Foster genuinely creative research
Comment on "A move in the right direction"' (Page 4, Oct 24-25, China Daily)
I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments expressed regarding higher education by Cong Cao in the China Forum article entitled A move in the right direction. My experience as a foreign teacher at college and university level left me with the feeling that the key to improving academic standards was that only those who have built their careers on teaching and research should be allowed to manage China's universities and colleges and not bureaucrats and administrators.
At present, as Cong points out, "each university is assigned an administrative rank" and "and under this system, a university president is only accountable to the government agency that made the appointment and not to the students, the teaching staff or the university or college". Cong further states that this process "largely ignores the societal mission to nurture and cultivate talent."
If the Chinese people are to achieve their true intellectual, scientific and literary potential, then priority must be given to both raising academic standards and fostering genuinely creative research. Turning over the universities and colleges to those who actually teach and conduct research is the first step. It means that academic decisions would be made by the educators and researchers themselves on behalf of the community.
The next step would be to internationalize this process so that not only could experienced foreign educational administrators have the chance to manage a Chinese college or university but, it would give Chinese academic administrators the chance to manage foreign universities and colleges. Such an "opening-up" approach could not only help but raise the educational and research level of Chinese universities to world standard and, in the process, also foster a spirit of international collegiality and understanding.
Dr Ross Grainger
New insurance law most conducive
The Insurance Law amendment, effective since Oct 1, has already shown a positive effect in promoting healthier competitive insurance market, better serving the insured, and stimulating insurance companies to improve management. All these bode well for a harmonious society.
The insurance market developed rapidly during the last decades along with China's boosting economy. Now there are scores of companies in the industry featured with different stakeholder structures, such as State-owned, joint-venture or foreign-funded, and competing fiercely in the market.
Amid intense competition, disputes between the insured and insurers have been a hot topic in recent years. The China Insurance Regulatory Commission, the insurance market watchdog, has strengthened supervision and regulation. To survive in the rough market background, some insurance companies have to maintain competitive edge, improve the management and provide customers high-quality services.
Along with the new Insurance Law being put into effect, more and more insurance companies will put more effort into customer service and product innovations. It may result in a more healthy competitive insurance market and contribute to a harmonious society.
(China Daily 11/03/2009 page9)