The number of students studying in Chinese universities has reached 25 million, a five-fold increase in only nine years, said Zhou Ji, Chinese Education Minister.
"In only a few years, Chinese higher education has transformed from an education for the elite to one for the public, a process commonly taking several decades to accomplish in many countries," said Zhou at a press conference. He added: "It is a marvelous development."
Since 1999 China has expanded enrollment in higher educational institutions and this year about 5.4 million freshmen students enrolled in universities and colleges, statistics from the Ministry of Education show.
(Xinhua News Agency October 18, 2007)