18 December 2014

Following a call by the Chinese government to reform and modernise the country’s higher education sector, experts in the field of education gathered at the ‘2014 International Forum on Higher Education’ in Wuhan city, central China, last month. More than 600 representatives of the higher education sector in China and delegates from the UK, US and Japan attended, many of whom were invited to share their expertise on the topic of modernising education. 

Among the key recommendations were to reform the governance systems at higher education institutions to increase their independence and efficiency, to streamline administration processes and reduce red tape, and to standardise quality reviews. Co-ordination with government and industry also needs to be deepened to bring higher education in line with national development targets and market needs. 

Increasing innovation was highlighted as a top priority to ensure China remains economically competitive. Greater co-operation among universities and research institutes was suggested as an effective means to achieve this. Partnerships with industry were also recommended to increase the employability of students and promote the commercialisation of research projects. 

It was noted throughout the forum that internationalisation should be an integral part of the modernisation process, suggesting opportunities for UK higher education institutions to share their expertise and engage in partnerships.

The 2014 International Forum on Higher Education was hosted by the China Association of Higher Education and co-organised by the British Council. For more information please contact zhao.li@britishcouncil.org.cn.