AAS Annual Meeting

China and Inner Asia Session 763

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Session 763: Higher Education II

Enhancing the Quality of HVE in China: Recent Reforms and New Initiatives
Weiwei Yu, Independent Scholar, China

The government of China has increasingly stressed the importance of higher vocational education (HVE) as a means of contributing to the achievement of economic and social aims. In order to creating a living HVE system and enhancing the quality of HVE, the government frequently releases statements and requires higher vocational institutions to deepen reform, build Production-Study-Research (PSR) mechanism, and promote the model of school and enterprise cooperation and the pattern of combination of study and employment. Under such policy and with the aim to set models, the Department of Education implemented “National Program for the demonstration of higher vocational college construction” during the period of "11th Five-Year (2006-2010) Plan. In attempt to investigate the implication of the policy and the result of reform, this study, taking tourism and hospitality management as an example, examines the curriculum reform, teaching faculty building and apprenticeship system building in Tianjin Vocational Institute, one of well-known National demonstration of higher vocational college. The result suggest that, though it is early days, there is strong evidence that the policies have worked, and demonstrates the difficulty and complexity of copying the model by other institutions as well. [Keywords: Higher Vocational Education (HVE); Production-Study-Research (PSR) Mechanism; School and Enterprise Cooperation; Combination of Study and Employment]

Preferential Policies in China: Discourses of Development and Neutrality in College Preparatory Classes
Naomi C. F. Yamada, University of Hawaii, Manoa, USA

The curious aspect of preferential policies in China is that they exist absent of compensatory or diversity arguments. College preparatory classes (yuke ban), for example, provide a pathway to college for ethnic minority students who score below the cutoff point on entrance exams, yet the classes are frequently explained with reference to the level of development in rural areas and to linguistic barriers. Despite the conflation of 'minority' with 'rural/undeveloped,' first-language speakers of Mandarin from urban centers are also eligible on the basis of minority nationality identification. I argue that despite changes in content and organization, the framework for this national program has not changed significantly in its fifty-year history. The classes purport to build up 'foundational knowledge,' knowledge that is less tied to a specific cultural domain or derived from a particular epistemology, but is viewed as neutral, scientific fact. As such, the program fits within development trajectories. The underlying rationale is based less on encouraging diversity, ameliorating structural discrimination or bridging epistemological and cultural differences, but rather on lessening rural-urban divides and preventing ethnic conflict. Ultimately it follows Mao Zedong's notion of the dialectic, in which the convergence of thesis/antithesis is less a 'synthesis,' but rather absorption of one side by the other.

The Changing Scope of Knowledge in the Language and Literature Portion of the Annual Chinese College Entrance Examination Since 1980s
Teresa C. Sun, California State University, Long Beach, USA

The spirit of transforming China toward global modernization has intensified since the 1980's, and the advancement of science and technology has been an essential aspect of China's sociopolitical reform. This phenomenon is witnessed most keenly in the Annual College Entrance Examination (CEE). Topics of history and knowledge of science and technology started to occupy portions in the CEE with surprisingly long passages after 1984. The demand for students to comprehend a broad source of knowledge altered the tradition of socially-conscientious humanities. Literary diction, the artistic genre of poetry, and the scheme of novels are no longer dominating the content. This unprecedented practice deviated from the traditional scope of "literature" will be discussed in this paper. Two aspects of the discussion will be the focus of the study. Has the CEE's portion of promoting science and technology reading unintentionally disturbed the tradition of a balanced education? From a modern educational philosophy point of view, the requirement of knowledge of the humanities is intended to provide a balanced education for youngsters as they are learning science, technology and social science subjects. Chinese literature is characterized by ethics (political as well as social) and literary arts. The new emphasis will deprive students from receiving moral and character-forming education. How will this effects the future of the Chinese society is another question.

Enhancing the quality of HVE in China: recent reforms and new initiatives
Huijun Gao, Independent Scholar, China