An overwhelming proportion of Chinese are in favor of reforming the country's postgraduate funding system from an one-off fund decided in the enrollment exam to yearly scholarships, according to a new survey.
The survey reported by Monday's China Youth Daily newspaper showed that 82.7 percent of respondents believed the latter system would be fairer.
The newspaper released a report on the on-line survey it conducted last week on the reform of postgraduate policies that has been piloted for the last two years.
Chinese universities usually sort their postgraduate students into two categories according to their performance in the enrollment exam. Those with higher scores receive government funds and the others pay for themselves.
A postgraduate in the government list will not only be exempted from tuition and other fees, but also given a monthly subsidy of 300 yuan (US$40) in master's courses and 800 yuan (US$107) in doctorate courses.
The others must pay from 10,000 to 15,000 yuan (US$1,300 to 2,000 ) a year.
The number in the government list varies in different colleges and departments.
About 87.3 percent of the surveyed thought that the annually granted scholarship would "boost fair competition and spur students' motivation", the report said.
But 34.2 percent still opposed abolishing the government funding policy while 65.8 percent agreed.
As many as 77.3 percent were worrying whether the college administrations could grant scholarships in a transparent and fairway.
And 62.3 percent suggested assistance or subsidies specially to students from poor families.
So far 17 universities have replaced the one-off government funds with yearly scholarships and next year all 56 Chinese universities that give postgraduate courses will adopt the policy, according to the Ministry of Education.
"The reform is not just about funding policy. There are measures to sponsor more research activities of postgraduates," said Wang Xuming, spokesman for the ministry, on Thursday last week.
(Xinhua News Agency October 30, 2007)