BEIJING, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- China has unveiled a guideline on accelerating the reform and development of postgraduate education, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Goals were set for Chinese postgraduate education in a document issued by the MOE in collaboration with the National Development and Reform Commission as well as the Ministry of Finance.
By 2025, a high-level postgraduate education system will be basically in place, according to the document. The system will have an optimized scale and structure, improved institutions and mechanisms, enhanced education quality, and growing international influence.
By 2035, China will have generally developed into a leading country for postgraduate education with Chinese characteristics, the guideline added.
Calling for a new mechanism to develop basic, applied and interdisciplinary studies, the document stressed the importance of strategic support for emerging disciplines to better meet the country's needs.
Highlighting the importance of cultivating postgraduate students' innovation capabilities, the guideline said enrollment plans should be targeted at the frontiers of science and technology, as well as other key fields.
Special programs should be launched to nurture much-needed, high-caliber professionals in these key fields, according to the document.
Investment in doctoral education will be increased, said Hong Dayong, an official with the MOE, adding that support will be tilted toward the basic research and development of core technologies in key fields.
To achieve the goals outlined in the guideline, the government will focus on promoting 10 special action plans, Hong said.
The plans include exploring the establishment of special zones for interdisciplinary development, setting up a number of interdisciplinary centers, and building a national platform for interdisciplinary development.
The MOE will also cooperate with the National Development and Reform Commission to jointly build national training bases for postgraduates integrating industry and education.
The government will strengthen the management of the whole training process of postgraduate students, Hong said, noting that special inspections will be carried out to ensure the quality of postgraduate education.
Over the past seven decades since the founding of the People's Republic of China, the country has trained more than 10 million doctoral and master's students. More than 3 million students in China will be pursuing their doctoral or master's degree in 2020, a significant rise from over 600 in 1949.
There are 460,000 postgraduate supervisors nationwide, according to the MOE.
Amid increasing input in recent years, government spending on higher education totaled 5 trillion yuan (about 737 billion U.S. dollars) from 2012 to 2019, marking an average annual growth rate of 7.9 percent, figures from the Ministry of Finance show.
Wang Zhanjun, vice president of the Chinese Society of Academic Degrees and Graduate Education, hailed the guideline as a new chapter for China's postgraduate education, saying it will bring the sector onto a fast track of development.
"The measures specified are well-targeted," Wang said, noting that the guideline puts forward systematic and practical reform measures in view of the existing problems in the development of postgraduate education covering discipline adjustment, supervisory team construction, personnel training and curriculum design. Enditem