The Ministry of Education issued a regulation on September 11 to help tackle course innovation in colleges and universities, marking the implementation of "Plan 111."
The plan has been jointly organized by Ministry of Education and State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs. It aims to upgrade the scientific renewal and peers competition of Chinese universities by establishing innovation centers and gathering groups of first-class minds from around the world. It will bring in about 1,000 overseas talents from the top 100 universities and research institutes worldwide. These experts will team up with domestic research infrastructures alongside the creation of 100 subject innovation centers to be set up in universities.
Only universities from "985 Project", which aimed at developing a number of world-class universities, and "211 Project", which aimed at strengthening about 100 institutions of higher learning and key disciplinary areas in the 21st century, can be chosen for the "Plan 111". At least 10 overseas talents should be employed in each innovation center. In each of these teams, at least one should be an overseas academic master while the foreign representatives can only emanate from the top 100 universities and research institutes. Generally, the academic masters should not be older than 70, with the exception of Nobel Prize winners, with other representatives under 50. Subjects should include basic sciences, technology and project management among others.
The overseas academic masters must be worldwide renowned professors or well-recognized famous scholars with an academic level and record beyond contestation. Each academic master should work at least a month within China with other members of the visiting teams working here for three months.
Travel fees, allowance, housing, medical services for the overseas talents will be also included in this plan.
(China.org.cn by Li Xiaohua, September 14, 2006)