2018 is the beginning year to deliver the blueprint of the 19th National Congress of Communist Party of China (NCCPC). It is also the year to launch the Double World-class project. The report of 19th NCCPC set the goal to accelerate the construction of world-class university and world-class discipline and to implement the essential development of higher education. As an important system and innovative mechanism related to national strategy, the Double World-class project has a wide and profound impact on the development of graduate education in China. As one of key indicators of world-class discipline, world-class university and strong higher education system, graduate education faces not only new opportunity but also tremendous stress and challenge. The essential development with a goal of quality improvement is replacing the development with a feature of enrollment expansion.
2018 is the year for the breakthrough of the reform in degree authorization. As the result of 2017 authorization audit, the Degree Committee of China’s State Council (DCCSC) announced the list of new master and doctoral programs with degree authorization in March. The application and authorization of new master and doctoral programs reflect the requirement for essential development and quality-oriented. In the same year, DCCSC issued the Guidance on the Self-audit of Degree Authorization of Universities, which authorizes 20 universities (including Peking University, Tsinghua University) to set their own degree program for the first time. This authorization among some universities of the Double World-class project motivates those institutions to be proactive and to better serve the national strategy. With a series of reforms, the review of degree authorization has formed a working system that combines normalization and dynamic changes. China’s three-level system of degree authorization has been improved.
2018 is the year to comprehensively emphasize the advisor’s responsibility in moral education. Universities take the opportunity to follow China’s Ministry of Education on the Guidance of Comprehensive Implementation of the Advisor’s Responsibility in Moral Education and Ten Rules on the Professional Behaviors of Faculty in a New Era. One important task for those universities is to build a top faculty with talent and moral and to design or improve the accountability system for morals and ethics of faculty. Most universities have drafted or revised their own action plans on morals and ethics of faculty and clarified the zero tolerance for moral violations of faculty. Playing a major role in graduate education, 57 institutional members of the Association of Chinese Graduate Schools (ACGS) are participants, builders and leaders of reforms and constructions mentioned above.
2018 marks the 40th anniversary to renew the admission of graduate education in China. After the rapid growth of forty years, China’s graduate education has developed the structure, expanded the enrollment and improved the quality. We summarize the achievement while aware of the substantial gap between the practice and the national vision, social expectation, historical mission and international benchmark in terms of serving national need and preparing top innovative and practical talents. As the mainstream of graduate education in China, Institutional members of DAGSC are accountable and capable of improving the quality of graduate education for the transition from enrollment expansion to essential development.
2018 is also the 10th anniversary of publication of Annual Report on China Graduate Education under the supervision of ACGS. With support from institutional members and deans of graduate schools, the annual reports have a focus on practical issues, empirical evidence and the combination between theoretical inquiry and practical questions of graduate education. This year’s annual report follows the tradition to survey and analyze the hot issues and challenges on curriculum regulation of doctoral students, topic source and originality of doctoral dissertation, academic exchange participation and outcomes of doctoral students, evaluation of graduate scholarship and academic performance of master students. Graduate schools can benefit from these studies to better understand the development of graduate education in China, to identify problems and obstacles in educational practice and to find the solutions to those problems.
Secretary-General of the Association of Chinese Graduate Schools
August 30, 2019