The purpose of this research paper is to give a clear explanations on how the amendments or improvements of Chinese higher education in 1990s has positively impacted on the employment and job market. It is through enrollment expansion of colleges and universities. The Chinese reform in higher education in 1990s was made due to failures of the soviet- style system which was criticized because it was centralized and did not nurture top-notched talents and did not support production of quality manpower. The paper will discuss on the Chinese higher education has influenced the economy that is, employment and job opportunities.
Chinese higher education reform in 1990s talks about the improvements that were made on the education system in China. It was made to resolve the challenges that the people’s republic of China was facing. The amendments were to bring changes that led to improvement of the academic system (Xinhua, 2007). The government of China decided to follow the path of bringing about changes in the education sector for it to conform to the needs of the society. The Chinese higher education has undergone a series of reforms to bring about improvements. The main purpose of this was to improve on the traditional Chinese education system which was built on the pillars of legalists and Confucian ideals. These changes led to increased number of students in colleges and universities as well. It accelerated expansion of colleges and universities hence impacting positively on the economy of China as a whole. The amendments were geared upon by the government of China because it was not happy with the previously used system. The Chinese government did this to ensure every individual in the society was educated by making up strict laws that had to be followed by every citizen at different ages. The restructuring of the education system coupled with the introduction of tuition fees has led to a dramatic increase in the number of new enrollees. It is well illustrated in the following table: (source; China statistics yearbook for various years)
This move led to increased funds that were used to build universities and colleges. Professors never complained about their salaries and living conditions because the funds from tuition fees was used to cater for their needs. The government of China came up with a program of helping and motivating students (Robert, 2005). It was giving grants to the excellent poor students and scholarships to well performing ones. Public universities also were required to engage students in work study. It was a program for the needy students which were aimed at helping them financially. The government also introduces loans to students to support them financially (Xinhua, 2009). The idea of joint development which was initiated by the former State Education Commission (SEC) the predecessor of the Ministry of Education (MOE) led to construction of many institutions to accommodate more students in the China. This idea brought about joint administration of universities hence enhancing pooling together when it came to funding the institutions. For example in 1993 the former State Education Commission with the Guangdong provincial government jointly started administering Zhongshan University and the South China University of Technology (Dyle, 2005). It did not hinder the central government from financing the two universities. It made it easier to initiate development in these institutions. Due to this idea, the campus was supplied with more learning equipment hence making resources for accessible to the students. It led to increment in enrollments and improvement in the curriculum. In 2004, the central government of China decided to increase its investment by helping the inland regions develop.
The government selected one local university from the 12 provinces and jointly with the provincial governments of these provinces started initiating development activities (Fuzeng, 2010). It led to easy access of funds by the universities because of the idea of pooling together. These universities developed enormously because they were financial from two sides. Enrollments in these institutions expanded randomly because resources were enough for each student. This idea led to local economic and social development. The former State Education Commission of China came up with the idea of restructuring. This idea involved transferring administrative role of some universities from non-education central ministries to the Ministry of Education or local governments or joint leadership of two parties (Xinhua, 2007). These non-education central ministries included: Ministry of forestry, Ministry of Mining, Ministry of Machine- Building Industry and the Ministry of Metallurgical Industry. Restructuring idea in 1998, led to rise of restructured universities from 16 in 1997, 177 in 1998, 226 in 1999 and 509 in the year 2000. The It institutions were put under able administration of the Ministry of Education enabling them develop the enhancing increase in enrollments. Merging of universities is another idea that developed in the 1990s. All top ten universities in China were incorporated to make one comprehensive institution. This idea made management of the institution easy, and it enhanced efficiency in use of administrative resources. It also ensured that duties were performed effectively (Robert, 2005). Smaller universities in China took advantage of this idea by merging with well-known universities to popularize themselves. Incorporation of institutions made facilities more accessible to the students because when they merge them pool resources together. Merger of universities is also important because they made academics stronger than before. The main aim of this idea was to make comprehensive university that was easier to manage and enhance efficiency. Cooperation is an idea that involved establishment of university local branches in local areas and it attracted leading universities (Dyles, 2005).The leading universities pulled resources together to form University City. These enabled students to take courses offered by other member universities.
Students in these universities are advantaged because the University of their Choice could be at a far distance and by cooperation the individual can access the degree of his or her choice. Still this idea has led to the creation of more chances for candidates from different part of the nation. The higher education system in China is rapidly growing leading to economic and social growth of the nation as a whole compared to before the reforms were put in place. Number of enrollments into colleges and universities terribly increased because of the initiatives that had been put in place by the government. Institutions have also increased in contrast to the past, enhancing accessibility of educational facilities by all citizens. For instance, there are approximately two thousand universities and colleges which have led to multiple increases in the number of students admitted per annum. Enrollments have an increment more than six million in total ((Xinhua, 2007). Universities were equipped to offer different levels of education that include bachelor degrees, master’s degrees and also doctorate degrees. The institutions equipped students with scientific and technological skills making them reliable in innovative construction of projects that boost the growth of the economy with double digits. Individuals who acquire scientific and technological skills have led to innovations that end up creating them self-employed jobs that they also recruit other people. The graph below shows how enrollments have been increasing as years goes by.
In 1998, ten universities became the primary target of the government with the aim to make them upgrade into world class universities (Brandenburg and Zhu). These included Peking and Tsinghua universities. The government of china increased the budget token for these universities for the next five years as from 1998 by 1 percent. This move by the government won interest of international bodies that ended up supporting by provision of funds and other important materials in the field of education. UNESCO and other international organizations and sources including the World Bank loaned China ₴ 14.7 billion for educational development and renovation (Xinhua, 2007). Due to these development activities the number of undergraduates admitted in the colleges and universities has increased randomly leading to increased literacy level in the people’s republic of China. It has led to increased well-equipped labor force hence enhancing effectiveness and efficiency in production and manufacturing industries. Increased demand for high qualification by employers in the job market led to enrollment expansion (Fuzeng, 2005).It is because most of the people who were seeking for jobs in traditional China were less trained and due to high qualification by most companies they had to enroll back after the reforms for them to fit in the job market. Due to this factor many individuals had to embark on improving their education standards. The past academic system did not equip students with the skills that were required, and this contributed heavily on unemployment in the People’s Republic of China (Kiristo, 2011).
As we know, China has a high population which has increased competition for jobs hence citizens who are highly skilled are favored by the market. It has impacted positively to the education sector. Advancement of technology and increased scientific skills in production, construction and manufacturing industries led to need for well-equipped laborers in the job market hence leading to disqualification of many individuals (Hua, 2003). People who cut off from the employment sector were obliged to go back to school to improve their skills in order to fit appropriately in the job market. Due to this factor many individuals were enrolled back to institutions through the initiated adult programs leading to the expansion of colleges and universities. Also through the government initiated a program on scientific and technological skills many public sectors embarked on employment of laborers who were skilled on these bases. Introduction of new machineries in the industries demanded people to be skilled on how to operate them for their effectiveness forcing individuals to be trained on those new skill requirements (Xinhua, 2007). Illiteracy level in the traditional China which was embarked by the Soviet-style system had led to retarded innovations. These led to many people being disqualified in new China for jobs after the reforms of 1990s. This factor forced individuals to seek survival means in order to fit in the job market (Dyles, 2005). After the reforms, many citizens had to seek for admission in the public institutions. Demand for high qualification requirement by job market led to a dramatic expansion of education sector hence rise in unemployment in China because of the rapid increase in the graduates in the job market each year. It accelerated competition in the employment sector because many candidates were equipped with similar skills. This factor contributed to flooding of the job market has candidates who graduate cannot secure jobs. (Roberts, 2005). The expansion of institutions of higher education overcame the expected student- teacher ratio. It made it difficult for effective delivery of teaching services per student resulting less equipped graduates according to the high demanding job market. It has led to increased crimes and some deviant behaviors in the society due to idleness of many young and energetic individuals. The resources required in the academic field are inadequate making it hard to maintain high-quality education. In general the quality of education in China is declining due to the challenges that are facing them ((Xinhua, 2007).
The higher education policy led to increased number of institutions in present day China. By 2005, the number of intakes by the institutions in the people ‘s republic of China had gone up which gives us a well explanation of the positive impacts of the reforms enacted in 1990s.This increment was contributed by international students who have been recruited in these institutions( Cai, 2012). It accelerated improvement of the ranking position of education sector of China. Today it is ranked in the top ten countries having many international students (Xinhua, 2007). Due to the quality and highly acceptable education in the global job market, China can receive many foreigners in search f their education. In this year, the number of institutions had risen to four thousand with an enrollment of fifteen million recruits. Still this did not meet the needs of all people in the population including the aged (Porter & Susan, 2005). All these efforts by the national government were to make sure citizens had the required qualifications toler In the present day, China private universities have contributed in improved education sector. The amendments by the People’s Republic of China government in 1990s allowed private universities to be established to accelerate improvement in the academics of the country (Zeng & Wang, 2007). It has led to the creation of more chances for students to fill. Many people prefer private universities because they are less competitive as compared to public ones. Due to this, the number of enrollments has increased. China has a large population and establishment of these private institutions as helped a lot to accommodate individuals who will not secure a chance in the highly competitive public universities. These universities are less competitive because the entrance score required to join them is low compared to public universities. People who pursue their studies in these institutions are also fit for job requirement. The policy contributed to independence of public institutions hence improved performance of the institutions.
The government of China initiated the idea of devolution, in which universities were entitled to run themselves independently without interference by government. It had led to improved performance by the universities because, before the 1990s reform, the government used to interfere with the management hence those times public institutions used to perform poorly (Zhang, 2011). The policy led to increased literacy level in China. The higher education reform of 1990s has improved education sector of China that’s through the learning facilities which were established. It has made education more accessible to all citizen of China (Cai, 2012). Due to the changes, many public institutions were built reducing the ratio of schools to the high population. Up to the date many people have been educated and are well equipped for the job market. The facilities have also impacted positively on the whole globe because many students from other countries in the world have been absorbed in these facilities. The policy led improved of curriculum. There are changes in the curriculum standards that have led to improvement in the quality of education. Before the amendments the curriculum that was followed was very poor and many people were less knowledgeable, and this made citizens of China unqualified for many jobs. Today this is considered to be the past because now China is ranked among the best countries which offer quality and reliable education to its graduates. China is experiencing many international students seeking a quality education which are offered in many Chinese institutions (Cheng, 2012). It made education more accessible to all based on equity in today’s China. Poor students can acquire education from public universities because the central government of China has initiated a policy that supports these students financially. These policies includes, giving of grants to the students, motivating well performing students by giving them scholarships, work duty, and tuition waiver (Xinhua, 2007).
Also, students are given loans by the specific schemes which have been established by the central government. All these financial support policies enable students to work hard hence good performance. It makes education affordable to all citizens in China. The reform has contribute to increased number of graduates per academic year. The acceleration on construction of many public institutions has led to increased number of graduates in the People’s Republic of China. It has increased literacy level in the state. Due to some policies which came up in the higher education reform in 1990s like the joint development idea has led to enrollment expansion because public institutions had adequate resources to support many students (Ministry of education 2002). A new higher education reform in 21st century is needed to advice on the problem of student to teacher ratio that came up as a result of an impromptu need of higher education. It reform should be enacted because students are suffering due to inadequate teaching staff in public institutions. It should embark on amendments that will lead to increment in teachers in those institutions. The new reform should bring up acts to push up for increased employment opportunities to absorb the unemployed graduates. It is through initiating talks with different bodies to ensure that many industries are build which will create job opportunities. It will help individuals who were left out during the past reform. The reform is also needed because the education needs upgrading year in year out. It will modernize the education sector due to the changes that are made in the modern world. Some newly introduced programs should be considered as a major issue by this reform. Due to this the government of China should fund the education sector for it to be able to initiate some amendments in its working token.Conclusively will the proposed reform be of best importance to the citizens of People’s Republic of China?
Fuzeng, Yu. China: Universities Colleges and Schools. China: Universities .International Education Media
Dynes, Robert. UC Foreign Graduate Students; why A WORLD-Class University Needs the World’s Best Minds.UC Foreign Graduate Students: University of California Office of the President. 17 October 2005
Porter, Susan. Higher Education in China: American Council on Education. 2005
Cai, Y. (2012). From Welfare System to Marketisation -an Analysis of Higher Education Reform in Finland (in Chinese) Comparative Education Review, 34(1), 13-17.
Cai, Y., Kivistö, J., & Zhang, L. (2011) Introduction In Y. Cai & J. Kivistö (Eds.), Higher Education Reforms in Finland and China: Experiences and Challenges in Post-Massification Era (pp. 9-17). Tampere: Tampere University Press.
Chinese Ministry of Education. (2011). Statistics Communiqué of National Education Development in 2010 (in Chinese)
Chinese Ministry of Education. (2011). Statistics Communiqué of National Education Development in 2010 (in Chinese).
Finance Department of the Ministry of Education, & Society and Science & Technology Department of National Statistics Bureau. (2011). Statistical Yearbook of the Funding for Education 2010. Beijing: Chinese Statistics Publisher.
Hua, C. (2003). The Analysis of Financial Investment in Ordinary Higher Education in China since 1949 (in Chinese) Exploring Education Development (8), 40-44
Xinhua News. Retrieved July 4, 2009 from http://news.xinhuanet.com/fortune/2006-01/16/content_4059330.htm
Wang, X. (2010). Higher education as a field of study in China: Defining knowledge and curriculum structure. Lanham, Md: Lexington Books.
Lee, P. (2010). Introduction to higher education in China. Raleigh: Lulu Enterprises Inc.