50357-001: Accelerating the Reform of Application-Oriented Undergraduate Programs at Local Universities in Yunnan Province | Asian Development Bank

China, People's Republic of: Accelerating the Reform of Application-Oriented Undergraduate Programs at Local Universities in Yunnan Province

Sovereign (Public) Project | 50357-001 Status: Active

The proposed knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) will support the development of policy frameworks for accelerating the reform of application-oriented undergraduate programs at local universities in Yunnan Province through research, capacity development, and policy advice to promote socioeconomic development and regional cooperation with Southeast Asian countries. The Government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) has requested the TA from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as part of its efforts to rationalize the higher education system in Yunnan Province to fill critical skills gaps in local and regional labor markets. Following a mission in March 2018, ADB and the government reached an understanding on the TA objectives, scope, implementation arrangements, costs, and terms of reference for consultants. The TA is included in ADB's country operations business plan for the PRC, 2018 2020.

Project Details

Project Officer
Maruyama, Asako East Asia Department Request for information
Country
  • China, People's Republic of
Sector
  • Education
 
Project Name Accelerating the Reform of Application-Oriented Undergraduate Programs at Local Universities in Yunnan Province
Project Number 50357-001
Country China, People's Republic of
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 9526-PRC: Accelerating the Reform of Application-Oriented Undergraduate Programs at Local Universities in Yunnan Province
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 400,000.00
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Partnerships
Private sector development
Sector / Subsector

Education / Tertiary

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming No gender elements
Description The proposed knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) will support the development of policy frameworks for accelerating the reform of application-oriented undergraduate programs at local universities in Yunnan Province through research, capacity development, and policy advice to promote socioeconomic development and regional cooperation with Southeast Asian countries. The Government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) has requested the TA from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as part of its efforts to rationalize the higher education system in Yunnan Province to fill critical skills gaps in local and regional labor markets. Following a mission in March 2018, ADB and the government reached an understanding on the TA objectives, scope, implementation arrangements, costs, and terms of reference for consultants. The TA is included in ADB's country operations business plan for the PRC, 2018 2020.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The PRC's higher education system the largest in the world in terms of number of higher education institutions (HEIs) and students has been growing rapidly, contributing to remarkable economic growth. Yet as the economy undergoes fundamental transformation and its growth has slowed, structural issues with the PRC's higher education system have become more prominent. These include homogenization of colleges and universities, difficulties of graduates with finding employment, and insufficient capacity of HEIs for innovation and entrepreneurship. Against this background, the Ministry of Education issued guidelines for provincial governments to rationalize the higher education system by establishing a system for classifying HEIs, and to transform some local colleges and universities to offer application-oriented undergraduate programs which integrate discipline-oriented education and professionally oriented practical training through university enterprise cooperation and meet the needs of local socioeconomic development. At the same time, research universities were guided to enhance global competitiveness and state-of-the-art disciplines.

Bordering Viet Nam, Lao People's Democratic Republic, and Myanmar, Yunnan Province forms part of the PRC's poor and underdeveloped western region. Its higher education system, comprising 79 HEIs (77 colleges and universities, and 2 adult education colleges), has been unbalanced in their capacity to meet the needs of local socioeconomic development, and graduates face difficulties with getting employed. When Yunnan Provincial Department of Education (PDE) initiated the reform of application-oriented undergraduate programs in 2008, HEIs in Yunnan Province were undifferentiated from each other in programs they offered, particularly due to the upgrading of many three-year colleges to four-year colleges and universities (local universities) after 2000. Since then, Yunnan PDE has pursued a series of reforms to align the higher education system with skills needs in local and regional labor markets. For example, in 2014, ahead of the Ministry of Education's guidelines, Yunnan PDE started to pilot the reform of application-oriented undergraduate programs at nine local universities. In 2016, it introduced a HEI classification system to comprehensively reform the higher education system, while it has started to develop world-class universities in 2018. Moreover, Yunnan Province strives to promote international cooperation in higher education, with emphasis on cooperation with Southeast Asian countries (the Belt and Road Initiative).

At present, all local universities are guided to implement the reform of application-oriented undergraduate programs in Yunnan Province. Despite achievements, the pilot reforms indicate challenges and issues, including:

(i) difficulties with adapting professionally oriented majors and clusters (i.e., groups of majors) fully in line with the needs of local industries due in part to time lag between the pace of industry transformation and upgrading and that of curriculum, teaching force, and training materials and facility development and upgrading, and to insufficient university enterprise cooperation;

(ii) inadequate university entrance exam system based on discipline-oriented majors and graduation exam system based on thesis, as opposed to the emphasis on professionally oriented practical training in application-oriented undergraduate programs;

(iii) underdeveloped capacity for training human resources to promote cooperation with Southeast Asian countries and implement the Belt and Road Initiative;

(iv) limited public funds to develop practical training, innovation, and entrepreneurship facilities;

(v) constraints on the autonomy of local universities, particularly that of public universities to seek funding other than from the government;

(vi) unclear legal rights and obligations of the parties involved in university enterprise cooperation.

These challenges and issues are compounded by lack of policy frameworks at the national and provincial levels for different types of universities (public, private, independent schools and institutes subordinate to universities) which are coordinated with other policy areas, to accelerate the reform of application-oriented undergraduate programs at local universities.

Impact Higher education system in Yunnan Province in support of socioeconomic development and regional cooperation rationalized
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Reform of application-oriented undergraduate programs at local universities widely implemented
Progress Toward Outcome
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Status of the reform of application-oriented undergraduate programs at local universities assessed

Good practices and lessons learned on the reform of application-oriented undergraduate programs documented and disseminated

Policy recommendations on accelerating the reform of application-oriented undergraduate programs at local universities in line with local industry transformation and upgrading plans developed

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Geographical Location Yunnan
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services A consulting firm (international, 6 person-months; national, 13 person-months) will design and conduct policy-oriented studies on the reform of application-oriented undergraduate programs at local universities. It will be selected using the quality- and cost-based selection method, with a quality-cost ratio of 90:10 and simplified technical proposals. Output-based, lumpsum contract with a provision of fixed out-of-pocket expenditures will be considered for the assignment.
Responsible ADB Officer Maruyama, Asako
Responsible ADB Department East Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Urban and Social Sectors Division, EARD
Executing Agencies
Yunnan Provincial Department of Education
2 Xuefu Road, Kunming, Yunnan
Yunnan Provincial Finance Department Division of International Cooperation
Wuhuashan, Kunming Yunnan,
Peoples Republic of China
Timetable
Concept Clearance 19 Apr 2018
Fact Finding 08 Mar 2018 to 12 Mar 2018
MRM -
Approval 14 May 2018
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 16 May 2018

TA 9526-PRC

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
14 May 2018 11 Jun 2018 11 Jun 2018 30 Jun 2020 - -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
400,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 400,000.00 14 May 2018 0.00

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