The chapter shows how lifelong learning in China, encompassing broader avenues and opportunities for learning, has accelerated the development of distance education and promoted the status of adult vocational education and training in Chinese society. It concludes that the exponential advance in modern communication technology plays a defining role in the rapid expansion of distance education, and has challenged and modified traditional concepts and modes of education in China.
Fengliang Li, Nianchun Wang and Xianan Hu
The chapter analyses the complex relationships between curriculum, citizenship and nation-building since the founding of New China in 1949. It shows that the school curriculum continues to serve as a state device with two essential functions: equipping students for the country’s development and modernization, and socializing them into values and norms prescribed by the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party. The citizenship curriculum has been revised occasionally to reflect and support the changing nuances in official ideology. It concludes that this process is faced with fresh challenges, especially in in preserving and promoting cultural identity and national solidarity.
Qing Gu and Michele Schweisfurth
The chapter considers the processes and consequences of Chinese students’ study abroad and return to China. It concludes with two observations. The first emphasizes the social and relational nature of Chinese students’ study abroad experience; and the second, a far-reaching process of change (rather than transient) that many Chinese students experience in both their host and home countries.
Dan Liu and W. John Morgan
The chapter provides an extensive review of the literature on student choice of destination. This identifies push and pull factors influencing Chinese students’ decisions about the country of destination for overseas study. It shows also that in addition to push factors, largely concerned with general issues regarding the country of origin, and pull factors, concerned similarly with the country of destination, students’ personal capabilities and ‘influencing others’ in their personal and professional lives also play an important role in decision making.
Edited by W. J. Morgan, Qing Gu and Fengliang Li
Thomas David DuBois
This chapter examines the roots of public welfare in China, spanning the crucial 100 years before the 1949 founding of the People’s Republic, and highlighting the political importance of welfare provision across a range of very different Chinese regimes. Rather than attempting to map the contemporary Western understanding of welfare onto history, it presents Chinese ideas and institutions on their own terms. During the late nineteenth century, well-established traditions of State and private charity provision began to transform in the face of new pressures and opportunities, including the arrival of Christian missionary institutions. In the early twentieth century, China was divided into a number of regimes, including the Republic of China, the Communist-held areas and the Japanese client regime in Manchuria. This political fragmentation caused the welfare tradition to diversify into a number of competing ideologies and strategies. The transformation of welfare provision during this century was driven by a number of interrelated processes: the growing influence of foreign actors and institutions; the formation of legal and legislative frameworks for the rights and responsibilities of welfare providers; and the shift in balance between private and State initiative, and between disaster relief and longer-term programmes of economic development. This history continues to tangibly shape contemporary political and social attitudes towards welfare provision.
The precarious housing and working situation of rural-to-urban migrant graduates (vocational college or university education) – colloquially known as the ‘ant tribe’ – has been discussed in China´s public media since the first two reports on this social group were published by the Beijing-based scholar Lian Si in 2009 and 2010. Against the background of current Chinese debates on the distribution of urban public resources and social injustice, this chapter presents a localised picture of the welfare access of migrant graduates in the southern city of Guangzhou. It investigates different factors (e.g. household registration and human and social capital) affecting migrant graduates’ access to urban employment and to the urban social insurance system. It further examines how they cope with the lack of access to welfare, and concludes by putting forward some policy suggestions to increase the level of access to welfare services for this social group.
Dorothy J. Solinger
This chapter presents an outline of the Minimum Livelihood Guarantee program (dibao), a social assistance scheme first introduced in Shanghai in 1993 and expanded to all Chinese cities by 1999. The chapter argues that the scheme has been tightly linked to the pacification of laid-off workers (primarily those from the State-owned sector). It was designed also to serve as a new form of basic sustenance for the poor following the collapse of the welfare safety net provided by the traditional urban work unit under the socialist planned economy. The chapter argues accordingly that as public demonstrations by the jobless fizzled out after the mid-2000s, the initial relative generosity of the early phase of the scheme saw declining benefits over time. The chapter uses statistical comparisons to document the increasing miserliness of the scheme: i.e., it compares dibao outlays with average disposable income of urban residents nationwide and with average wages in various cities; and it considers drops in governmental dibao investment as a percentage of gross domestic product and of government expenditure over the years. Finally, the chapter draws on interviews with recipients to convey the pitiable living conditions under which these allowances force them to survive.
Mark W. Frazier and Yimin Li
It is commonly said that China will ‘grow old before it grows rich.’ This has become a shorthand way of predicting that China, as a developing country, lacks the resources necessary to support an ageing population. But this truism overlooks an important development that might well alleviate the challenges of an ageing population: China is urbanizing rapidly as it grows old. This chapter examines the literature on China’s demographic change and the possible effects on China’s economic growth and social institutions, among other far-reaching consequences. China’s demographic transformation is inevitable, but the effects of this transformation are not. A shrinking labour force means an expanding elderly population will not, in and of itself, drag China’s economy into long-term stagnation. Instead, the effects of ageing will hinge on other factors, such as productivity growth and urbanization. The central argument of this chapter is that urbanization holds out the possibilities of reducing the status and income divides between urban and rural citizens. Bringing pension rights to rural residents, and at levels commensurate to those now enjoyed by the urban population, will create new streams of both fiscal and political support for the nascent pension and healthcare systems. Broad-based inclusion of the population in these programs would mitigate the fiscal challenges posed by population ageing.
Reza Hasmath and Andrew W. MacDonald
The social welfare of ethnic minorities is a contested subject in contemporary China, with a deep politicalised history. This chapter introduces the slate of policies that the Chinese government has enacted to benefit minorities, with particular attention on the Minimum Livelihood Guarantee programme, the dibao. We find that the dibao has generally been pro-minority, while other new social programmes – even conditional on need – still tend to favour Han residents.