CAS plays a major role in China's graduate education system. The history of graduate education in the People's Republic can be traced back to 1951, when the academy joined hands with the Ministry of Education in enrolling the first batch of 276 graduate students. In addition, the academy's establishment of the Beijing-based graduate school of USTC on March 1, 1978 marked the resumption of graduate education in China after the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution. From 1978 to 2001, CAS trained more than 50,000 graduate students, including the first holder of a doctorate in science and in engineering ever trained in China.
CAS prides itself on its two-stage model for graduate education: students spend their first-year on campus studying various courses necessary for their degrees, then they pursue research projects for their dissertations at various CAS research institutes.
However, the way that each institute runs its own programs of graduate education separately in terms of enrollment and curriculum layout under the old system has encountered difficulties. Such problems as decentralized management and the lack of an integrated campus environment have hindered the improvement of education quality. It was necessary for CAS to consolidate its graduate system throughout the academy. In May 2001, CAS established its Graduate School (University of Chinese Academy of Sciences) with an enrolment of more than 13,000 students, of whom about 6,000 are studying for doctorate degrees.
A system of unified management of student enrollment, educational administration, and degree conferral is set up at the school. Its Beijing-based headquarters will comprise three campuses, each with different functions. The graduate training bases scattered throughout the country will be sub-venues for teaching, academic exchanges, public administration and comprehensive quality education. Various CAS institutes will be the basic units and entities for this education.
Beginning in 2001, the school has established a comprehensive system covering the needs and organization of research assistants, management assistants and teaching assistants, with an aim to offering graduate students both financial aid and opportunities to utilize their knowledge.
The development of a major national base for talent cultivation remains high on the CAS agenda in its current reorganization drive. Enrolment is slated to increase to 30,000 in 1990, with 50% studying for doctorates. The aim of the school is to become a first-class modern graduate school in Asia.
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS)
University of Science and Technology of China (USTC)