Institutions will face stricter requirements to obtain post-graduate degree-awarding qualifications, according to a document released Thursday by the State Council, China's cabinet.
After institutions apply for the qualification, provincial academic degree committees will select from among applicants to recommend institutions to the State Council Academic Degrees Committee, which will then organize a group of experts to decide whether a qualification will be approved, the document said.
The document stated that a master's or doctorate program must perform an assessment three years after it obtains its degree-granting qualification, adding that the institution will not be allowed to apply to establish new post-graduate degree-awarding programs for a period of time if it fails to meet certain standards in the assessment.
New applications will also be suspended if an institution has other problems, including failing to allocate scholarships and grants to those in need, inadequate investigation and punishment for academic misconduct and dissertation quality problems.
As China's post-graduate education has rapidly developed in recent years and the number of students enrolled continues to increase, the document also calls for controlling the number of institutions with degree awarding-qualifications.
Institutions that award master's and doctorate degrees in China include universities, academies and research institutions. China now has 402 institutions qualified to award doctorate degrees and 730 institutions qualified to award master's degrees.