China has not only educated more postgraduate students in the past decade than ever before, but has also improved the quality of teaching and research programs, training more capable graduates to better serve national development needs.
According to the Ministry of Education, more than 600,000 doctoral graduates and 6.5 million master's graduates have been educated in the past decade.
Majors required to boost national economic and social development have also been created, including cyberspace security, integrated circuit science and engineering, and traditional Chinese medicine, Hong Dayong, director of the ministry's department of degree management and postgraduate education, said during an online news conference on Tuesday in Beijing.
More doctoral programs in science, engineering, agriculture and medicine are now available, with the number increasing from 1,944 in 2012 to 2,575 today.
Some disciplines associated with philosophy and social sciences that have important cultural value, such as the study of oracle bone inscriptions, have been promoted.
Postgraduate programs tailored to national strategic needs, such as public health, research into the history of the Communist Party of China, and quantum science and technology have also been established.
Peking University, one of China's top universities, has increased investment in fundamental subjects, recruiting more talent in areas tailored for the country's urgent needs, such as mathematics and basic medicine, said Gong Qihuang, executive vice-president of Peking University.
The university has also established and improved the scholarship system for doctoral students and boosted financial support for graduate students to allow them to focus on studies, he said.
Peking University has improved cooperation with China's major science and technology platforms to educate graduate students to enhance the integration of research and teaching, as well as education and industry, Gong added.
Tsinghua University, another top university, targets training top engineers.
It aims to meet the nation's urgent need to set up programs to serve its development strategy, such as programs in innovative engineering, electronic information innovation and entrepreneurship, energy internet, international nuclear power, aero-engine and ultraprecision technology, and integrated circuits in cross-disciplinary fields, said Yang Bin, vice-president of Tsinghua.
Tsinghua focuses on strengthening cooperation with internationally renowned universities in the field of engineering to enhance the ability to train capable graduates independently.
In the past decade, Tsinghua has set up 25 joint-degree programs with international elite universities, such as Yale University in the United States. In 2017, in cooperation with three of China's major nuclear power companies, Tsinghua set up a nuclear power engineering and management program to train international talent in the field and educate top engineers, he added.
"The scale of doctoral students in China has been expanding in the past 10 years, especially in the fields of science, engineering, agriculture and medicine," said Yang Wei, president of the Chinese Society of Academic Degrees and Graduate Education, adding that the scale has been expanded based on ensuring the quality of such programs.