Between a rock and a hard place

Higher education reform and innovation in China

Gaoming Zhang, Yong Zhao, Jing Lei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Over the past few decades China's higher education has gone through dramatic growth and multiple rounds of reforms accompanied by a remarkable amount of financial investment, all aiming at developing world-class universities to grow innovative talents. Yet the outcomes so far have been disappointing. This paper aims to investigate this issue. Design/methodology/approach: By reviewing and analyzing selected educational reforms in higher education in China, this article discusses the reasons of the gap between the massive input for innovation in higher education in China and abysmal results. This paper also reports and analyzes a case that challenges central control and the gaokao system. Findings: Central control and the gaokao, the infamous college entrance exam, are the bedrocks of China's higher education and also the culprit for China's failure to cultivate innovative talents. Unless they are fundamentally changed it is unlikely that China will have the higher education system it dreams of having. Originality/value: This article provides an overview of China's efforts to cultivate innovative talents by strategically investing in building world-class higher education institutions (HEIs) and analyzes the reasons behind the apparent gap between its massive input and the abysmal results achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-273
Number of pages11
JournalOn the Horizon
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes

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innovation
reform
China
education
financial investment
educational reform
education system
university
methodology
Values

Keywords

  • China
  • Creativity
  • Educational innovation
  • Educational policy
  • Higher education
  • Reform

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

Between a rock and a hard place : Higher education reform and innovation in China. / Zhang, Gaoming; Zhao, Yong; Lei, Jing.

In: On the Horizon, Vol. 20, No. 4, 09.2012, p. 263-273.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zhang, Gaoming ; Zhao, Yong ; Lei, Jing. / Between a rock and a hard place : Higher education reform and innovation in China. In: On the Horizon. 2012 ; Vol. 20, No. 4. pp. 263-273.
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