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09 November 2017

Going Mobile: Perspectives on Chinese Education

International speakers contributed to the second in an autumn series on Chinese educational mobilities, hosted by the School of Education, Communication & Society at King's College London on 9 November 2017.

Signposting the Chinese educational mobilities series
Signposting the Chinese educational mobilities series

The landscape of Chinese education mobilities, in the context of tensions between China's growing global role and domestic tensions, were discussed by speakers from China, Japan and the UK at a day-long seminar at King's College London.

Hukou is the household registration system, sometimes likened to a caste system, that arguably entrenches social stratification in China.  Professor Yaojun Li, of the University of Manchester, analysed nine large-scale national representative social surveys, reviewing educational and occupational attainment against parental class, gender, hukou and ethnic differences. He showed that while there is some social fluidity, marked inequalities in education remain. Class origin effects prove more resistant to change than do those associated with gender, ethnicity and hukou status.

Every year, 800 teachers from key primary or secondary schools in 17 inland Chinese provinces go to teach in 20 Tibet schools for a short rotation varying from one to three years. Through this act, the state aims to significantly improve educational quality of certain local key schools in Tibet and expand its aid effect. Miaoyan Yang of Xiamen University examined the incentives, moralities and dilemmas of these teachers through interviews, observations and document analyses.

Two other papers focussed on higher education. Professor Futao Huang of Hiroshima University, Japan, and Cora Lingling Xu and Professor Catherine Montgomery of Keele University, looked at the mobile individual constituents an increasingly global Chinese higher education, set alongside a domestic context of pervasive inequalities.

This was the second seminar of Keele University's autumn series ‘A Sociology of Contemporary Chinese Mobilities: Educating China on the Move’ hosted by the School of Education, Communication & Society at King's . This seminar focussed in particular on the perspectives of larger-scale data.

Full abstracts available here.