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Innovation and Control: Universities, the Knowledge Economy, and the Authoritarian State in China

Schulte, Barbara LU (2019) In Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy 5(1). p.30-42
Abstract
Like many other education systems in the world, Chinese education has undergone various reforms in order to adapt to the challenges that are perceived to emanate from the knowledge economy. Central to this transformation is the concept of ‘innovation’, which is to guide the country on its path from a production economy to a knowledge economy. Chinese policymakers have been targeting the higher education sector both as a motor for innovation and as a realm to be innovated, and have invested heavily in the sector’s internationalization, above all in the form of international collaboration and student mobility, affecting higher education and academia worldwide. However, a number of structural and political constraints delimit the directions... (More)
Like many other education systems in the world, Chinese education has undergone various reforms in order to adapt to the challenges that are perceived to emanate from the knowledge economy. Central to this transformation is the concept of ‘innovation’, which is to guide the country on its path from a production economy to a knowledge economy. Chinese policymakers have been targeting the higher education sector both as a motor for innovation and as a realm to be innovated, and have invested heavily in the sector’s internationalization, above all in the form of international collaboration and student mobility, affecting higher education and academia worldwide. However, a number of structural and political constraints delimit the directions that innovation can take, both within Chinese education in general and within Chinese higher education. The article takes stock of these constraints and assesses the potential for innovation in Chinese higher education in terms of the underlying school system, exam and recruitment policies, the (re-)organization of universities, as well as the universities’ and science system’s performance according to indicators of innovation. The article then identifies four ‘Chinese innovation dilemmas’, that is, educational policies and developments that are to spur innovation but run counter to existing structures and practices of educational, social, and political governance: ideological control versus creativity; state planning versus grassroots innovation; old-boy networks versus anti-corruption; and exam-based student recruitment versus flexible recruitment. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Chinese higher education, knowledge economy, innovation, educational reform, political control
in
Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy
volume
5
issue
1
pages
30 - 42
publisher
Co-action Publishing
ISSN
2002-0317
project
Digital China
Cash cow, civil space or cooptation: private schools in urban China
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
b37063a8-ef2a-42f1-b3bc-0a84afe9bcd3
alternative location
https://doi.org/10.1080/20020317.2018.1535732
date added to LUP
2018-10-11 10:19:51
date last changed
2019-04-25 14:58:22
@article{b37063a8-ef2a-42f1-b3bc-0a84afe9bcd3,
  abstract     = {Like many other education systems in the world, Chinese education has undergone various reforms in order to adapt to the challenges that are perceived to emanate from the knowledge economy. Central to this transformation is the concept of ‘innovation’, which is to guide the country on its path from a production economy to a knowledge economy. Chinese policymakers have been targeting the higher education sector both as a motor for innovation and as a realm to be innovated, and have invested heavily in the sector’s internationalization, above all in the form of international collaboration and student mobility, affecting higher education and academia worldwide. However, a number of structural and political constraints delimit the directions that innovation can take, both within Chinese education in general and within Chinese higher education. The article takes stock of these constraints and assesses the potential for innovation in Chinese higher education in terms of the underlying school system, exam and recruitment policies, the (re-)organization of universities, as well as the universities’ and science system’s performance according to indicators of innovation. The article then identifies four ‘Chinese innovation dilemmas’, that is, educational policies and developments that are to spur innovation but run counter to existing structures and practices of educational, social, and political governance: ideological control versus creativity; state planning versus grassroots innovation; old-boy networks versus anti-corruption; and exam-based student recruitment versus flexible recruitment.},
  author       = {Schulte, Barbara},
  issn         = {2002-0317},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {30--42},
  publisher    = {Co-action Publishing},
  series       = {Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy},
  title        = {Innovation and Control: Universities, the Knowledge Economy, and the Authoritarian State in China},
  url          = {https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/ws/files/63371251/Innovation_and_control_universities_the_knowledge_economy_and_the_authoritarian_state_in_China.pdf},
  volume       = {5},
  year         = {2019},
}