China establishes world’s largest higher education system with 240 million university graduates

A teacher encourages a candidate outside an exam site in Beijing, capital of China, July 7, 2020. The 2020 National University Entrance Examination started on Tuesday. (Photo: Xinhua)

China has established the largest higher education system in the world with 240 million people having received higher education, the country’s education ministry announced at a press conference on Tuesday.

The ministry presented the achievements of China’s higher education reform and development since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2012 at a press conference on Tuesday, noting that the total number of students in higher education is currently over 44.3 million. .

The enrollment rate in higher education rose from 30% in 2012 to 57.8% in 2021, an increase of 27.8 percentage points, which is a historic leap that marks that higher education in China has entered a popularization phase recognized by the world, the ministry said.

A number of Chinese universities and a large number of disciplines have reached a very advanced level in the world.

The number of people who have received a university education in China has reached 240 million, and the average length of education of the newly added workforce has reached 13.8 years. Higher education has served as the springboard for building the largest talent hub and innovation hub in the world.

For ten years, more than 10,000 outstanding students have chosen core disciplines, paving the way for independent talent and establishing a solid foundation to build the world’s largest talent pool and innovation hub.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, a total of 265 major novellas have been included in the catalog of undergraduate programs. As a result, 17,000 new undergraduate programs have been added and talent training has become more adaptable to new technologies, industries and forms of business.

“The Ministry of Education, relevant ministries and commissions, large enterprises and local governments jointly built 151 new colleges and universities. Provincial and ministerial co-construction of local universities received total funding of more than 100 billion yuan during the 13th Fifth Annual Plan Period, effectively improving the overall level of university construction and the ability to serve national and regional key strategic capabilities, according to the press conference.

Moreover, innovation and entrepreneurship education in China leads the world. Colleges and universities across the country opened more than 30,000 specialized courses and 11,000 open online courses on innovation and entrepreneurship, and hired 174,000 talents as full-time and part-time teachers on innovation and entrepreneurship.

China has also held international student innovation competitions seven times a year, attracting 6.03 million teams or 25.33 million students from more than 120 countries and regions on five continents. The competitions have directly created 750,000 jobs and indirectly provided 5.16 million jobs, promoting the cultivation of talent at the same time.

The ability of colleges and universities to serve key national strategies continued to increase and they won more than 60% of national science and technology awards. The colleges also undertook over 60% of national basic research and over 80% of national natural science foundation projects.

Colleges and universities provide key technology for high-speed railway, nuclear power, biological breeding, vaccine development, national defense and other key fields, and actively participate in the development of supercomputers, of the BeiDou satellite navigation system and the Shenzhou series of spacecraft.

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