[photopress:Chinese_undergraduates_1.jpg,full,alignright]The Ministry of Education has launched a nationwide project with RMB2,488 million (US$320 million) in government funding to improve the teaching of undergraduates.
The funding, to cover the next four years, will mainly be used to improve teaching programs and materials and strengthen universities’ teaching capabilities.
Zhang Yaoxue, director of the Ministry’s Department of Higher Education, said the project included sponsoring 15,000 university students who were conducting innovative experimental projects and giving awards to 500 outstanding teachers annually. It would also sponsor 3,000 staff in teaching or management in short-term work for universities in western China, where teaching resources were limited.
China’s higher educational institutions have been expanding rapidly following the government’s decision to enroll more university students in 1999. The country has 23 million on-campus students, more than triple of the number that existed in 1998. Experts said that though the expansion enabled more people to enter college, it has also led to the decline of teaching standards.
Zhang Yaoxue said, ‘Undergraduate education is the most important part of higher education. Only if the quality of undergraduate education improves can higher education produce more leading professionals for the country’s development.’
Source: Xinhua News Agency