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Education Ministry to Enhance Professional Capabilities
The Ministry of Education has pledged to continue the implementation of several projects to enhance the capabilities of top professionals in order to undertake large national scientific projects.

One major plan to be focused on is the Hong Kong-based Cheung Kong Scholars Program, jointly launched in August 1998 by the ministry and Hong Kong entrepreneur Li Kashing through his company, Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd.

In accordance with the program, large universities nationwide will invite 500 to 1,000 domestic or overseas Chinese scholars in the next few years to conduct research.

Each university will receive 100,000 yuan (about US$12,048) in subsidies annually to support their research programs.

In the past three years, the ministry selected four groups, or 413 specialized professors to work in 69 universities for significant academic projects, including studies in genetics, agricultural and natural sciences.

The new program will aid the fifth group of specialized scholars this year to join cutting-edge academic research projects in major universities across the country.

Sources from the ministry's Department for Personnel Affairs said the list of newly selected scholars will be revealed in September.

The ministry's other plans include the continuation of the Awards for Young College Teachers, which has played a crucial role in stopping brain drain in universities during the past few years, the newspaper quoted a department official as saying.

One hundred college teachers from across the country will be honored by the awards next month, according to the official.

The awards, established by the ministry in 1999 and costing 50 million yuan (about US$6 million) a year from the state budget, honors around 100 excellent teachers each year. Each winner gets a prize ranging from 60,000 yuan (US$7,229) to 100,000 yuan (US$12,048) per year.

During the past three years, 314 college teachers nationwide have received the award.

The ministry has also selected 495 outstanding research programs completed by college teachers. These programs will be highlighted by the National Awards for Teaching Achievements of Higher Education next month.

The national awards, set up in 1989, present prizes every four years to aid college teachers with their academic research.

(People's Daily May 8, 2002)

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