In the "Decision on the reformof the educationsystem"adoptedby a National EducationConferencein May of 1985, higherinstitutions are envisaged as having two main responsibilities:trainingadvanced
specialized personnel and developing science, technologyand culture. The main rationale for reformgiven in the decision is "to changethe management system of excessive government control of the institu- tions of higher education, expand decision-makingin the institutions under the guidance of unified educational policies and plans of the state, strengthenthe connection of the institutions of highereducation with production organizations,scientific researchorganizationsand other social establishments, and enable the institutions of higher education to take the initiative and ability to meet the needs of economic and social development."81
HE policy since 1978
1979 Central Com affirmed "Decision on Unifying Management of Higher Education". adding new specializations. control by MoE. al curricular decisions. Sixty articles revived. New emphasis on research, intellectuals greater freedom, part of working class, third uni prsidents greater power in internal admin, finally, political education redefined in more open way.
Decision on the Reform of th Education System, May 1985.
two main resp of HEI: training advanced specialized personell, and dev'l science, tech and culture. restore research function
universities can admit students in collab with enterprises, or as fee-paying, also play greater role in job assignments. can participate in definition of the curriculum. "power to readjust the objectives of various disciplines, formulate teaching plans and programs, and compile and select teaching materials; the power to accept projects from and cooperate with other social establishments for scientific research and technological development, as well as setting up combines involving teaching, scientific research and production, the power to suggest appointments and removals, to dispose of capital construction investment and of funds allocated by the state, and the power to develop international educational and academic exchanged by using their own funds." (40 - Decision of the CPC cenral committee on the reform of the education system. p. K8.)
curricula to be refined and updated, greater element of practice to be introduced. teachers and academic departments considerable discretion over formulation of teaching plans and course outlines, selection of textbooks. students, partial electives, reduction of required course hours in favor of self-study, more sutdent initiative.
The process of curricular decision making
w/in state educ commission, first and second depts of HE repsnsible for decision making across major fields of knowledge. engineering and agric, new list of specializations in 1983. each of 210 specializations preceded by jianjie: main purpose, principles and key required courses. within these general guidelines, each university has the freedom to create its own teaching plan and course outlines and to select the text and refeence books it wishes. same for agriculture forestry may 1986.
The department sees its role as assisting in the development of a new and more precise definition of specializations in an approved list and regulating the establishment of new specializations throughout the system on the basis of general manpower needs, the regional situation, and the ability of particular institutions in terms of faculty and resources. Rather than producing autoritative teaching plans and outlines, they help to organize teaching material committees (jiaoyu ziliao hui?), that will develop new curricular materials. They nvisage prof assoc for major disciplines and specializations taking an incresingly active role in future curricular development. (interview first dept 1985)
credit system, choose 30% of classes. reduction in class hours required.
foreing curricular materials and foreign educational systems in genreal are being intensively sutdied both by Chinese comp ed and by officials who have a more practical adn diect concern with curricular reform. state ed commission has an office responsible for the preparation of teaching materials, which makes great efforts ot obtain latest marerails from abroad. vetted, most valuable given to specialist research centers to be translated. soviet union, japan, germany and france, work of high qality, curricular materials used widely in centralized systems, given special attention.
136 academic reforms; curriculum and teching plans
extreme decentralization in early 1970s, universitiesprepared their own curricula and teaching materia,s albeit on the basis of guidelines from above, the system was recentralized, standardized, and unified. Unified curricula specify which courses, compulsory and elective, for each major, sequence, number of hours. Syllabi further prescribe content of each course.
137 credit systme imposted to create more flexbility ala US, but almost all courses obligatory
139 central plans more for reference. basic courses have to be taught, unified curriculum and teaching plans followed. necessary to maintain quality and content requirements (quote from administrators).
Tapestries of higher ed, Hayhoe, in Chinese Education problems policies and prospects Epstein
p 115 Reform document of 1985, most significant new freedom promised to universities in the reform document was much greater jurisdicion over their curricula. Universities were assured power to "redefine the goals of different specialities, draw up teaching plans and syllabi and compile and select teaching materials". dramatic change from a situation in which all teaching plans, course outlines and textbooks were nationally standardized, and universities were simply reponsible to see that these authroitative materials were faithfully transmitted to students in each of the many narrowly defined specializations. (cit: reform of china's education structure: decision of the CPC committee, may 1985, beijing foreing language press, 13-18)
Furthermore,higher institutions can now participatein the defini-
tion of knowledge, as indicated in the new powers given to them:
"power to readjustthe objectives of various disciplines, formulate
teaching plans and programmes, and compile and select teaching
materials;thepowerto acceptprojectsfromandco-operatewithother social establishmentsfor scientific researchand technologicaldevel-
opment, as well as setting up combines involving teaching, scientific researchand production;the power to recommendappointmentsand removals,to disposeof capitalconstructioninvestmentandoffunds allocated by the state; and the power to develop international educational and academic exchangesby using their own funds."85
These remarkable new powers are hedged around only by the affirmationof the role of the Ministry of Education in giving overall guidance to the system.