The Current Status

In a country of 1.2 billion people, who make up 23 percent of the world's population, on only 7 percent of the earth's cultivable land, Chinese science and technology has the dual missions of [solving a number of major strategic problem including adequate levels of food, shelter, transportation, education, and health care,] and in improving the country's [scientific and technological infrastructure] (Science, Nov. 1995, p. 1154). Both missions intersect with those of higher education, although China's scientific establishment is far more encompassing than higher education. It comprises 23,613 institutions, of which 7,805 are research institutions, 12,499 industrial enterprises, and 3,309 research institutes within higher education. About 2.6 million persons are employed in these institutions, of whom 1.5 million are scientists and engineers. Research and development (R & D) spending accounted for about 0.5 percent of the GNP in 1994 (China Statistical Yearbook 1995, Table 18.40, p. 619). About 7 percent of R&D was spent on basic research, 30 on applied research, and the rest on development (Science, Nov. 1995, p. 1135).

The leading research institution is the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), which was established in 1949 and has 123 research institutes under its jurisdiction. Since 1978, the CAS has also undergone reform to make its research institutes more open to university professors, increased mobility into and from the institutes, strengthened international collaboration, introduced a system of peer review, and provided more opportunities to a younger generation of scientists. It has established 100 open laboratories and has set aside funds to improve collaboration with universities. It has also established relations with more than 3,000 enterprises to facilitate technology transfer through contract research. About 30 percent of its activities are devoted to basic research, another 30 percent to population, resources, and the environment, and the remaining 40 percent to technology development. About half of its budget is obtained through competition from government and industrial projects. The CAS's achievement is recorded in Annex 8.

In the effort to advance science and technology, the Government created state key laboratories in 1984 to break into the forefront of global science and established the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) the following year to coordinate, review, and evaluation research efforts. These key laboratories received an initial grant of $1 million or more to modernize their facilities and are eligible for additional funding. Although it was not a large amount by international comparison, it was large relative to China's average research grant of $10,000 over a three-year period. Ten years into the program, the key laboratories proliferated into 155 labs, of which only 11 are world-class and received top rating by the NSFC. The inability to weed out weak labs even though they have been identified has resulted in spreading the research funds more and more thinly, a consequence similar to that of the proliferation of higher education institutions (Science, Nov. 1995, pp. 1137–1139).


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
China: Higher Education Reform
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 160

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?