Academic journal article Journal of Community Positive Practices

China's Higher Education Development: Policy Review and Recommendations

Academic journal article Journal of Community Positive Practices

China's Higher Education Development: Policy Review and Recommendations

Article excerpt


Higher education institutions are responsible not only for the the transmission and production of knowledge, but also make a positive contribution to the economic development as well as welfare of mankind (Thorens, 2006). Since 1978, Chinese government has implemented economic reforms towards outside the world, 'the focus of China was shifted to economic introduction to higher education in China development (Zhu and Lou, 2011, p. 2). Lots of higher education policies had been promulgated, resulting in an unprecedented opportunities for higher education in this country. Massification has been done, world-class universities and world-renowned universities have been established. Chinese higher education system as well policies for higher education development would be reviewed; essential policies for the development of higher education institutions in China would be discussed. This research compared the current policies of tuition fees, block grant budget, and university council in China, with university governance patterns in countries shaped by the Napoleonic model or the Humboldtian model. Several suggestions for Chinese government to revise policies for higher education development in the coming years will also be discussed.

2.Literature review and research framework

Higher education system includes public and private institutions around the world except for UK and Ireland (Mora, 2001), and the State manage higher education development through the state control model or the state supervising model (Vught, 1989). At the time of the founding of the People's Republic of China, 'all private and missionary universities and colleges were turn into public ones' (Liu, 2016, p. 50), and over-specialized institutions were dominant throughout the higher education system due to an attempt to duplicate the Soviet model of higher education because it worked well with the planned economy (Zha, 2009). All Chinese universities were owned and directly administered by the Ministry of Education and other ministries. Higher education had, therefore, developed in accordance with the planning and administration of the Chinese government (Zhu and Lou, 2011).

With the establishment of China's economic reform and Open-Door Policy since 1978, higher education opened out 'towards the future and towards modernization' (Deng, 1993, p. 35) as well as „better serve the socialist construction' (Deng, 1994, p 103). China's higher education entered an era of rapid development and comprehensive reform: Both central and local government participated in governing higher education system (Mok, 1999), private universities were reintroduced at the early of the 1980s (Morgan and Wu, 2011), comprehensive public universities were encouraged to launch through merger (Wang and Liu, 2009), the objective of massification of higher education had been established (Chen 2004), the world-class university and world-renowned universities had been targeted via the introduction of project 985 and project 211 (Wang et al., 2011).

To enhance the development of higher education in China, a series of policies for higher education development had been promulgated by Deng Xiaoping and his successors. The 1985, Decision on the Reform of Educational Structure issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China started a process of decentralization. Decision makingpower from the central government had been initially transferred to local government and public higher education institutions. The roles and responsibilities of central and local government in higher education development had been clarified to meet the current requirements of socio-economic development at that time (Liu, 2016); university were allowed to charge tuition fees on a small number of student in public universities (Hong, 2018); the role and responsibility of the president as well as Communist Party Committees in public universities had been re-determined (Liu, 2017). …

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