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Higher Education in Post-Mao China

Michael Agelasto ,Bob Adamson

Publication Year: 1998

This book looks beyond the articulated goals and accomplishments of the modernization of higher education in China. It delves into the grass roots reality and identifies the true achievements, the unintended outcomes and the major obstacles that still have to be overcome.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU


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pp. v-vii


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pp. ix

About the Contributors

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pp. xi-xiii


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pp. xiv


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1. Editors' Introduction

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pp. 1-9

The People's Republic of China (PRC) is home to the single largest indigenous population in the world. The sheer size of the PRC's natural and human resources has enabled the country to occupy an increasingly important position internationally as a socio-economic and geopolitical...

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2. Reforms in the Administration and Financing of Higher Education

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pp. 11-27

This chapter presents an overview of higher education reform in the PRC, focusing particularly on finance and administration. Finance is always a central issue in the PRC's education reform. Education reforms have started with the decentralization of the financing system; with it comes reform in many aspects in education. Higher education is no exception. However, ...


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3. The Strategic Role of Faculty Development and Management

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pp. 29-58

Since the mid-1980s, the focus of educational reform in the PRC has not diverged (at least in theory) from the goal of producing more and better qualified people to meet the demands of the Four Modernizations. This mission is especially evident in higher education — in particular, at the top echelons of the 'training-ladder' of qualified personnel...

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4. Chinese Scholars and the World Community

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pp. 59-77

This chapter analyses the participation of Chinese scholars in the world community since the PRC opened up to the world in the late 1970s. The first section presents a statistical overview of Chinese scholarly publishing in the international context in order to highlight the progress made in increasing the visibility of Chinese scholarship. The second section offers a ...

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5. Returns to Education -- The US/PRC Visiting Scholars Programme -- 1978-88

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pp. 79-98

This chapter examines the impact of the US/PRC Visiting Scholars Programme which allowed mid-career professionals from the PRC to undertake advanced training abroad. The academics discussed in this study were in their forties or fifties and spent at least one year in the USA between 1978 and 1988 at the University of Illinois, a comprehensive, multi-campus ...

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6. Modernizing Science Through Educating the Elite

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pp. 99-119

In embarking on the Four Modernizations, the PRC placed intrinsic importance on science. Following the chaos of the Cultural Revolution, the nation's leadership decided to emphasize scientific research and to increase the number and quality of scientists. This endeavour was undertaken through many strategies, including the developing of the scientific ...


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7. Educational Utilitarianism: Where Goes Higher Education?

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pp. 121-140

Throughout history, Chinese people have been characterized by their utilitarianism. In traditional culture, utility was put above everything else, as illustrated in the expression, 'Gear one's study to the art of government and practical use ...

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8. Modernizing English Language Teacher Education

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pp. 141-164

This chapter examines the consequences of the Dengist educational reforms for English language pre-service teacher education. It focuses on contentious topics (viz., that the English language embodies foreign influence) and on key aspects of modernization —teacher education plays an important role both in upgrading the quality of teaching and in supplying sufficient ...

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9. Agricultural Universities: Engines of Rural Development?

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pp. 165-187

Agricultural universities worldwide have always been more pragmatic than comprehensive or liberal arts universities. Their mission is clear: to systematize and develop agricultural science and technology for use in production by farmers, thereby improving both rural living standards and the national economy. This holds true for Chinese agricultural universities ...

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10. Higher Adult Education: Redefining Its Roles

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pp. 189-210

Soon after the twin policies of the Four Modernizations and the Open Door were initiated in the late 1970s as the means for achieving economic transformation, demand for human resources soared. However, the education system revealed its incapability of rising to the challenge to produce well-trained personnel in huge numbers. To address this problem, ...


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11. Stratification Trends in Technical-Professional Higher Education

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pp. 211-235

This chapter looks at contemporary trends in Chinese society as it undergoes the transition from isolated bureaucratic socialist state to player in the global economy. We examine whether, in the transitional times of the late 1980s, the advantaged social strata were passing on their status to the next generation by means of higher education of the technical-professional kind. ...

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12. Changing Conceptions of Equity and Student Financial Support Policies

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pp. 237-257

This chapter focuses on the transition from free higher education to a tuition fee-based system in the PRC during the reform period. The former was characterized by grants without tuition fees to all students while the latter may be described as conditioned aid with tuition fees —one with strings attached. By analysing the change in policies, this chapter explores the shift ...

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13. Graduate Employment: From Manpower Planning to the Market Economy

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pp. 259-280

As the PRC moves away from a socialist redistributive economy and towards something that resembles a market-driven system, many aspects of central planning are being replaced with market mechanisms. For most of the past 25 years, a continuously evolving planning process controlled the placement of university graduates into jobs with state-run firms or ...

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14. Privatization or Quasi-Marketization?

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pp. 281-298

Since the founding of the PRC, education has been under government control, characterized by the notion of 'bureaucratic centralism'. In the mid-1980s the CCP began to diversify education, allowing and encouraging the establishment of schools run by the non-state sector. In recent years, private education has been undergoing rapid development, particularly in ...


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15. Mixed Blessings: Modernizing the Education of Women

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pp. 299-320

This chapter examines the roles of higher educational institutions in shaping women's lives and the influences women have had on education in the PRC. It will analyse women both as students and faculty staff by considering the characteristics and development of the gender gap in higher education within historical and cultural contexts. Through an empirical analysis based ...

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16. Chinese Educational Reforms and Feminist Praxis: On Ideals, Process and Paradigm

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pp. 321-343

This chapter discusses the birth, life and closure of China's first institution of higher education with a women-centred programme, the Zhengzhou International Women's Institute. The Institute closed in March 1995, 22 months into its existence, due to larger political issues to be discussed below, but also due to internal dysfunction and ultimately insurmountable ...

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17. Gender Differences in Taiwan’s Academe -- Implications for the PRC

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pp. 345-357

Throughout the world teaching in higher education has traditionally been a male-dominated profession. Women have been a minority of instructors and professors at colleges and universities, even in countries where women represent over half of the students in higher education. As a minority, women have been segregated into the lower ranks, into part-time teaching ...


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18. Is Lei Feng Finally Dead? The Search for Values in a Time of Reform and Transition

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pp. 359-373

Periods of dramatic economic and social change are inevitably unsettling; they force upon society unanticipated cultural adjustments which can threaten traditional values and patterns of interaction. This observation, which applies to segments of Chinese society at almost any point in the last century, is especially relevant to the post-Mao era and is manifested in ...

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19. The Limits of Political Loosening: CCP Restraints on Student Behaviour in the Spring of 1989

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pp. 375-398

In many ways, CCP control over college campuses decreased in the 1980s. Indeed, the CCP's Education Reform Document of 1985 expressly stated that the PRC's educational problems derived from 'excessive government control'. A major component of the CCP's proposed solution was decentralization; specifically, universities were given more power over ...


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20. Editors’ Conclusion -- The State of Chinese Higher Education Today

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pp. 399-416

In designing this volume, the editors intended to compare the planned goals of Chinese higher education reform with the experienced reality. This proved a task more easily contemplated than accomplished. As we reviewed the literature and gathered prospective authors, we quickly realized that a lack of data presented a major obstacle to achieving our intended analysis. ...

Appendix: Executive Summary of China: Higher Education Reform. A World Bank Country Study

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pp. 417-434


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pp. 435-442

Select Bibliography

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pp. 443-484


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pp. 485-492

E-ISBN-13: 9789882201538
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622094505

Page Count: 520
Publication Year: 1998