10/09/2017, 17.06
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2.5 % of GDP to improve the level of Chinese universities

42 universities to become of the world's top education centers by 2050. Another 96 must become competitive with other universities in the world. Aim to turn China into a global center for scientific research and development. Most Chinese universities are at the bottom of the list.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - The Education and Finance Ministries, along with the National Commission for Reform and Development, have published a list of 42 Chinese universities chosen to be transformed into education tools worldwide by 2050. The list includes some of the most esteemed universities in Asia, where many party leaders also studied: Beijing University (Beida); Qinghua, also in Beijing; Guangzhou’s SunYat-sen and others.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Education at the end of September, another 96 universities are commissioned to improve their teaching and research to compete with other international study centers.

According to Caixin, the ambitious plan is to turn China into a science and technology research center without dependence from abroad. That is why the government wants to allocate 2.5% of gross domestic product each year to research and development.

At present, China has 2600 universities, but most are listed very low on the world scale. In fact, only Beida, Qinghua and Fudan (Shanghai) are among the top 50 universities in the world. The others are rated between 300 and 500.

Experts are divided on the evaluation of Chinese university centers. According to some, the country no longer needs scientific input from abroad because it already manages to find adequate staff. According to others, the level of Chinese universities is still low: there is a large number of students and graduates trying to specialize abroad, especially in the US, Germany and the UK.

The investment promised by the Ministry of Education for the 42 super universities and the other 96 is likely to create an imbalance between universities of the elite and state universities. In any case, the government has not yet specified the specific goals or details on which the selected universities should work to improve.

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