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Chinese Higher Education, History of

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Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory


Evolving over more than 2,000 years, higher education in China is one of the world’s oldest systems. Traditional Chinese higher education can be traced back to the fourth century BCE, when Confucius established a private academy (Galt 1951; Gu 1964). By the time of the Tang Dynasty (618–907 CE), there was a whole range of higher education institutions, headed by the Guo Zi Jian (school for the sons of the Emperors) and the Tai Xue(institute of supreme learning), which took major classical texts of the Confucian school as their curricular content. In the later Song Dynasty (960–1279 CE), the Confucian classics were reordered to form a knowledge system that had to be mastered by all students aspiring to become scholar-officials in the imperial civil service. Traditional institutions of higher learning gradually lost their legitimacy and viability in the late Qing Dynasty, when China suffered humiliation in the face of Japanese and Western military incursions. Amid reform...

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Correspondence to Qiang Zha .

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Wu, H., Zha, Q. (2018). Chinese Higher Education, History of. In: Peters, M. (eds) Encyclopedia of Educational Philosophy and Theory. Springer, Singapore.

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