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UPDATED: 08:26, August 11, 2004
China expands higher education to back economic development
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Chinese Minister of Education, Zhou Ji, said Tuesday that China will continue to expand higher education to meet the demand of the people and economic development.

Zhou told the closing ceremony of the 2nd Chinese-Foreign University Presidents' Forum that China has built the largest higher educational system in the world, with a number of more than20 million university students this year.

Funds for scientific research in the higher education institutes have increased by about 400 percent compared with that in 1998. At some universities funds surged by about 1,000 percent.

"The quality of scientific research has been improving and gained worldwide recognition," Zhou said.

But the demand for higher education exceeds the supply.

Zhou urged the existing institutes to expand campuses, programsof study, and research capabilities. Meanwhile, the country will further encourage the development of private and vocational schools, he said.

Most Chinese universities are state-run. Vocational school are less attractive to students who prefer to obtain a the bachelor degree in hopes to secure a better job after graduation.

Source: Xinhua

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