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Education funding in Guangdong criticized

By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou | | Updated: 2013-01-28 17:11

Deputies of Guangdong's top legislature and members of the province's advisory body on Monday criticized the prosperous province for not investing sufficient money in educational resources.

The province's government-funded universities and colleges have debts of about 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion).

Legislator Huang Yeting said it was not enough for Guangdong to invest 146.5 billion yuan in educational development last year, because Guangdong's gross domestic product (GDP) has reached 5.7 trillion yuan .

"Investment in education should represent 4 percent of the province's total GDP," Huang told a panel discussion during the ongoing annual conferences of the two organizations in Guangzhou.

Huang Wei, a member of the Guangdong provincial committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said Guangdong's investment in education has been less than the figure recorded in some middle and western regions where economic development lags behind.

"Guangdong has recently lost many accomplished faculty teachers because of the lack of investment in education," Huang said.

Xu Jiarui, another legislator from the province, urged the province's top legislative body to legislate to annually increase investment in education.

Zeng Zhiquan, director of Guangdong provincial department of finance, admitted that Guangdong had not invested enough in education in recent years.

"But it is difficult for Guangdong to invest 4 percent of its GDP in education at the moment, as the province has to hand over a big part of its revenue to the central government and spend a large sum of money improving infrastructure and people's livelihoods," he said.

According to statistics from the Guangdong provincial department of education, the debts of more than 30 government-funded universities and colleges in Guangdong have now reached around 10 billion yuan.

Shaoguan University in the northern part of Guangdong and Southern Medial University, owe debts of 46 million yuan and 45.33 million yuan respectively.

Guangdong provincial department of education plans to invest more than 16.3 billion yuan in education development. The large investment includes about 527 million yuan, to repay debts.

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