Community Colleges as Learning Centers for Migrant Workers in Manufacturing Areas in China

  • Minghua Li
  • Henry Levin

Community colleges have been emerging in China and have the potential to be the main candidate to address the nation's needs for the next rush of higher education expansion. As the concept of community colleges has been borrowed from the United States and applied to address local needs, there have been some innovative variations in developing the models of community colleges to adapt to China's environments. Given that the history of establishing community colleges is barely a decade old in China, there is no one dominant model yet. This is the experimental phase of letting “One-Hundred Blossoms” bloom before selecting the hardiest and most attractive

Today there are about 40 million migrant workers in China's manufacturing areas, which has created the needs for establishing a continuing education system so that migrant workers can use the system for their career and human development. Community colleges are promising candidates for being the building blocks of this system. What kind of community colleges may serve best the local needs? What kind of institutional framework is needed for establishing and sustaining community colleges in China? Who should be the active participants? What kind of education programs do the migrant workers need? What kind of sustainable financial scheme is needed to maintain such a community college system? To address these issues, we have organized a team* for undertaking investigations and experiments to find solutions to the access challenges of migrant workers for continuing education. In this chapter, we will focus on three major issues: (1) demographics of the migrant workers and their needs for continuing education; (2) possible models of community colleges serving the migrant workers in manufacturing areas; (3) comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of the possible models


Community College Migrant Worker State Council Social Investment Learning Center 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

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  • Minghua Li
  • Henry Levin

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