Since 1998, the speech of President Jiang on the 100th anniversary of Peking University, the Ministry of Education of China decided to implement the 985 Project. The Project is to support some China’s universities to become top and high-level in the world. Now there are 39 universities on the list. And of course, these countries are the most famous one in Mainland China.
China has the largest population in the world. And its GDP and area are in the first several. Statistics of China are good in many aspects. However, China’s education development is not as perfect as its economy. China doesn’t own a top university like Harvard University. China’s universities drop behind on the world universities ranking. That means a big problem. So China is so eager to own some top universities.
That’s why the 985 Project was born. But could the Project make the ideal be reality?
First of all, we should figure it out why we don’t have a top university. That’s the key question. Then we could know how to construct a top university.
More and more universities and officials say their universities will be constructed as a top university. But we all know that’s just a slogan. Education needs doers, not politicians. Meetings, files and slogans are not necessary. We just need to do everything needed. We should construct a university as the module what it should be. Without spirits of universities, universities wouldn’t be true. If we don’t settle the deep contradiction, it will be very difficult to establish a top university.
And we should also know that construction of universities needs time. Nobody can give a schedule. For a political reason, many presidents release an exact time-table about what time their universities will become top. It’s very utilitarian and not practical.
When the Project became a political movement, it would be a failure. And after spending a lot of money and effort, the Project wouldn’t do good to China’s education system. No one wants to see that day come.
A few months ago, I wrote an essay to talk about reasons that China doesn’t have a top university. Actually, people know these reasons. But no one can change it. It has something to do with the systems. That’s what I’m worried about most.
Without top universities, we can’t say our education is successful. Without top universities, we can’t stop our genius students go abroad for study. Without top universities, we can’t make the country strong permanently.
The day when universities on the list below are the top ones in the world, then China is really a strong and powerful country. Perhaps, I could wait for that day.