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IX. Education, Science and Technology

Education enjoyed a rapid development. There were 651,000 graduate students enrolled in universities or research institutes in 2003, including 269,000 new entrants, and 111,000 students completed their graduate programmes. There were 11.086 million undergraduates enrolled in general universities, including 3.822 million new entrants, and 1.878 million completed their undergraduate courses. Secondary vocational or technical schools of various types had an enrollment of 12.402 million students, including 5.041 million new entrants, and 3.438 million students graduated. General senior secondary schools had 19.648 million enrolled students, including 7.521 million new entrants, and 4.581 million graduated from senior secondary schools (see Table 12). Students enrolled in junior secondary schools totaled 66.906 million, including 22.201 million new entrants, and 20.184 million completed their junior secondary school courses. Pupils enrolled in primary schools numbered 116.897 million, including 18.294 new entrants, and 22.679 million graduated from primary schools. There were 365,000 students in special education schools, with 49,000 new entrants. Kindergartens accommodated 20.04 million children. 

Table 12: New Entrants and Graduates by Type of Education, 2003
Unit: 10,000 persons


New entrants

Students in the previous year




Regular 4-year and 3-year colleges



Secondary vocational or technical schools



Regular senior secondary schools




New breakthroughs were made in science and technology in 2003, with research and development (R&D) expenditure for the whole country reaching 152.01 billion yuan (US$18.31 billion), up 18.1 per cent over 2002, accounting for 1.3 per cent of GDP. Of this total, 8.6 billion yuan (US$1.04 billion) was used for basic research. China had 28.344 million professionals and technicians of all specializations working in state-owned enterprises and institutions at the end of the year. China implemented 1,573 projects under the National Key Technologies R&D Programme and 4,479 projects under the High-Tech Research and Development Programme (863 Programme). A total of 274 demonstration projects were launched for the industrialization of high-tech research outcomes, and another 15 major research projects for technical equipment were initiated in a rotating manner. The establishment of nine national engineering research centers, the initiation of 46 projects on updating key national laboratories and the designation of 302 national technical centers established in enterprises (groups) took place in 2003. A total of 29,870 scientific research results were achieved at and above provincial or ministerial level, including 2,029 accomplishments in basic research, 26,425 accomplishments in applied research and 1,416 accomplishments in soft science research. Around 308,000 patent applications were received from domestic and overseas applicants, while 182,000 patents were authorized, up 22.1 per cent and 37.6 per cent respectively. A total of 268,000 technology transfer contracts were signed, involving a transaction value of 108.27 billion yuan (US$13.04 billion), up by 22.5 per cent. With the successful launch and return of a manned spacecraft, China became the third country in the world with independent technology for manned spacecraft programmes.


A total of 15,676 institutions in China were responsible for the inspection of manufactured products, including 245 national inspection centers. One hundred and thirteen institutions in China were involved in the certification of product quality and systems, which certified products for a total of 46,000 enterprises. There were a total of 3,815 authorized measurement inspection institutions in China, which enforced compulsory inspection on 26.91 million measuring instruments in 2003. A total of 1,653 national standards were formulated or revised, including 734 new standards. There were 250 meteorological observatories with radar installations and 386 satellite cloud map receiving stations. There were 1,253 seismological monitoring stations and 30 remote monitoring network stations. There were 1,737 marine observation and monitoring spots. Surveying and mapping departments published 1,572 kinds of maps and 454 kinds of surveying books.


(China.org.cn March 1, 2004)

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