Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday called for deepening reforms in the country's education sector in order to better cultivate innovative minds.
Addressing a symposium that gathered heads of 53 Beijing-based public and private colleges and universities, Li said the level of a country's higher education is a key indicator for its overall competitiveness.
He urged colleges and universities to play a bigger role in promoting mass innovation and mass entrepreneurship, and in cultivating more innovative talents, for "competition between nations nowadays is in fact competition of innovation," he said.
The premier said colleges and universities should focus on raising students' awareness for original innovation and improving their practical capabilities.
Equality of education must be promoted, by providing more favorable policies for rural and impoverished students, so as to level the playground and help them unleash their innovative potentials, Li said.
Meanwhile, the country should work to establish a batch of "high-level universities", Li said, adding that higher learning institutions should have more decision-making powers for their own operations, and that authorities should delegate more administrative approval powers and cut outdated regulations.
He also said researchers should have a greater say in the application of their own innovative achievements and a greater share of the proceeds from such applications.