CPPCC Member Calls for More Private Investment in Higher Education

China should give a free rein to private investors to venture into the area of higher education, a member of China's top advisory body said Thursday.

Prof. Yuan Xingpei of Beijing University said that there is an acute shortage of well-educated young people.

Speaking at a meeting of the fourth session of the Ninth People's Political Conference (CPPCC) Prof. Yuan said that at present only 47 percent of the senior middle school students have the access to higher education and people with a tertiary education account for only six percent of the young people of the same age group. He said that sole reliance on the government cannot meet the actual demand and it is, therefore, necessary to create more space for non-governmental forces to run tertiary education.

Chen Hangfu, another CPPCC member, called for greater efforts to develop human resources. There are about 230 million students at school in China, about one fifth of the students across the world, yet China's spending on education represents only 1.5 percent of the world's total, he added.

He urged the formulation of laws and regulations on private investment in education, and the higher education system should be reformed to meet the requirements for diversified sources of investment, said Yuan.

To date, China has recognizes the diplomas issued by 47 of the 1,240 non-governmental institutions of higher learning, he added.

(Xinhua 03/08/2001)