A Social Policy Analysis of Expanded Enrolment of China's Higher Education/ANALYSE DE LA POLITIQUE SOCIALE DE RECRUTEMENT ELARGI DE L'EDUCATION SUPERIEURE DE CHINE

Article excerpt

Abstract:

Since 1999, China's State Council has made a series of significant policy adjustments on the development of higher education. Among these the most important and profound one is a new deal of expanded enrolment. Meanwhile, this new policy has also raised a variety of policy dilemmas. This paper conducts an analysis of the expanded enrolment policy from the perspective of social policy, with a purpose of providing help for the research of China's higher education reform.

Key words: China's higher education, expanded enrolment policy, social policy analysis

Résumé: Depuis 1999, le Conseil des Affaires d'Etat de la Chine a pris une série de politiques signifiantes pour ajuster le développement de l'éducation supérieure. Parmi les plus importantes se trouve une qui vise au recrutement élargi. En même temps, cette nouvelle politique a causé aussi des dilemmes. L'article présent procède à une analyse de la politique de recrutment élargi dans la percpective de la politique sociale dans l'intention de donner une aide aux recherches de la réforme de l'éducation supérieure chinoise.

Mots-Clés: éducation supérieure de Chine, politique de recrutement élargi, analyse de politique sociale

1. THE BACKGROUND AND CURRENT SITUATION OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF EXPANDED ENROLMENT

China's reform and development of higher education has undergone three phases. The first phase is from the Third Plenary Session of the 11th CPC Central to the issue of "The Decision of the CPC Central Committee on Educational Reform". This phase is a period of "gestation" for China's educational system. The focus of this period is to expand the educational autonomy of universities and colleges. The second phase is from the issue of "The Decision of the CPC Central Committee on Educational Reform" to the 14th Party Congress, on which the goal of "establishing the new system of socialist market economy" was explicitly set. This is a period when the higher education system reform was in full swing. The third stage is from the 14th National Party Congress to the issue of "The Reform and Development Program of China", which was jointly authorized by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council of China. This opened up a new era of China's education system. (Deng Xiaochun, 2002)

According to UNESCO statistics in 1998, the gross enrollment rate of school-age youth for higher education was averagely 18.18% worldwide, with 40.12% in developed countries and 14.11% in developing countries. In comparison, the figure was merely 7.16% in China. The conversion from elite education to mass education till the achievement of popularization of higher education has been an inevitable choice and inexorable social development trend. (Ji Baocheng, 1996)

Thus, in 1999 the State Council made drastic adjustments in higher education policy. In the new policy the most important content is the expansion of student's enrollment. (Table 1) From 1999 to 2005 there was a dramatic advance in the college students' enrollment.

2. EXPANDED ENROLMENT TRIGGERED NEW PROBLEMS TO HIGHER EDUCATION

Values consideration holds a key position in making public policies. In the process of policy formulation and implementation, value embodies not only the realization of people's need, but also the pursuit of the certain objectives. In most cases, a public policy is produced as the result of an assortment of identification, comparison, differentiation, and coordination. This process reflects the relationship and interaction of various interests behind, and is in itself a gaming process involving various values and interests. This will inevitably lead to the conflict and tension between the single-objective-orientated policy and multiple values, because policy cannot guarantee the realization of the interests of each interest group. The actual results of expanded enrollment policy are inevitably different from its expected impact. The following issues will be triggered. …