Universities in Shenzhen will expand enrollments for full-time students by 41 percent to some 21,000 this year.
The expansions are designed to strengthen higher education and adapt it to the city's rapid economic growth, education bureau head Jiang Tanyu said Thursday.
The bureau will spend 400 million yuan (US$48.5 million) on the first phase of Shenzhen University Town and the expansion of Shenzhen University and Shenzhen Polytechnic this year.
The city plans to absorb more scholars from inland cities with higher salary in a bid to build first-class faculties at universities, Jiang said.
"Education expenditure is an investment rather than mere consumption," said Jiang. According to the government's blueprint for modernizing education by 2010, spending on education will account for 4 percent of its GDP. In 2003, spending on education was some 6.5 billion yuan, only 2 percent of the GDP of over 286 billion yuan.
The bureau was also encouraging private investment and international cooperation in developing higher education.
"Our neighbor Hong Kong is rich in higher education resources. It would be a pity if we missed out on cooperating with universities in Hong Kong," said Jiang.
Secretary of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC Huang Liman and Mayor Li Hongzhong visited leading universities recently to reaffirm the campus expansions. Xu Xiaozhen, dean of the English college of Shenzhen Polytechnic, said her faculty was greatly encouraged.
"My university is thinking of enrolling 30,000 students including part-time and adult students this year," said Xu.
Guangdong Province will increase undergraduate enrollments by some 13 percent and post-graduates by 25 percent this year, according to an earlier report.
(Shenzhen Daily January 21, 2005)