Chinese government spent $614 billion on education in year 2017
China has become the leading producer of scientific research papers in the world, surpassing the US for the first time and way before industry experts had predicted.
But the occurrence should not come as a surprise. China spent a whopping 4.25 trillion yuans (about $614 billion) on education in the year 2017, a massive increase of a 9.45-percent over the spending in 2016, according to Xinhua news agency.
According to the news agency, more than “3.42 trillion yuans of the input was fiscal expenditure, up 8.95 percent from the previous year, accounting for 4.14 percent of the country’s GDP and making 2017 the sixth consecutive year that the number was over 4 percent”.
The details were revealed by the Chinese Ministry of Education, National Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry of Finance. The statement added that 20.33 trillion yuan of “China’s total public finance expenditure in 2017 was on education, accounting for 14.71 percent of the total”.
The spending has been reflected in the China’s increasingly strong foothold in the world of higher education, and a dominant force in both research and innovation. A recent report highlighted the Chinese effect on research. The recent study showed that China was now above the US in terms of scientific research papers each country was producing, with Chinese research papers constituting almost a fifth, or 20 percent, of the total global output.
China already has its sights on the top prize: to make Chinese universities the best in the world by 2050. For that it has initiated the “Double First Class” project, through which China plans to improve the number of globally high-ranked universities in the country by 2050. The programme has been in operation since 2015 and works for a five-year duration. Last year, the Chinese government announced names of 42 universities that were to receive assistance for becoming world-class institutions, while another 95 were shortlisted for support in developing world-class courses.
That has led to massive investment in research , especially in scientific fields. But the results appear to have already begun pouring in. The new figures published by International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) indicates that Chinese research was growing at a pace experts failed to rightly predict.
The report – The STM Report: An overview of scientific and scholarly publishing – comes out every three years and reveals that there were more than 33,000 active peer-reviewed English-language journals publishing more than 3 million articles a year. Chinese research constituted 18.6 percent, outdoing US contribution of 18 percent. India was another rapid grower, producing 5 percent of all STM global outputs, more than Germany, the UK and Japan.
Head of STM Michael Mabe said the “dominance of Chinese research indicated a clear turning point in the international publishing landscape”. He said although Chinese were predicted to become the leading research contributors, it wasn’t expected until 2025.
Kudos to China for handing the surprise to the world this quick.