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China Table of Contents


Research in Colleges, Universities, and Enterprises

As a consequence of China's adopting the Soviet model for the organization of science and industry--featuring strict separation of research, production, and training--little research has been done in Chinese universities. The State Education Commission has provided only limited funding to support research, and through the 1980s the scale of research at most colleges and universities has been very modest. Since 1980 a few academic research institutes have been established in such areas as computer science. The World Bank has supported a major effort to increase research in Chinese universities and to make better use of the scarce skills of faculty members. On the whole, though, universities have continued to play only a minor role in scientific research.

Research institutes associated with or organized as constituent parts of productive enterprises have been quite rare and represent the smallest of the five systems of research institutes. Only the largest mines, oil fields, or factories, such as the Anshan iron and steel complex in Liaoning Province or the Yanshan petrochemical complex in Beijing, had their own research units, dedicated to solving immediate problems in production in the late 1980s. Enterprises concentrated on production, and their managers had little incentive to take the risks associated with innovation.

Data as of July 1987