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China to raise bonuses for nation's top scholars

03-10-2012 09:57 BJT

BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhua) -- China will increase bonuses awarded to the nation's top scholars, the Yangtze River Scholars, according to a plan unveiled by the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Friday.

According to the plan, starting this year, the central government will set aside 200 million yuan (31.7 million U.S. dollars) each year as bonus funds for Yangtze River Scholars.

The government budget will go toward expanding Yangtze River Scholar professorship and raising their bonuses. The number of specially-appointed professors under the scheme will be increased to 150 from the previous 100, and lecture professors will be moderately reduced to around 50.

Specially-appointed professors could receive an annual bonus of 200,000 yuan for five years, up from 100,000 yuan each year for three years. Lecture professors could also receive 30,000 yuan for three years, doubling the previous amount.

The increased professorship will go to universities in the country's underdeveloped central and western areas as well as those working in social science disciplines, as the current ratio is unbalanced. Among the current 1,801 Yangtze River Scholars, less than 30 percent come from central and western areas and only around 20 percent are researchers in the social sciences.

Moreover, Yangtze River Scholars are encouraged to build their own research teams with government support.

The Yangtze River Scholar award, which started in 1998, is one of China's highest academic honors given to scholars from across the world. To date, 1,801 people have been named Yangtze River Scholars, including 1,190 specially-appointed professors and 611 lecture professors, and 85 of them have been elected as members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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