China Discipline Evaluation (CDE) is a non-profit program organized by China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Centre (CDGDC), evaluating the disciplines of universities and scientific research institutions in Chinese Mainland in accordance with the Discipline Catalogue of Degree Awarding and Personnel Training （grouping the disciplines into 14 domains and 113 first-level disciplines，Click to view）. CDE aims to promote the disciplines construction of universities, improve the quality of graduate education and degree awarding, and offer the society the information of the quality of universities and scientific research institutions. CDE is carried out every 4-5 years.
CDE is a non-administrative evaluation program, adhering to the principle of “voluntary application, free participation”. Once CDGDC issues an invitation, institutions of first-level disciplines awarding doctoral or master degrees can apply for evaluation. Since its first launch in 2002, four rounds have been completed so far, and the fifth round of CDE is currently being conducted. A total of 7,449 disciplines from 513 institutions participated in the fourth round of CDE carried out in 2016, among which the participation rate of first-level disciplines awarding doctoral degrees reached 96%. (Click to view the results of the fourth round of CDE). After nearly 20 years of continuous exploration, improvement and development, CDE has become an influential higher education evaluation brand in Chinese mainland, attracting extensive attention at home and abroad.
CDE is guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, focusing on morality education, highlighting the diagnostic function, strengthening classification evaluation, and highlighting Chinese characteristics. CDE is carried out under procedures of voluntary application, information collection, information verification, information disclosure, feedback review, expert evaluation, questionnaire survey, result formation and release, and result analysis, mainly as follows:
(1) Information collection. It is a process of the combination of public data acquisition and institutional supplement. Institutions can submit the evaluation materials through the network system to improve the reliability of the evaluation data.
(2) Information verification and disclosure. Through seven measures including review on whether the information is normative, information logic inspection, public data comparison, verification of proof materials, repetitive data screening, spot check of abnormal data and checking which discipline the information belongs to, data inspection and cleansing can be comprehensively and strictly conducted to ensure the authenticity and reliability of the evaluation data. At the same time, the evaluation information will be publicized online, and the participating institutions will supervise each other and raise objections. Finally, the suspicious problems found in the information verification and information publicity will be summarized and fed back to the relevant institutions for review and confirmation.
(3) Questionnaire survey and expert evaluation. Invite experts to conduct peer reviews on indicators such as “Achievements in Ideological and Political Education” “Quality of the Talent Training Process”“Teaching Staff”through the method of “combination of quantitative and qualitative”. Most of the indicators are evaluated with the method of "integrated evaluation" based on quantitative data and evidence. Conduct questionnaire surveys on the student quality among students and employers through the online survey platform, and invite peer experts outside the Chinese mainland to conduct international reputation surveys on disciplinary level.
(4) Result release and analysis service. According to the indicator weights determined by experts, the evaluation results are formed by statistics, and the results are published in grades instead of scores. After the evaluation is completed, in-depth information mining and analysis services will be carried out to provide the government and universities with various big-data discipline analysis reports, which helps in summarizing the phased results of discipline construction, locating structural shortcomings, and promoting the connotative high-quality development of disciplines.