19th Party Congress: China hopes to play leading role in education worldwide

Education Minister Chen Baosheng expressed a hope that China will become the overseas study destination that students from around the world most aspire to go. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - China's education minister hopes that the country will play an increasingly important role in education globally, including becoming the overseas study destination for students around the world.

"I hope that China will play a leading role in education worldwide, which means the standards of education in China will become the standards of the world," Education Minister Chen Baosheng said at a news conference on the sidelines of the 19th Communist Party of China National Congress.

In his reply to a question about his wishes for China's education by 2049, Mr Chen said: "I hope that China will have a bigger say in educational affairs globally and make contributions to the development of the world's education using China's own experiences and wisdom."

Mr Chen also expressed a hope that China will become the overseas study destination that students from around the world most aspire to go.

"We will be happy to see more teachers and students from other countries come to visit China and make progress together with their Chinese counterparts," he said.

With more than 440,000 students from 205 countries and regions studying in China last year - up nearly 35 per cent from 2012 - China has become the largest overseas study destination in Asia and the third largest in the world.

At least 47 countries and regions have signed agreements on mutual recognition of academic degrees, according to the Ministry of Education.

According to Mr Chen, education in China has made great leaps during the past five years and has been making increasingly bigger impacts internationally.

He said the quality of education in China has generally reached a medium-high level. Some disciplines of higher education have met worldclass standards and some universities' places in global rankings have climbed quickly in recent years.

However, further efforts are needed to meet people's growing demands for a better quality education, Mr Chen said.

In the report to the 19th Party Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping said that priority should be given to education to speed up its modernisation and to develop education that satisfies people.

To realise that goal, Mr Chen said the ministry will make efforts to improve in at least five aspects: preschool education, compulsory education, high school education, higher education, and the training of teachers.

The gross enrolment rate of preschool education, for example, is expected to reach 85 per cent by 2020. The current rate is 77.4 per cent.

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