BEIJING, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- China's higher education has made notable progress during the past two decades, according to an inspection report on the enforcement of the Higher Education Law.
Higher education has become increasingly popularized in China in the past 20 years, with 2,663 universities and colleges nationwide in 2018, 2.6 times the number in 1998, said the report submitted to the ongoing bimonthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.
The number of Chinese students in higher education institutions increased from 8.5 million in 1998 to 38.33 million in 2018, accounting for about 48 percent of the country's population aged between 18 and 22 in 2018, according to the report.
China had 1.67 million full-time teachers at universities and colleges in 2018, compared with 410,000 in 1998, said the report, adding that higher education institutions have more than 790 academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering so far.
Since 2012, more than 584 billion yuan (about 83 billion U.S. dollars) of education subsidies have benefited 287 million students from families in financial difficulty, the report added.
The report also gave suggestions on developing higher education, such as strengthening universities' research and innovation capacity, improving teachers' quality and revising related laws and regulations.
The NPC Standing Committee launched an inspection on the enforcement of the Higher Education Law between June and September, the first inspection since the law was formulated in 1998.