China spends too much educating university students compared with the amount earmarked for schoolchildren, a symposium at the Chinese University of Hong Kong was told. Professor Tan Song-hua, deputy director-general of the National Centre for Education in Beijing, said the average cost of educating primary and secondary students had increased considerably. Yet too much money was spent on university education relative to the amount devoted to schools. Professor Tan said in 1980 a university student's education cost about 30 times as much as a secondary student's. The figure had fallen to 9.7 times by 1995 but the average for developing countries was 7.5 times and for developed countries, 1.9. By 1995, each university student cost 5,442 yuan (HK$5,082) annually, secondary students 561.86 yuan and primary students 266 yuan. Professor Tan said last year 98.8 per cent of eligible children went to primary school. By 2000, about 85 per cent of the population would be receiving nine years of education, and by 2010 the figure would rise to 95 per cent. But he said it did not mean they were receiving a quality education. Professor Tan said there were serious inconsistencies between teaching in rich and poor provinces, and urban and rural areas. A few 'key' schools in cities produced most university students.