Xi Jinping

China: Expelling “Western Values” from the Classroom

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Reprinted from GIMUN Chronicles

By Caroline Mountfield

AP Photo/Colour China Photo
AP/Colour China Photo

China has greatly expanded its higher education system as its economy has grown, with the total number of universities and colleges more than doubling in the past decade. Such an impressive outcome was only accomplished by giving priority to providing quality tertiary education across the country. In enacting an “educational innovation system”, China’s objective was to provide a proficient workforce to feed its socio-economic development. This implied setting up courses in key disciplines, talent development, improving research, widening participation and enhancing collaboration between institutions. As elsewhere, academic opportunities in China are shaped by a range of non-educational factors, such as social attitudes and changing patterns of employment and prosperity. However, traditional perspectives and Marxist commitments to fixed social roles and collective identities create a very distinctive structure when moving towards a more inclusive education system. China’s ruling Communist Party has long railed against Western values, including concepts like multi-party democracy, individualism and self-advocacy.

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