Quality Assurance in China’s New Public Higher Education Institutions: Achievements, Challenges, and Illustrative Case Studies
Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, China’s higher education has witnessed a quick period of growth and has evolved from elite education to mass education. During this period, the Chinese government has restructured the layout of higher education per the demand for regional economy, industry structure, and culture development. During this period, a large number of local higher education institutions (HEIs) were established.
From 2000 to 2015, 403 HEIs were founded and now they account for 42.7% of all the 944 HEIs in China. Most of the newly built HEIs are institutions that were upgraded from Higher Vocational Colleges, and most are located in the nonprovincial capital cities at the prefectural level. These HEIs satisfy the urgent social demand for higher education and play an important role in serving local economic and social development.
This study analyzes and illustrates the achievements and challenges of quality assurance in China’s higher education, both at the system level and at the level of new public universities. Achievements and challenges at the system level are based on literature review and secondary data. Illustrative case studies are based on University data and interviews with University representatives. The higher education system in China has increased its enrollments substantially. The construction of the new universities and colleges that started enrolling students in the past few years contributed greatly to this achievement. Challenges accompanying this growth lie in funding, quality, and quantity of staffing, teaching practices, research and community service, and quality assurance.
KeywordsQuality assurance Achievements and challenges Higher education New public universities and colleges China
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