higher education through self-paced study

higher education through self-paced study
In 1977, entrance examinations for college enrolment resumed after a ten-year ban during the Cultural Revolution. Universities already in dire need of accommodation, faculty and funding suddenly faced a relentless influx of talent of various ages who had been deprived of the opportunity to receive higher education for a decade. Beijing, hit the hardest by the predicament, adopted a resolution in July 1980 to allow its residents to pursue higher education through self-paced study and receive degrees by going through comparable procedures. In January 1981, programmes offering exams for those seeking higher education through self-paced studies were piloted in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and later Liaoning province.
In May 1985, the State Council set up the National Steering Committee on Exams for Those Who Seek Higher Education through Self-Paced Studies, which began to make the pilot programmes standardized throughout the country. By the year-end, examination systems for self-paced studies had been established all over the mainland. Apparently, this examination system proved to be an innovative solution to the country’s unique problem. It helped pay off what the Cultural Revolution owed to the Chinese, and is still helping to fill the gap between a large population of prospective college students and an inadequate number of universities.
Self-study examinations may qualify students for a two-year non-degree diploma, a three-year associate degree and a four-year bachelor’s degree. Designated universities conduct examinations and confer degrees in accordance with guidelines set by the central and provincial governments.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.