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Table 1 the development stages of contemporary higher education and public health education in China [16, 17]

From: History and status quo of higher public health education in China

Stage Time Characteristics Purpose of higher education reform Public health education
First (the formative period) 1949–1956 Expansion and recovery To meet the needs of national construction and social needs Imitation of the Soviet model: 1950, the first session on national health; 1953, the 167th meeting of the State Council; 1954, the first national conference on higher medical education
1957–1966 Expansion The leap-forward development based on the great leap forward Deviation from the Soviet model: 1959, national conference for the exchange of teaching experience; 1961, work regulations about colleges and universities directly under the Ministry of Education (draft)
1967–1976 Shrinkage The extreme political education development The decade of unrest
Second (the development period) 1977–1985 Expansion To resume the college entrance examination Selective recovery and rectification period: 1977, opinions on the recruitment of colleges and universities and opinions on the recruitment of graduate students in colleges and universities; 1984, the first academic symposium on professional education in public health; 1985, the decision of the national central committee on the Reform of Education System; 1985, the Department of Hygiene was upgraded to school of public health.
1986–1998 Recovery and adjustment The connotative development based on structural reform The establishment of modern university system: 1988, National Conference on higher Medical Education; 1989, the found of Chinese association of public health education of Chinese Preventive Medical Association; 1993, doctoral students of public health were enrolled.
Third (the improvement period) 1999–2005 Expansion The leap-forward development of college enrollment expansion The big expansion: 2000, Reform and Development Compendium of Chinese Medical Education; 2002, Master of Public Health (MPH) enrollment
2006 Recovery and adjustment The connotative development based on the improvement of quality Meet the needs of health service and improve the quality: 2006, basic requirements of public health education; 2009, full-time MPH enrollment; 2009, National Medium- and Long-Term Program for Education Reform and Development; 2013, National Conference on Graduate Education Work; 2013, the establishment of the steering committee on public health and preventive medicine teaching in higher education