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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

China's schools on the way up

By Andrea Fenn (China Daily)

08:43, December 02, 2011

SHANGHAI - "It is inevitable that China will climb up university rankings in the years to come."

This statement from Phil Baty, editor of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, lines up with China's optimism that it will produce world-class universities. But there are still hurdles to overcome, experts say.

Universities from China's mainland slipped this year in the Times' global rankings. Peking University dropped 10 places from last year to 49th, and Tsinghua University fell to 71th place. Among Asian universities, Peking is ranked No 4 and Tsinghua No 8.

A combination of factors determines rankings - research output, study environment, reputation and international outlook.

China's economic boom has intensified investment in research and development, and the universities' published citations have increased more than tenfold in eight years. However, the quality of education and research in Chinese academia seems not to have kept pace.

The gauge is the number of citations published in highly respected English-language journals, so while many papers are being produced in China, it appears not all are good enough to garner international attention.

Still, higher education in China is flourishing, thanks in part to huge government outlays. China spent an amount equal to 3.69 percent of GDP on education last year, according to Ministry of Finance data.

China has the largest and one of the fastest growing higher education systems in the world - 2,723 schools catering to 31 million students. Enrollment more than quadrupled from 2001 to 2011.

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jhuni at 2011-12-0372.234.110.*
After the end of the cold war, the U.S drastically cut its funding to R&D projects, which resulted in the AI winter. And now that there is a financial crisis I don"t see the U.S reversing this anytime soon. It is now China"s turn to take the lead in higher education and research.

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