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Growth rate of university enrollments slows
Latest Updated by 2006-05-29 10:16:50

University enrollments will increase by five percent this year, a growth rate five percent slower than last year, the Ministry of Education said on Thursday.

China's State Council, or the cabinet, ordered universities to focus on improving teaching standards rather than increasing the number of students earlier this month.

Education experts believe the decision indicates an end to the rapid growth of China's universities since 1999.

The college enrollment rate stood at about 3 percent in the mid 1980s, lower than many developing countries, which rose to five percent in the early 1990s.

In 1999, when the government launched a higher education expansion program, universities enrolled 1.59 million students, up 48 percent from the previous year.

Last year, 5.04 million students were enrolled, 4.7 times more than the number in 1998. The number of students in higher education institutions hit 23 million last year, the highest in the world.

Many experts, students and parents believe the enrollment expansion beginning in 1999 had led to a decline in teaching quality and conditions in universities.

Editor: Wing

By: Source:China View website
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