China´ s Universities and Social Change: Expectations, Aspirations, and Consequences

  • David S.G. Goodman Universidad de Guadalajara


Studies of higher education often assume that there is a close relationshipbetween economic growth, social change, and political transformation. It isargued that economic growth leads not simply to a demand for the expansionof higher education but also an increase in social equity in admissions to uni-versities. Students become more radicalised through this process; and boththrough economic growth and the expansion of higher education, academicstaff who are the core after all of a society’s public intellectuals, also becomethe voice for political transformation. The evidence from the People’s Republicof China is that while there has been massive economic growth during thelast thirty years, and an equally dramatic expansion of higher education since1997, the consequences for higher education in terms of social change have been considerably more limited. Moreover, while there have been some voicesfor limited political transformation from staff and students, the demands forregime change that might have been expected given the experiences of othercountries are virtually non-existent. Universidades de China y Cambio Social: Expectativas, aspiraciones y consecuencias    Estudios sobre la educación superior a menudo asumen que existe una estrecha relación entre el crecimiento económico, el cambio social, y la transformación política. Se argumenta que el crecimiento económico no conduce simplemente a una demanda de la expansión de la educación superior, sino también a un aumento de la equidad social en las admisiones a las universidades. Los estudiantes se vuelven más radicalizados a través de este proceso, y, tanto a través del crecimiento económico como de la expansión de la educación superior, el personal académico, quien es el núcleo detrás de todos los intelectuales públicos de una sociedad, también se ha convertido en la voz de la transformación política. La evidencia de la República Popular China es que, si bien ha habido un crecimiento económico masivo durante los últimos treinta años, y una expansión igualmente impresionante de la educación superior desde 1997, las consecuencias para la educación superior en términos de cambio social han sido considerablemente más limitadas. Además, si bien ha habido algunas voces para la transformación política limitada por parte del personal y los estudiantes, las demandas de cambio de régimen que pudieron haberse esperado, dadas las experiencias de otros países, son prácticamente inexistentes  


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