Higher or tertiary education in China includes regular universities, adult universities, university colleges, advanced vocational institutions as well as other alternative forms of higher education institutions.
1.Higher education institutions
According to the 2002 education report published by the Ministry of Education, by 2002, there were 16 million students at higher education institutions and the gross enrolment rate was 15%.
In the year, 5,428,200 senior secondary school graduates were enrolled into regular universities and advanced vocational colleges. This included 3,205,000 students enrolled into regular higher education institutions and 2,223,200 were enrolled by adult higher education institutions, which was 522,200 and 263,900, respectively, more than in the previous year. The number of students at regular and adult higher education institutions and advanced vocational schools reached 14,625,200, with 9,033,600 at regular universities, 5,591,600 at adult higher education institutions.
In addition, universities and research institutions enrolled 202,600 postgraduates, 37,400 more than in the previous year. The total number of postgraduates at school reached 501,000, 107,800 more than in the previous year.
There were 2003 higher education institutions, including 1,396 regular higher education institutions, 171 more than in the previous year. These include 629 regular universities and 607 adjust universities. The number of universities empowered to train postgraduates reached 728.
Besides, there were more than 1,000 private colleges and universities, among which 20 of them were qualified and authorized to issue diplomas.
China has also developed a self-taught examination system of higher education. Citizens can voluntarily apply to take examinations held by the Government. Diplomas of higher education are conferred to those who pass all the required examinations.
2.Universities and university colleges
Colleges and universities in China are administered through a unified control by the Central Government and management at two levels : the Central Government and the provincial governments. The State Council and the Ministry of Education are responsible for taking policy decisions, development plans, reforms and providing guidance to higher education institutions. The Ministry of Education also directly controls 34 regular colleges and universities. Provincial governments’ main responsibility is to manage admission, specialities, fund-raising and employment of graduates of colleges and universities in accordance with national policies and laws.
All the higher education institutions have introduced the management system of the president assuming the sole responsibility. The president of a college or university is appointed by the government and his responsibility is to organize teaching, scientific research and social services, coordinating and developing external relationships.
The Council of a college or university, headed by the president, mainly composed of vice-presidents, deans, heads of departments and faculty representatives. It is responsible for taking policy decision concerning matters of major important in the operation of the college or university.
The Academic Council, composed of the president, academic vice-president and faculty representatives, is set to deal with examination and approval of research projects and post-graduate education programs, as well as examination and promotion of professorships and associate professorships.
The Conference of the Staff Representatives, composed of faculty representatives is held regularly to examine and comment on the report by the president, and to make recommendations on important issues regarding teaching, research, and staff affairs.
The Degree Committee is composed of major academic officials and professor representatives. It is to approve application of bachelor’s, master’s and doctor’s degrees, to make decisions on admission examinations for candidates of master’s and doctor’s degrees, and to manage other issues related to degree conferring.