China's education institutes cash in on deciphering reform plan

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 22, 2013 4:54 AM

By Li Hui and Sui-Lee Wee

BEIJING (Reuters) - The impact of China's ruling Communist Party's reform plan may not be known for some time but one clear winner has already emerged: schools that are charging officials up to $1,400 to "interpret" the lengthy document.

The 21,000-character, 60-point plan issued last week after a party plenum has spawned an industry made up of several universities and institutes, trying to help people decipher the economic and social reforms mapped out for the next decade.

The most expensive course is taught by a consultancy called China Finance City that offers the public one-day training on "the interpretation of the plenum decisions". Four lectures cost 8,800 yuan ($1,400).

"People all over the country are paying close attention to the decisions, they want to understand what the policy implications and orientations will be," Wu Yushan, the manager of the consultancy, told Reuters by telephone.

"There is a huge demand in the market."

The elite Peking University is offering a one-week course for 3,200 yuan. Lectures will be given by experts in various fields, from urbanization to legal reform, many of which have advised government decision-making.

"A lot of people from government offices, and the Communist Party propaganda and organization departments have come to us, they find it useful," said a teacher surnamed Hu.

The government has exhorted the country to study the reform blueprint, making government agencies, party organs, soldiers and school-children hold study sessions on the implementation of "the spirit of the Third Plenary Session".

The party's Central Committee has also set up a propaganda team, whose members include various ministers and directors of powerful offices, to prepare lectures about the reforms. The team will give lectures across the country from Saturday. ($1 = 6.0932 yuan)

(Reporting by Li Hui; Editing by Robert Birsel)