Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

Literature Review on Changes of Professional Title Policy in Chinese Universities

Academic journal article Cross - Cultural Communication

Literature Review on Changes of Professional Title Policy in Chinese Universities

Article excerpt


This paper reviews the literature of research on policy changes of the professional titles in Chinese universities and summarizes the characteristics of policy changes of college professional titles in four aspects of connotation, function, mechanism and model: changing from identity assessment to contractual appointment, from academic performance identification and resource allocation to performance management and incentive restraints, from the administrative-oriented to academic-oriented and from a mandatory institutional transition to an induced institutional transition. On this basis, the paper proposes focus of future research.

Key words: Chinese universities; Professional title policy; Changes; Literature review


Since the founding of new China, the professional title policy in Chinese universities has been evolving. Universities have conducted reforms regarding the standards for specialized title promotion and appointment system and introduced mobile and dynamic assessment, competition and elimination mechanisms, which to some extent has inspired teachers' academic motivation, Teachers spare no effort to get research projects and publish papers so as to gain a higher level of professional title and the corresponding compensation. This article reviews research on professional title policy changes in Chinese universities to lay a solid foundation for the follow-up researches on the impact of professional title policy for the academic development of university teachers^


The professional title system in modern Chinese universities came from the western educational system, The word "professional title" originally meant the "name of title", referring to a person's title. After the founding of our country, there was no clear professional title promotion system and the traditional licensed title system of the Republic of China was followed, namely professors, associate professors, lecturers, teaching assistants. The name, rank and number determined then were just to unify the chaotic salary grades of the country, and no relevant policies and regulations were made then. In 1956, the country formulated the "Regulations of the Academic Titles in University teachers" which divides university teachers into four levels: professors, associate professors, lecturers, and teaching assistants.

In March of 1960>the State Council issued the "Interim Provisions on College Teachers' Professional Titles and the Way to Determine and Promote"; in March of 1978, State Council approved the "Report of the Education Regarding Issues on Universities to restore and Enhance Teachers' Professional Titles". The two documents defined the connotation of professional titles and that is the "professional title" in the concept of the majority of teachers and educators. It was also linked with salaries and compensations. However, it ignored the balance between the enjoyment of the corresponding job compensations and the fulfillment of the respective responsibility requirements and it ignored the principle of the unity of responsibilities and rights. In recent years, the corresponding administrative governmental department has changed the connotation of "professional title" and defined it as the grade name to differentia professional skills, education, abilities and achievements, taking it as a symbol to reflect a professional and technical personnel's academic level, working abilities and past achievements and as an evaluation and recognition of the professional and technical personnel. At present, the content of university professional title policy includes basic conditions, business conditions (teaching, research, papers, monographs, awards, patents, achievement transformation, etc.), the appointment method, and exceptional condition.


"A lot of intellectuals put issues related to professional titles as the most important problems to be resolved. …

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