Non-government colleges seek help
Education experts yesterday called on the government to put more money towards private colleges.
He Xiangdong, president of the Beijing Society of Adult Education, said the lack of government support has made it difficult for most private higher education institutions to expand.
Worse, many are dealing with chronic lack of money and scrambling for students, He said.
There are more than 1,300 educational institutions of higher learning in China that receive no government funding. They play an increasingly important role in the development of higher education.
Statistics show that before the appearance of private colleges, only 4 per cent of high school graduates in the country could go to university.
But now about 40 per cent of them have the chance to receive a higher education, said He. Of course, expansion of the enrollment by government-run universities and colleges should be taken into account.
However, due to the influence of traditional concepts, private schools are generally regarded as inferior to their public peers.
"The government invests no money in most non-government-run colleges," said He, who participated in the 2004 China-US Conference on Community Colleges yesterday.
In addition, most local governments give no preferential treatment in terms of land-use policy to private universities.
However, though generally regarded as second-class to their public counterparts, private education institutions still show boundless vitality.
Gu Xiaowen, a graduate of the private-run Beijing Minzu University - located on the capital's outskirts area - told China Daily that his school always designs courses according to the demands of the job market.
Therefore, graduates like him can easily find employment after graduation as long as they study hard and earned an accredited diploma, the 23-year-old said.
Many private universities turn to prestigious local public universities for their higher management staff, capable faculties and make use of their advanced facilities.