China Leads Alliance Of More Than 100 International Universities

University students
China leads the formation of an alliance among more than 100 international universities that will meet regularly to share their knowledge about different segments of the industry. (Photo: Pixabay)

Forty-five Chinese universities and 14 others from South and Southeast Asia, including India, Thailand, and Singapore, gather together to form an alliance that will see them upheld regional cooperation on higher education.

Chinese universities that will participate in the coalition include Renmin University of China and Fudan University. The coalition's headquarters will be based in Yunnan University according to Xinhua.

Lin Wenxun, president of Yunnan University, will serve as the secretary-general according to an official announcement ceremony held on Dec. 10 in Kunming, Yunnan.

Yunnan has been home to a total of 18,800 overseas students. Of them, 15,773 came from the South and Southeast Asian countries, according to Zhu Huashan, department head of Yunnan Provincial Bureau of Education.

All members of the alliance are expected to meet on a regular basis and share their knowledge on university administration, participate in talent acquisitions, collaborate on laboratories that will promote scientific research.

China has been aggressively enhancing its education sector with different activities and partnerships. The Ministry of Education estimated that about 8.34 million university students in China are going to graduate in 2019. This was an increase o 1.7 percent or 140,000 from the current school year. In context, newly minted graduates in 2019 will be more than the entire population of Hong Kong. If the rate at which it is increasing at present is sustained in the next three years, Chinese graduates will be more than the entire population of Taiwan.

From 2010 to 2017, the number of Chinese students grew between 2 and 5 percent. From that year to last year, the number of students expands from 5.31 million to 57 million.

China has also been gracious to its education sector with the government spending as much as $675 billion in 2017, up by 9.43 percent from what was spent in 2016, according to data released by the Ministry of Education earlier this year.

The country also spent 325 trillion yuan for pre-school. This number was 6.11 percent more than what was allotted in preschool education in 2016. It has also been gracious in investing in its nine-year compulsory education, allotting 1.94 trillion, an increase of 9.96 percent from the budget in 2016.

Budget allotted for high school education reached 663 billion yuan in 2017, up 7.82 percent from what was delegated in 2016. Higher education, meanwhile, was allotted 1.1 trillion yuan, a 9.72 percent increase from what was given in 2016.

China has also been spending considerably in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM. Ellie Bothwell, Global Rankings editor of the Times Higher Education, said the government's effort had paid off because Chinese universities ranked well globally with regard to STEM education.

Tsinghua University is currently number 20 in STEM global rankings. Shanghai Jiao Tong University climbs into top 50 this year while the University of Science and Technology of China climbs from 71 to 57. The latter was in the same ranking as the Rice University in the United States.

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