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Uncertain fate: China's first "independent" university

Updated: 2011-08-25 07:30
By Feng Xin (chinadaily.com.cn)

One university in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen has been making national headlines since the beginning of this year.

The South University of Science and Technology of China, or the SUSTC, opened its doors this January. It recruits students only through its independent exam rather than the National College Entrance Exam adopted by almost all public universities in China.

The president of the university, Zhu Qingshi, aimed to bring a series of changes to China's higher education system by establishing what he calls "China's first independent university".

According to the Chinese Higher Education Law, high school students are required to take the National Entrance Examination held each June to get in universities. But the SUSTC recruits students independently through its own selection.

Whereas the state awards degrees through the State Council, the SUSTC intends to do it on its own.

While the State Council and local governments manage public universities, the SUSTC tried to rid itself of bureaucracy in favor of a board of directors.

While these all sound revolutionary and pioneering, troubles came one after another.

Digest China host Feng Xin has interviewed the university's president Zhu Qingshi and also invites one guest to join her in the studio.

Xiong Bingqi specializes in Chinese higher education and is the vice president at the 21 Century Education Research Institute. He has written nearly a dozen books about the Chinese higher education system. One book, titled Universities Have Problems, has drawn special attention from the academic and public realms.

For more videos from this series

Uncertain fate: China's first