This paper explores new patterns of learning across cultures in higher education through a case study of a cohort of international graduate students at a university in Chinese mainland. North University (NU) has hosted international students in its Chinese language and culture programs for decades. However, between 2008 and 2010, a new Master’s degree program for international students was established. This attracted 75 graduate students from different disciplinary backgrounds, from 21 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Oceania. English is the common language to both students and faculty, but a foreign language to all. This program marks a significant shift for China’s higher education as it reaches out to the world. The paper describes this cohort’s lived experiences in China, including academic, linguistic and sociocultural learning. It analyzes the challenges such programs pose for the Chinese higher education system, explores how these challenges have become opportunities for growth and how barriers have been overcome. It also discusses the implications of this case for the upgrading of higher education quality in China.
The development of higher vocational education in China embodies a global trend of vocationalism that values skills and skilled workers, which is opposite, in some ways, to the Confucian tradition in Chinese education that values theoretical knowledge related to good governance. As the cultural trend supporting the development of higher vocational education, vocationalism is implicated in certain challenges including high tuition fees, limited upward mobility, and neglect of the humanities in education. Humanities for moral education, and mechanisms for upward mobility on equal terms for all, which are fundamental elements of Confucianism, may help resolve these challenges. This paper embodies the dialectic of a global trend and local culture in educational reform within the context of globalization.
This paper addresses the issue of students’ employment expectations, considered a key factor in alleviating graduate unemployment in China. This empirical investigation surveyed students at two higher education institutions in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, to analyze how expectations were changing. The results contrasted with earlier studies that reported unrealistically high expectations, discovering instead that most respondents were aware of the difficulties of finding work and were revising their expectations accordingly. The results also revealed important variations in attitude between higher vocational students and university undergraduates, and between urban and rural students. Overall, the paper contends that although students are becoming more realistic, the complexity of graduate unemployment will prevent this change in attitude from making a major improvement to the overall situation.
Chinese college graduates have faced increasing labor market competition since the expansion of tertiary education. Given rigid market demand, graduates with realistic earnings expectations may experience a more efficient job search. Using the 2008 MYCOS College Graduate Employment Survey, this study finds that a 1 000 yuan reduction in a graduate’s reservation wage can significantly increase the probability of finding a job by 66% and increase the likelihood of being employed six months after graduation by 92%. In addition, the gap between the reservation wage and the market wage has a positive impact. By slightly adjusting earnings expectations, college graduates can significantly improve job search efficiency. Market wages should be seen as reference points when adjusting income expectations.
The brain-drain caused by imbalanced economic development has produced a lack of qualified teachers in rural China. Short-term volunteer teaching has emerged as a response. Despite the popularity of such programs, little systematic data have been gathered regarding their strengths and weaknesses. A short-term volunteer teaching program was studied. The volunteer teachers’ characteristics and teaching experience in the program were explored. It was found that volunteers did not receive sufficient training or support from the agency. Therefore, they experienced substantial challenges on site and suffered from burnout. Based on the volunteer teachers’ opinions and agency staff’s suggestions, the authors propose ways to improve short-term volunteer teaching programs in China.
The authors, one from China and one from the United States, present a theoretical framework for understanding the discursive fields of citizenship education as composed, in large part, of the discourses of nationalism, globalization, and cosmopolitanism. The framework is illustrated by examples from citizenship education in China and the United States. Citizenship education in these examples is largely influenced by the discourse of nationalism. The discursive fields are fractured, context-specific, and dynamic. In conclusion, the authors call for awareness of how these discourses operate, and propose that the discourses of globalization and cosmopolitanism merge and strengthen within citizenship education. The effect could be a new citizenship education that is responsive to the current needs of local and global democratic communities.
As presented in documentary form, the discourse of the last one hundred years of modern Chinese education is very different from its written counterpart. Documentary discourse provides a perspective on education as realized and understood through the lens. On screen, evolving thoughts on Chinese education have been reconstructed. This article reviews and explores developments in the history of educational documentary in China. The value of the audio-visual method of expressing the essence of education is pursued. The meaning of this evidence is thus restored.