Fujian has been playing a leading role in pre-tertiary education for years. In 1998, the province completed the literacy education program for young adults and made nine-year compulsory education basically universal, the ninth province in China to do so. In 2016, all counties in the province passed the national assessment of establishing a balanced compulsory education system, the seventh to do so. At present, we have 7,791 kindergartens with the estimated number of 1.57 million pupils, 6,433 elementary and secondary schools with about 4.14 million students, and 533 high schools with 634,700 students registered. Children of migrant workers and handicapped children now have the access to quality education. The province is endeavoring to provide universal pre-school education with higher quality, more balanced compulsory education, and better high school education with special features. All these efforts are paying off as a number of high quality schools with model effect have sprung up.
Under the guideline of boosting vocational education for the province’s development and employment, Fujian is deepening the integration of industries and education and the collaboration between businesses and schools with the aim of establishing a dual system for vocational education in the province. There are 51 higher vocational institutes in the province, of which six are national demonstration schools and eight are provincial ones. The number of students in Fujian’s vocational schools totals 257,000, accounting for 34% of students in institutions of higher learning. We have 207 secondary vocational schools with 381,000 registered students, of which 31 are national demonstration schools for reform and development and 16 are provincial ones. The enrollment rate of high school students and that of students in secondary vocational schools are kept balanced. In terms of technical schools, we have 62 in aggregate with 64,000 registered students, of which 14 are national key schools and 9 provincial ones. Majors related to such key industries as electronic information, petrochemical industry, intelligent manufacturing and integrated circuits are available in these schools. And we have established a discipline structure matching with Fujian’s industries and cultivated a number of skilled workers.
The gross enrollment rate of Fujian’s higher education stands at 46.7%, indicating that the province has entered an era for more universal higher education. We now have 88 institutions of higher learning with 756,400 registered undergraduates and junior college students. Fujian is home to 81 authorized units for doctoral degree of first-level disciplines and 203 authorized units for master degree of first-level disciplines. We have completed the building of some key disciplines, key laboratories and talent cultivation bases at national, provincial or ministerial levels. Xiamen University is making strides to build itself into a first-class university of the world. Fuzhou University, Fujian Normal University and Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University are endeavoring to be national first-class universities. Huaqiao University is marching toward the goal of being a famous high-level university with distinctive features. By the end of 2016, the program of “Study in Fujian” has attracted 12,300 foreign students, accounting for 1.6% of the total number of students in institutions of higher learning.
Scientific and Technological Strength
Fujian is taking proactive measures in the implementation of the strategy of innovation-driven development. The environment for innovation and business startup has been improved; innovation is now more invigorated; foundations for innovation platforms become more solid; and science and technology play a greater role in implementing supply-side reform and industrial transformation and upgrading. Therefore, the province is better placed in the national scientific and technological innovation endeavors. Approved by the State Council, Fuzhou, Xiamen and Quanzhou are bent on building themselves into independent innovation demonstration zones, the very first province to start such an initiative since the conclusion of the National Scientific and Technological Innovation Conference.
Fujian houses seven national high-tech industrial development zones and 2,535 high-tech enterprises. It is also home to 14 National Innovation-Oriented Enterprises and 15 National Innovative Pilot Enterprises. Priority is given to innovation in application of CNC (computer numerical control) technology in the transformation and upgrading of the manufacturing sector. Quanzhou, which is the demonstration area for “New Generation of CNC”, has been designated to be the first pilot area for “Made in China 2025” project at local level. We are moving faster to produce new platforms for high-level research and innovation with greater support in policy-making, fund sourcing, talent pooling and base building. We take the lead in organizing major scientific and technological projects from planning to implementation to completion. Right now, we have 26 major industrial technology research platforms at provincial level, 22 industrial technology platforms for public services, and 28 provincial-level strategic alliances for industrial technology innovation. Furthermore, we have 10 National Key Laboratories and 200 provincial ones, and 479 research centers for engineering technology at or above provincial levels (10 national-level ones included). There are more than 400 maker spaces in the province, of which 26 are at national level and 113 at provincial level. We also registered 160 incubators with an area of 2.46 million m2, hatching 4,202 companies and creating 76,000 jobs. We have built one Innovation and Entrepreneurship Demonstration Center in each of the nine multi-district cities in the province and incubated 49 provincial-level startup bases for micro and small businesses.
Agriculture and Sci-Tech Application in Our Life
In the implementation of “Action Plan of Fujian Province on Innovation in Modern Agricultural Science and Technology with Local Characteristics”, we have dedicated greater efforts to promoting research on key technologies with wide-range applications, including research on innovation of seed industry, agricultural facilities and deep processing etc. The province now has seven National Agricultural Science and Technology Parks, nine Provincial Agricultural Science and Technology Parks, seven National Sustainable Development Pilot Zones and 11 Provincial Sustainable Development Pilot Zones. Progress has been made in the control of the red earth (krasnozem soil) erosion in the south, the close monitoring of marine environment in major sea areas, and the research and development of new types of vaccine. Major breakthroughs have been made in the research on the antibacterial peptide for marine animals, winning recognition of the Ministry of Agriculture. The pilot program of “Agricultural Mass Innovation” has been launched with 20 candidates registered. We have been enforcing the policy of assigning scientific and technological professionals to the grassroots, and so far have selected a large number of experts to offer sci-tech assistance and relevant services to help economic and social development in 23 provincial poverty-stricken counties.