overcome the constraints of time and space. Various kinds of continuing education courses can be provided for the managerial and professional-technical personnel in all walks of life. The advantages of state-administered examinations for self-taught students at tertiary and specialized secondary levels will be used to constantly increase educational access for all members of society.


Implementing the "project of Commercializing High and New Technologies Developed in HEIs" as a Spur to the Development of China's High-and-New-Technology-Based Industries in an Endeavor to Foster New Growth Points in the National Economy


26. HEIs should give full scope to their advantages in the state innovation system, striving to promote innovation in knowledge and technology. They are called upon to make concerted actions in tackling key technical problems of common concern in economical construction, and render their services to speed up the transformation of traditional industries, readjust industrial structure, strengthen agriculture and work in rural areas, and foster new growth points in the national economy.


Efforts should be made to strengthen cooperation between higher educational and research institutions, making their respective advantages complementary to each other so as to make their collaboration more Effective. Steps should be taken to promote linkages between higher education institutions, research institutes, and enterprises in their common efforts to promote technological innovation and develop high-tech industries. Enterprises should be encouraged to set up various kinds of S&T demonstrative centers in HEIs, such as engineering research centers, productivity promotion centers capable of integrating diverse technologies into commercially viable products and processes, disseminating applicable R&D results and contributing to the development of new and high-tech products. Higher education institutions should be encouraged to transfer technology to enterprises, or launch high-and-new-technology-based (HNT-based) enterprises on the basis of existing small and medium-sized enterprises in an effort to explore new ways of wide-ranging cooperation between enterprises and HEIs extending from the stage of project initiation through to final production of new products.


27. To develop a cluster of HNT-based enterprises around one or a group of leading universities constitutes successful experience in the development of knowledge economy. We must create conditions to set up bases for the commercialization of high and new technologies and develop science and technology parks around higher education institutions, especially in places with a higher concentration of HEIs. They serve the interests of attracting foreign HNT-based enterprises and serve as a window on state-of-the-art HNT of foreign companies, and serve as an incubator of scientific and technological development. We should do more in promoting innovative activities among faculty and students and encourage them to start their own HNT-based enterprises.


28. The HNT-based enterprises initiated by HEIs have served as a strong impetus and source of diffusion to the development of HNT-based industries and the formation of new growth points in the economy. They have also served as bases providing practical training to innovative talent and have created new jobs for society. Henceforth we should strive to establish a number of HNT-based enterprise groups affiliated to HEIs in accordance with the requirements of the modern enterprise system.


29. A mechanism conducive to the commercialization of university produced R&D results should be instituted and perfected. It is incumbent upon the Ministry of Education to set up a funding agency to provide financial support to HEIs in their endeavor to conduct R&D in major scientific and technological projects with good market prospects. Measures such as setting up holding companies, owning participatory capital stock, and providing credits should be employed to support the development of S&T-based enterprises and R&D activities-including those sponsored by HEIs. In the meantime, we should set up as soon as possible a numb6r of intermediary agencies solely conducting technology transfer activities on behalf of HEIs. There should be legal provisions allowing the technology production factor to share profits accrued. Part of the financial gains generated by technology transfer should be shared by the S&T personnel taking part in relevant R&D activities in accordance with their contributions according to relevant regulations. Policy issues related to the provision of venture capital to facilitate entrepreneurial activities should be studied so that university-affiliated high-tech companies may issue listed stock. This is an effective measure conducive to the development of HNT-based enterprises.


Putting into Effect the Higher Education Law, Developing Higher Education Actively and Steadily , and Speeding up Reforms to Enhance the Quality and Cost-effectiveness of Educational Provision


30. Effective measures should be taken to implement the following provisions of the Higher Education Law of the People's Republic of Chin: " Higher education institutions should be oriented towards societal needs , operate autonomously according to law, and practice democratic management" so as to enlarge the institutional autonomy of HEIs. In the light of local demands and available financial resources and teaching staff, and with the adoption of new mechanisms and new patterns of educational provision as prerequisite conditions, it is envisaged that the total enrollment of students in HEIs will be increased to 6,600 ,000 by the year 2000 to enable more upper secondary school graduates to have access to higher education. The increased enrollment will mainly aide local development of tertiary vocational education. In the meantime the enrollment of postgraduate students in HEIs should be considerably augmented. The participation rates of the relevant age cohort in higher education will be raised from 9.1% in l997 (calculated according to new specifications) to 11% in 2000. The student-faculty ratio in regular HEIs will be raised from 10:1 in l997 to 12:1 in 2000. The average size in terms of total enrollment of an independent regular HEI should reach approximately 4,000.


31. We should speed up the pace of the structural reforms of higher education and carry out in-depth reforms of higher education. With regard to structural reforms we will continue to practice the guidelines following "joint operation of institutions, readjustment of educational institutions and programs, collaboration between HEIs and research institutes and enterprises, and merging of institutions." In the next 3 to 5 years, a new system of two-tier management by central ministries and local governments with proper division of responsibilities will gradually take shape to ensure proper division of responsibilities between central ministries and the provincial governments, with the latter exercising the main responsibility of coordination; organic integration of the interests of the sectoral (line) ministries and the provinces concerned under the guidance of the state's macro-level policies. Under this new system only a few HIEs which either have an important bearing on the overall development of the nation or mainly serve the needs of specific sectoral departments will remain under the control of the central ministries or agencies concerned, while all the other HEIs will either be directly managed by the provincial governments or be jointly managed by the provincial and central authorities with the former assuming the main responsibility. The national treasury will continue to appropriate funds to encourage and promote the reform of the management system, readjust and optimize the location of HEIs. The establishment of non-state / private HEIs will be encouraged and supported.


32. Actively developing tertiary vocational education constitutes a pressing demand of national economic development for it can improve people's scientific and cultural quality and postpone their need for employment. With regard to tertiary vocational education offering formal academic qualifications, its provision can be met by the following ways: the existing short-cycle (2-3-year) HEIs, vocational universities, and independent adult HEIs, all subject to necessary reforms, are to be supplemented by a part of the better specialized secondary schools transformed into tertiary vocational institutions. Besides, a part of regular HEIs offering first degree programs may set up their own tertiary vocational colleges. Thus the establishment of new institutions can be practically avoided. The 30 existing regular HEIs will be selected to develop demonstrative vocational and technical colleges, which will provide tertiary vocational education that awads vocational certificates and diplomas rather than more academic qualifications. We should gradually develop ways to facilitate communication between vocational-technical education and regular higher education, so that graduates from vocational-technical colleges may continue their studies in regular HEIs after passing qualifying examinations.


Tertiary vocational education must be geared to the needs of local economic construction and social development, fit in with the practical demands of the labor market, and to provide graduates with practical skills required by first-line personnel engaged in production, service and management in an endeavor to provide training programs with unique features. It should actively strive to adapt to the needs of rural and agricultural development by training skilled manpower needed in rural modernization. Based on experiences obtained through pilot schemes, the responsibility and authority for planning enrollment, administering entrance examinations , and issuance of diplomas and certificates will be gradually delegated to provincial governments and institutions. Under the macro-level guidance of the state, provincial governments should exercise effective coordination of educational resources. Steps should be taken to speed up the development of tertiary vocational education and explore a variety of ways of recruiting new entrants. For instance, a proportion (about 3% at present) of graduates from secondary vocational schools may profitably enter tertiary vocational institutions. Except for those admitted to regular HEIs, most graduates from general upper secondary schools should be encouraged to receive training provided by tertiary vocational education programs delivered by various modes to upgrade their qualifications.


33. We should further strengthen the systematic reforms related to the enrollment of new entrants and the job placement of graduates. The reform of college entrance examinations should be carried on in accordance with plan. The reform should be conducive to the implementation of EQO education in schools , help to ensure equity in selecting qualified applicants by HEIs, and contribute to the augmentation of institutional autonomy of HEIs and conduce to social stability as well. With these guiding principles in mind we will launch pilot reform schemes in relation to the mix of subjects examined, as well as to the content, methods and system of examination, to lay greater emphasis on testing applicants' competence and overall quality, and explore proper methods and systems of enrollment, examination and assessment that fit in with local conditions, including the characteristics of schools. Pilot projects of tertiary vocational education guided by the following principles will be conducted: "Institutions enjoy a high degree of autonomy in making decisions on course offerings which should respond to labor market development or needs, while students are required to find their own jobs upon graduation." It is envisaged that by the year 2000, a comparatively well-conceived system of the employment of graduates should have taken shape with the following features: graduates and their potential employers will contact each other in the skilled personnel labor market and exercise "two-way" selections of their own accord, while the HEIs concerned and relevant governmental bodies will provide information on individual graduates as well as letters of recommendation to potential employers.


Various forms of financial aids will be employed tc ensure that students from poor families already enrolled in HEIs or newly admitted may not drop out just because of their economical difficulties. The state will continue to allocate funds to aid students with special economical difficulties. Local government finance and institutions should provide matching funds for this purpose. In the meantime we will launch pilot projects of financial aid to college students , including loans programs in an endeavor to find effective ways of providing financial aid to needy students under conditions of the socialist market economy.


34. We will vigorously push forward reforms of instructional practice in HEIs, including reforms in educational thought and concepts , content and methods. We will give great impetus to reforming the mode of training provided by short-cycle HEIs, with special emphasis laid on restructuring the curriculum, strengthening bases for practical training, and developing dual-role teachers, being able to work as teachers of theory and instructors of practical skills. With regard to first degree level undergraduate education, efforts should be made to broaden the profile of specialties to enable students to become more adaptable to changing conditions. In the next 3 to 5 years, the current list of over 200 specialties will be condensed to a list of 100-odd specialties , each with a broader profile. We will continue to push forward the " Scheme for Reforming Instructional Content and Curricular Systems to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century." In the meantime efforts will be made to develop 200 bases for training qualified personnel versed in the fundamentals of the humanities, social and natural sciences, 100 bases for the bask courses taught in a number of major fields of study , and 20 bases for fostering the cultural quality of college students-and these bases should be run at domestic advanced level and play an exemplary role to other institutions£® Steps should be taken to actively and steadily develop postgraduate programs for professional degree work and further improve the system of professional degrees in an effort to train a large number of high-level practically-oriented professionals.


35. We will energetically push forward reforms of the management system within HEIs. With regard to the recruitment of staff a system of engagement based on a letter of appointment or contract will be gradually implemented so as to reduce redundancy and enhance the efficiency of staff and workers and bring about a significant improvement of the student / faculty ratio, student / non-teaching-staff-and-workers ratio, and the full-time teachers / non-teaching-staff-and-workers ratio. Steps will be taken to speed up the socialization of logistic services in HEIs, and downsize the work force and divert the surplus members to other occupations. The enlargement of enrollment in HEIs should be linked with the progress made in the socialization of logistics, It is envisaged that some cities with fairly favorable conditions will be selected to set up for HEIs a number of company groups to operate as genuine enterpris, which will undertake the business of managing students' apartments and render other logistic services for HEIs. Efforts will be made to realize the socialization of logistics for higher education in most areas within the next 3 to 5 years.


Energetically Developing Vocational and Adult Education to Train a Large Number of Qualified Workers and Skilled personnel with Elementary and Intermediate Qualifications, with Special Emphasis on Rendering Services to Rural and Agricultural Development.


36. In accordance with the provisions of the Education Law and the Vocational Education Law, should strive to establish an education system fitting in with our national conditions to link up pre-service (initial) and in-service (post-experience) training, so that vocational training at the rudimentary, secondary and tertiary levels are dovetailed with each other and effect proper linkages with regular schooling and adult education in a harmonious way. A special fund for promoting and implementing the plan of curricular reforms and teaching material development in vocational education will be instituted. Relying on the support of regular HEIs and tertiary vocational institutions, high priority will be given to the development of 50 bases for training vocational teachers and instructors of practical skills. Local governments should also strengthen the construction of vocational teachers' training bases.


We will continue to divert a significant part of lower secondary school graduates to vocational programs, and accordingly, we will energetically develop secondary vocational education in the light of local conditions. The current ratio between vocational and general education enrollment at the upper secondary level should be kept while striving to attain the goals set by the Guidelines for the Reform and Development of Education in China. In the small number of disadvantaged areas where nine-year compulsory education is yet to be universalized, vocational and technical training should be provided for primary school graduates who cannot continue their education in secondary schools. In areas where the structure of upper secondary education is basically rational, vocational education should focus its efforts on improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of educational programs. Comprehensive upper secondary schools may be developed in economically developed areas to postpone streaming until the final year (Grade 12). Scientific forecasting of manpower needs should be conducted through studying societal demands on secondary vocational training. Vocational education and training of various forms and lengths should be provided to newly employed people in observance of the principle "pre-service training before taking up a job." The structure of curriculum and the provision of education programs (specialties) should be reformed. A more flexible system of course offerings including electives should be adopted to enable students to become more adaptable to changes in the industrial structure and the labor market. In various localities efforts should be made to run well a selected number of vocational institutions enjoying high credibility in society.


37. Adult education should focus on job-related training and continuing education. Through the institution of the modern enterprise system and the system of vocational qualification certificates more flexible and diverse forms of education and training should be provided , so that people who have been laid off or are to be transferred to other jobs may receive vocational training or regular schooling of various levels and durations to facilitate their reemployment. Efforts should be made to set up norms and standards for such training, that is, to institutionalize such training. We should actively conduct in-service training for personnel engaged in business administration and financial management of enterprises. We should promote cooperation between enterprises, educational institutions, and sectoral governmental agencies. Pilot projects on community education will be conducted so as to gradually develop a lifelong learning system in an endeavor to enhance the quality of the whole nation.


We should strengthen the continuing education of professional and technical personnel in the light of the trends of development of various fields of study, professions and industrial sectors. We should strive to initiate a system of integrating the functions of education, assessment and utilization of staff, and we will institute a special fund to promote the development of continuing education bases and networks. Besides, the training of civil servants needs be strengthened by developing a sound mechanism for such training so as to develop a contingent of highly qualified and professional administrators of state affairs.


38. We should intensify our efforts in reforming the system of educational provision, the system of management and the mechanism of operation in the fields of vocational and adult education, as well as in reforming the system of enrollment and the system of job placement of graduates. Responding to the institution and development of a socialist market economy, NGOs and individual citizens are encouraged to run institutions of vocational and adult education of diverse forms under the general guidance of the government. In the further development of vocational and adult education it is desirable to promote collaboration between schools and industry, to adjust the geographical distribution of schools, to optimize the allocation of resources, to strengthen education in entrepreneur ship and in professional ethics, to adopt a more flexible mode of educational delivery , and to strive to develop unique institutional features so as to better serve the needs of local economic and social development.


We should conscientiously act in the spirit of the Third Plenary Session of the Fifteenth Central Committee of CPC, conduct in-depth rural educational reforms characterized by close collaboration between departments of agriculture , science and technology and education and by taking an integrated approach to the development of various types of education so as to promote the harmonious and coordinated development of general education, adult education and vocational education in rural areas and to give full scope to the positive role of rural education in rural modernization. The elimination of illiteracy should be combined with the training of practical skills in rural areas in an effort to consolidate the gains of literacy education and to help people get rid of poverty. Steps should be taken in the next 3 to 5 years to enable people who have completed wholly or part of compulsory schooling in most rural areas to have access to certain forms of technical training , including training for the "Green Certificate", before or after they start their careers. Such training hasbeen conceived to enable the trainees to master one or two practical skills for getting prosperous through production and adapt to the needs of rural economic development. It is especially desirable to use diverse modes of education and training to prepare an adequate number of appropriately trained technical and managerial personnel for upgrading township enterprises and rural industries.


Further Reforming the Systems of Educational Provision so as to Motivate the Initiatives of Various Sectors of Society to Run Educational Institutions


39. We should conscientiously put into effect the management." It is envisaged that in the next 3 to 5 years a framework of educational provision will basically take shape under which most schools are run by the state, supplemented by schools run by other social sectors, giving rise to the co-existence of public and non-state/private schools.


Policies of preferential treatment should be formulated with a view to attract non-state/private funds into education, facilitating the development of non-state/private institutions. Teachers and students in non-state / private institutions and public ones will receive the same treatment as regards assessment for professional titles, staff development, entrance examinations administered for applicants and social activities. The state will set up a special fund for non-state / private education to commend organizations and individuals making remarkable contributions in running educational institutions.


40. Non-state private sectors should abide by the law in running and managing educational institutions. Non-state / private institutions should not be profits-seeking, but their development on a rolling basis are to be encouraged. Their level of education and management should be constantly improved through constructing a package of relevant decrees and regulations, implementing more stringent requirements for school establishment, perfecting the management system, strengthening management of the appearance of schools, and carrying out strict financial audition. A better scale economy of existing institutions will be encouraged.


Each non-state / private educational institution should be assured the status of a legal entity. Non-state / private HEIs are allowed to recruit students of their own accord in response to societal needs and issue certificates to students completing non-formal courses. They may also organize their students to prepare for state-administered examinations for self-directed learners to obtain state-recognized certificate of formal academic qualifications.


41. With regard to reforming the system of educational provision provided by public institutions, pilot projects should be launched under the guidance of the competent educational department of the government. At the stage of basic education such reforms should be conducted with a view to improving the conditions of weak institutions, while at the stage of higher education , the main focus should be placed on local HEIs and adult HEIs in an effort to explore diverse models of educational provision. In pushing forward the reform of the educational structure, due attention should be given to the provisions of current educational laws and regulations that the property rights of institutions should be clearly defined. State-owned educational facilities may not be diverted to other purposes,and state-owned and public properties should not be misappropriated or lost.


Active Steps Should Be Taken to Really Augment Effective Input into Education by Observing the legal Provisions concerning the "Three Increases" of Educational Financing.


42. In implementing the strategy of invigorating China through science and education, the idea of regarding educational investment as consumption expenditure must be changed. On the contrary, educational development should be considered in practice as a kind of infrastructure construction and investment in education should be considered as a fundamental capital investment, and accordingly educational input must be increased by every possible means. The financial authorities of governments at all levels should attentively enforce the legal provisions and policies promulgated to raise educational funds, especially ensure the "Three Increases" stipulated by the Education Law (By "There Increases" is meant that the financial appropriations for education provided by governments at all levels should grow at a higher rate than total public revenue; per student recurrent expenses should steadily increase year by year; and expenditure on teachers' salaries and per student non-personnel expenses should steadily increase). As prescribed by the education Law and the Guidelines for the Reform and Development of Education in China, we should progressively raise the public expenditure on education in terms of its proportion of GNP to 4%.


We will progressively raise the proportion of educational appropriations in the budgets of provincial governments. From 1998 on, the proportion in central government budget will be raised by 1% annually (with the same specifications kept for various items of expenditure). Thus by the year 2000, the proportion will have been raised by about three percentage points. The above budgetary increment will be mainly used to cover the expenses on those parts of the Action Scheme to be supported by the central government finance with the provision that the earmarked funds for specific projects allocated by central budget will be retained in accordance with existing policies. The proportion of educational appropriations in the budgets of provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the central government should also be raised by l% to 2% annually in the light of local conditions.


We will attentively follow the spirit of a Ministry of Finance Circular distributed by the State Council (1998-N0. 23) and try to ensure from 1998 onward that the proportion of surplus revenue and extrabudgetary income used for educational purposes shall be no less than the percentage of educational expenditure in the budget determined at the beginning of each year.


We should strengthen the levying and management of surcharges for education collected in urban and rural areas to ensure full levying and well-coordinated usage by the competent educational departments in consultation with the financial departments. We should actively support work-study programs and school-run enterprises, which should continue enjoying preferential treatment in taxation.


A China Education Development Fund will be set up on the basis of the National Fund for Rewarding Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary School Teachers to facilitate fund-raising for education through multiple channels.


43. We should speed up the renovation of multi-storied dormitory buildings for college teachers and the reconstruction of dilapidated buildings in HEIs so as to basically solve the housing difficulties of young teachers in HEIs by the year 2000. The central government finance will allocate special funds to support such renovation and reconstruction in the HEIs under various central ministries and agencies. The rest of fund needed should be jointly borne by the institutions concerned and the governmental departments in charge. The renovated multi-storied dormitories will be used as apartments and temporary housing to meet special needs.


44. Bank loans will be used to speed up the construction of houses for the staff and workers employed in HEIs directly under various central ministries and agencies. To tackle the housing difficulties faced by university and college teachers so as to stabilize the contingent of teachers, it is envisaged that part of the infrastructure loans provided by China Construction Bank to be dispensed before the year 2000 will be used for housing projects built in HEIs directly under various central ministries and agencies, and for the construction of "economical and suitable for use" houses on institutional ground, with the financial gap covered by funds raised through multiple channels. We will continue to strengthen the "Project of Living in Contentment" for school teachers.


45. Educational authorities at all levels must take every possible means to carry out in-depth educational reforms by improving financial allocation system, simplifying organizations, reducing redundancy and enhancing the effectiveness of money spent. In the meantime, audition and supervision over educational expenditures should be strengthened.


Holding High the Great Banner of Deng xiaoping Theory, Strengthening Party Building and Ideological and Political Education in HEIs to Make Them into an Important Front for Socialist Spiritual Civilization.


46. Moral education in HEIs should be conducted under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, and Deng Xiaoping Theory to meet the following requirements set forth for the youth and college students of the country by President Jiang Zemin£º"Try to integrate the learning of science and culture with the enhancement of ideological self-cultivation, integrate book learning with social practice, integrate one's own self-realization with serving the motherland and the people, and integrate a lofty ideal with hard struggle and plain living" in an endeavor to implement CPC Central Committee's Opinions on Further Strengthening and Perfecting Moral Education in Schools. Besides, HEIs should adhere to socialist orientation in education, strive to improve the system of moral education, inculcate a firm political faith among students, help students to enhance their own self-cultivation, foster a lofty ideal and throw themselves into social practice , be willing to lead a life of hard struggle, and be determined to rejuvenate China. Thus the strategic task of training new citizens who have lofty ideals, moral integrity, rich knowledge and sense of discipline will be put into effect.


47. We should attentively organize the implementation of the new plan for teaching the course of Marxist theory and the course of ideology and moral character ("two courses") in HEIs for all students. Steps will be taken to speed up the process of Deng Xiaoping Theory being incorporated into teaching materials, being taught in classes and being implanted in the minds of students , so that all college students may be armed with Deng Xiaoping Theory. We will strengthen the training of teachers of the "two courses" so as to enhance their political level and professional qualifications to ensure the effectiveness of moral and ideological education.


48. We will strive to enhance the cultural quality of college students through the following ways£ºstrengthening education in the fine tradition of the Chinese nation as well as education in the revolutionary tradition; strengthening education in the humanities and arts; offering optional courses , providing lectures on selected themes; and organizing extracurricular cultural and artistic activities.


49. Steps will be taken to strengthen research in philosophical and social sciences in higher education institutions. Such research should be conducted under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory, and it is desirable to integrate research closely with the major theoretical and practical problems and issues encountered in China's economic and social development. Full advantage should be taken of the role of "think tank" and "talent tank" that HEIs might play. More financial resources should be mobilized to support studies in the philosophical and social sciences in HEIs. We will set up awards for theoretical studies and outstanding teachin gto enhance the level of studies in these fields and the capability of academics in contributing to the policy making process.


It is desirable to have a well-coordinated overall plan and properly selected priority projects for educational research. Effors should be made to turn research findings into practical applications so as to provide a scientific and democratic basis for macro-level decision making in education and serve the needs of educational reform and development, and the needs of the flowering of the educational sciences.


50. Party organizations in higher education institutions should take effective steps to strengthen Party building and improve its leadership of ideological and political work. It is desirable to institute and perfect a management system of moral education under the unified arrangement of the Party Committees of the HEIs concerned with university presidents or directors of HEIs and the administrative systems under their supervision as the main implementers so as to strengthen the development of a corps of ideological and political workers and enable HEIs to play a crucial role in building up a socialist civilization which is culturally and ideologically advanced, and in maintaining a lively and vivid political situation of stability and unity.

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