Higher Education in Post-Mao China

By Michael Agelasto; Bob Adamson | Go to book overview

enterprises, and profit from school-run factories. Men tend to have a greater network for outside opportunities and are more likely to engage in research projects with outside sources. While achievements are necessary for academic reward, women are not put into a position to demonstrate their abilities. Female faculty members are expected to take up much of the teaching, lower-level administration and household and parenting chores. 31 The latter activities are not as well rewarded as the former ones, and income discrepancy between male and female academics in the PRC is visible, if not statistically definable.

Housing is also an important issue in the academic reward system. In many Mainland universities, female faculty members qualify for on-campus housing only after they reach the rank of associate professor, whereas men are provided with accommodation at the rank of teaching assistant. This double standard reflects the value that men's career development carries more weight than women's in Mainland academe. 32 Another example shows the unequal treatment of men and women. The retirement age is 60 for men and 55 for women. As one approaches retirement, opportunities become fewer and fewer for women than men, while pressures increase. Consequently, women do not move up as much as their male counterparts. 33

For both Taiwanese and Mainland female faculty members, a graduate degree is crucial to promotion. In Taiwan, a doctoral degree is essential for female professionals in academic employment, research, high-level administrative positions, and for rank advancement. 34 Compared to their Taiwanese counterparts, Mainland female faculty members also face difficulties in promotion. As the current criteria for promotion emphasize formal graduate degrees and research productivity, women are disadvantaged because they are less likely to hold a graduate degree or to publish. Consequently, women's rank promotion tends to be slower than their male counterparts.


CONCLUSION

Gender differences exist in the measures of academic rewards and promotion in Taiwan. Although empirical studies do not show a consistent pattern of strong gender preference in the résumé-evaluation stage of hiring faculty members, due to the imperfection of this evaluation technique, discrimination possibly exists; more comprehensive research is needed.

Regarding the status of female faculty members in Taiwan and the PRC, both groups share commonalties in their academic careers. The status of contemporary Taiwanese and Mainland women reflects a mixture of

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