On the morning of September 27th, Peking University (PKU) Human Capital and National Policy Research Center co-constructed with the Ministry of Education (MOE) (hereinafter referred to as the Research Center) was declared open in Yingjie Exchange Center. Vice Minister Lu Xin on behalf of the MOE and President Zhou Qifeng on behalf of PKU signed the co-construction agreement of the Research Center, with Madam Lu Xin and Mr. Zhu Shanlu, Secretary of PKU Party Committee, jointly facilitating the unveiling ceremony. The opening ceremony was chaired by Mr. Xie Huanzhong, Director of Development and Planning Department of the MOE.
In his address, Mr. Zhou Qifeng emphasized that human capital is a country’s most valuable wealth foundation and a vital source for economic growth and development. Meanwhile, education is a fundamental channel for improving national quality and realizing people’s all-around development. Therefore, “how to upgrade human capital through education so as to boost and accelerate our socialistic modernization progress” has become a key strategic issue of our national development. With “constructing top-class think tank, serving educational policy making” as the starting point, the Research Center aims to open up the channel for educational research and decision making, carry out research on educational planning and other fundamental and strategic issues, and offer strategic consultation on key issues concerning educational reform and advancement through integrating cross-disciplinary advantageous resources.
Mr. Wu Hemao, executive Vice-Dean of PKU National School of Development (NSD) and Deputy-Director of the Research Center,introduced its construction process. Relying on the NSD of PKU and centering on the topic of human capital, the Research Center will integrate the disciplinary advantages of Economics, Pedagogy, Sociology and the Science of Law to fulfill comprehensive cross-disciplinary research based on the practice of our country’s reform, development and modernization drive so as to proactively put forward major solutions in terms of strategy, system, policy and basic theories. The MOE will provide funding support for the Research Center in the form of academic subjects and research projects, entrusting the Research Center to carry out major monographic research and fully backing it to be constructed into PKU’s first-class think tank in the field of human capital and national policy research, an academic and research center with Chinese characteristics and an international scientific research and cooperation hub. Its researching scope covers research on human capital investment and transformation of economic development mode, research on human capital investment and social construction, educational investment and the forming of human capital, and quantitative research on human capital.
Professor Liu Wei, a famous economist in China and Vice President of PKU, was invited to deliver an academic report entitled ‘Human Capital Accumulation and China’s Economic Growth’. In his report, Professor Liu pointed out that the ultimate root solution to the difficult problems concerning current economic growth is boiled down to the upgrading and accumulation of human capital. Human capital plays a significant role in realizing moderate income limit in developing countries and balanced growth in developed countries. Meanwhile, the investment in human capital not only has an important influenceon China’s long-term development but plays a part of utmost importance in current short-term macroeconomic control.
On behalf of Jiangsu educational system, Director of Jiangsu Provincial Education Department extended his warm congratulations on the establishment of the Research Center and indicated that Jiangsu province boasts of numerous universities and scientific research institutions with abundant human and intellectual resources. The scientific research institutions in Jiangsu province will proactively reinforce the communication and collaboration with the Research Center and is ready to provide it with first-class service to facilitate relevant survey studies and to make contribution to assisting the Research Center in offering quality research findings.
Mr. Zhouxu, Director of Chongqing Education Committee, also represented Chongqing Education Committee to extend his warm congratulations on the establishment of the Research Center. He reckoned that its setup manifests a major action of PKU to serve economic and social development as well as a visionary measure to our country. It is of great significance both to Chongqing and the West of China. Mr. Zhouxu hoped that the Research Center would choose Chongqing as one of the targets for research and one of the bases for creative exploration. Chongqing municipal government will also greatly support its work and actively absorb its research fruits to contribute to boosting educational development in Chongqing.
On behalf of the MOE, Vice Minister Lu Xin extended her warm congratulations on the establishment of the Research Center, together with her thankfulness for the hard efforts made by PKU during the process of preparation and construction. Vice Minister Lu Xin denoted that recently Premier Wen Jiabao had pointed out in the Summer Davos Forum that education ranks number one in the six factors driving future economic growth. Therefore, economic development should be based on the constant escalation of the quality of human capital and human resources. In this regard, Madam Lu Xin put forth five inspirations derived from the practice: first, emphasis should be pinned on the equilibrium between the human capital investment and physical capital investment because if we only pay attention to the investment in physical capital while overlooking the investment in human capital, the healthy development of GDP cannot be guaranteed; second, the quality of human capital is a decisive factor in transforming the mode of economic expansion; third, the correlation between the aggregation, structure and quality of human capital and educational setup, structure and system is worthy of in-depth research; forth, human capital accumulation is the strategic choice of innovation as currently our biggest problem is the lack of innovation capacity and whether “Made in China” could be changed into “Created in China” is of utmost importance and whether we can come out of the income distribution trap depends on human capital accumulation; fifth, investment and accumulation of human capital are two conditions to realize long-term and sustainable economic growth.
Apart from the Research Center co-constructed with PKU, Vice Minister Lu Xin also briefly introduced other four centers co-constructed by MOE Research Center of Scientific Decision of Education together with Tsinghua University (THU), Renmin University of China (RUC), Nankai University (NKU) and University of International Business and Economics (UIBE). Vice Minister Lu Xin hoped that with the establishment of the five research centers we could promote scientific level of educational decisions, bring out the most of the optimal think tanks covered by the MOE to serve the decision making of CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and reach the full potential of the advantages of the MOE and its advantages in mobilizing human capital.
The institutions present at the opening ceremony of the Research Center include Education Planning and Strategy Research Council members, representatives from local administrative organs of education and representatives from THU, NKU, RUC and UIBE.