President Jiang Zemin's 'Theory of the Three Representatives' speaks to the hearts of the elite in China's top higher education institutions. As the vanguards of advanced production and culture, they serve the masses by providing quality education and tickets to upward mobility. Min Weifang, Vice-Chancellor of Peking University and head of its Communist Party committee, yesterday gave high marks to President Jiang Zemin for achieving spectacular economic growth over the past 13 years. He said much soul-searching had followed the student movement in 1989 and the lessons learned by both the party and the students had led to a long period of stability and solidarity. Peking University has been a hotbed for student activism dating back to the early 20th century. Mao Zedong was once a librarian there. It has an unusually high number of Communist Party members, amounting to 13,000 students, faculty members and staff. Professor Min joined the Communist Party in 1970 while working in a coal mine. After the Cultural Revolution he went to the United States and studied at Stanford University, where he obtained two master's degrees and a doctorate, specialising in the economics of education policy. This is his first time as a delegate to the party congress. Professor Min said the expansion of higher education in China over the past three years had been astounding. In 1980, only one million students enrolled in universities. The number doubled in 1990 and now 14 million are attending post-secondary educational institutions, accounting for about 14 per cent of young people. The target is to boost enrolment to 15 per cent by 2005 and between 25 and 30 per cent by 2020. The professor admitted that the rapid development of higher education meant that some institutions were not adequately prepared, but over-all, the quality had improved. Not all higher educational institutions should aim to be top ranking, he said. He believed a differentiated approach, which would create schools like the two-year community colleges in the US, could better cater to the needs of mass higher education in the mainland.