Survival of the Fittest

Part of the series New Frontiers of Educational Research pp 13-28


Fostering Economic Competitiveness in China and the US: Untangling the Web of Competing Regulations and Interests

  • Jason E. LaneAffiliated withRockefeller Institute of Government, University at Albany Email author 
  • , Taya L. OwensAffiliated withRockefeller Institute of Government, University at Albany

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Across the globe, governments increasingly view their higher education sector as an important component of their economic competitiveness. This no less true for the world’s two largest economies: the United States and China. However, the regulatory frameworks of each nation require that the respective governments take different policy approaches to aligning their colleges and universities to help achieve their competitiveness goals. In the United States, higher education governance is very decentralized, with individual institutions retaining a high degree of autonomy. China, on the other hand, operates a more centralized governance model with institutions having a much lower degree of autonomy from the government. This chapter examines and compares the policy foci of these two nations with respect to higher education. Particular attention is paid toward aligning (or not) higher education policy to support each nation’s economic competitiveness.