Philosophy of China's University

Reply Fri 10 Sep, 2004 02:18 am
It is "my" silly philosophy about universities in China.

Commments appreciated.

The thinking on the combination of the new phase's "Two Administrations" in university management

Comrade Jiang Zeming's strategy of properly running our nation points out that both "administration according to the law" and "administration according to morals" should be stressed, and university management is a concrete application of the strategy. The construction of the "Two Administrations" in universities is systematic engineering. The article, based on the analysis of the dialectic relationship between the "Two Administrations", attempts to discuss a new path for their combination in university management in the new century.

Key words: University, Administration-according-to-the-law, Administration-according-to-the-morals.
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Reply Sat 11 Sep, 2004 01:24 pm
There is a quote somewhere along the lines of a parent reading a note from the teacher replied

that he knew several languages, had been to multiple hog callings, cattle roundups, and political events and still could not understand what the teacher was saying in the note.

If someone knows that comment would they please post it here. I think it applies beautifully to the first post in this thread. Smile

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Reply Sat 11 Sep, 2004 01:31 pm
Re: Philosophy of China's University
oristarA wrote:
Key words: University, Administration-according-to-the-law, Administration-according-to-the-morals.

As a westerner this may reveal nothing more than my cultural bias but this sounds very Chinese to me. I suggest you refer to Confucius.
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Reply Sat 11 Sep, 2004 03:48 pm
Very good, Acquiunk. I do believe oristarA lives in China, and normally posts in the "English" forum, in an attempt to learn idiomatic English. I've learned a lot to the answers to those posts, and maybe contributed a bit to the confusion.
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Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 09:26 am
Hello guys.

Confusion? Bias is bias, not confusion. If you can point out some grammatical errors in the thread. I'd pay you 3USD. Smile
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Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 09:42 am

I think your English is getting better. You may find that keeping your sentences short will improve both grammar and clarity. Subject, verb, object isn't exactly great literature, but is much easier to construct without making errors. Long, complex sentences require complex grammatical marks, so mistakes are easier to make. The average sentence should probably be around 14 words.

It is difficult for most of us to comment on how universities are run in the PRC. Higher education is even different between the U.S. and Britain. There are no official political agendas in most Western universities. There is a definite left-wing/socialist, even Communist bias on some campuses. The ideal here is that at University students and professors ought to be free to think, and discuss anything and without bureaucratic strictures. It has been awhile since I was deeply involved in Chinese studies. Has the University system there changed much since the 1980's?
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Reply Sun 12 Sep, 2004 10:04 am
It is no surprise that this might be bizzare to westerners, because many chinese may have difficulty understanding what the Two-Administration is about. This incomprehensibility comes right from the rules of political discourse in China. Linguistic ambiguity plays a decisive role in regulating the relationship of the center and the provinces, the latter shouldering the main responsibility of implementing the central policies. Whereas the center lies far away from where the policies are imposed, it is the provinces well informed about local problems that actually implements them. The precision of wording by the center in dealing with its policies is obviously impractical if not impossible. The ambuguity, therefore, provides the provinces with much leeway in interpreting the central policies, fitting them to the particularity of each province.

This case is exactly illustrative of the tactic being used. Worse still, the wording of two-administration is self-contradictory in that adminstration by law and that by morals stand up to one another. The former in the western political discourse means rule of law which lays the very foundation of western democracy. The latter, however, indicates the rule by virtue. That's why most people can't make sense of it.
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Reply Mon 27 Sep, 2004 08:19 pm
hmmm....weird. Why the reply by me to Asherman disappeared?
Now I copy the start sentence of the reply here(the most of it has lost):
Yes, the system of China's higher education has been greatly different in comparision to the old system that existed 20 years ago.
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Reply Tue 28 Sep, 2004 12:20 pm
A2k has been experiencing technical difficulties for a few days. The result has been loss of quite a few postings. However, I did read you last full post.

Education is the United States is pretty hard to describe in simple terms. There is no national system of education, nor are there (apart from the military academies) any National University/college(s). Each of our fifty States has it's own educational system that generally consists of primary and secondary schools. States also fund higher education systems usually consisting of a university system, colleges, and junior colleges. There are many private colleges/universities, some designed to provided courses of study by mail or Internet. If a student wants to acquire formalized training in a trade, there are schools to teach almost any conceivable work skill. The quality of a person's education cannot easily be determined by the schools they've attended. Some schools are easy and deliver almost nothing. Others are difficult to get into and provide the finest educational opportunities on the planet.

Education is an important key to material success here. As a consequence, almost everyone who wants to get ahead will be involved in some form of education. Some demographic groups, typically in the decaying inner cities, have high dropout rates even in the primary grades. Having poor skills, many of these young people drift into a life of crime, unmarried parenthood at an early age, and generally hopeless lives. Educational opportunities are widely available, but very uneven as to quality. Recently there have been attempts to establish national minimum standards that all students must attain in their primary and secondary schooling.

In addition to the college/university systems mentioned above, the States provide funding, some minimal academic standards and licensing requirements for schools within their jurisdiction. The various States don't generally operate primary and secondary schools themselves. Local school boards elected by the town, or county where the schools located operate the primary and secondary schools (1-12). School boards hire teachers, buy the textbooks used in the schools, and set school policies. Usually, there is a school superintendent responsible for the day-to-day operation of the local schools. Each school will have a principal who supervises the teachers and students within their school. Within the general policies set by the school board, teachers are left free to operate their classrooms as they see fit … theoretically. In actuality, teachers are constrained by the textbooks they have to use, sometimes silly policies set by laymen, the norm's set by their teaching peers, and the good-will of the community at large. Remember, parents can school children outside the public school system, even at home.

Primary schools are kindergarten through the seventh, or ninth grades. Secondary schools are generally called high schools. Children will generally enter their local school system around age five. In the primary schools the children may spend the entire day with a single teacher. They are expected to learn social skills, and become basically literate. Emphasis is on acquiring basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills. Middle Schools (sort of a transitional setting between primary education and high school) and high schools are more focused on preparing the students for their future. Students who don't intend going to college can study trade skills that are intended to help them find jobs after high school graduation. Most students aim for college because that will open the most doors of opportunity. Classes in high school are generally divided into subject areas, each taught be teachers specializing in that field. In the primary schools, for instance, one might learn arithmetic and have some introduction to geometry. In the secondary schools students may study algebra, geometry, trig, and even calculus. The resources of these schools are mostly drawn from the local property taxes, so wealthy communities often have more money to spend per student than poor communities. Some schools are very, very good and others very, very poor. Some wealthy schools are terrible, and some poor schools are excellent.

After finishing the primary/secondary schools, some students will go to work, and others will enter a college/university. College/university education is sometimes costly beyond the means of deserving students. There are many scholarship and loan programs to assist needy students. Students who go to work, may after a few years decide to gain more education, and most will be able to do that. Those who enter college can pursue almost any academic goal they wish, and many will change their course of study several times before graduation. Some will study a few years, dropout and then return years later to complete a college degree. A Bachelor's degree is expected to take four years, but it isn't unusual for students to take ten or more years to finish their studies. Some will earn two or more Bachelor's degrees in their lifetime. Those who want to become professionals will enter Graduate School. Physicians, lawyers, architects, and engineers are examples of careers where graduate degrees are either required, or the norm. People with very good educations will fill most upper management positions, so those with graduate degrees (Master's and Doctorates) tend to make more money than those without. It is not unusual for a high school dropout to eventually obtain multiple advanced degrees. Some promising students entering college, may dropout after a semester never to finish any degree. Getting into a good college/university is very competitive. Student's need to do well on standardized college entrance exams, and meet the institution's criteria for filling limited numbers of openings in the freshman class. Money helps, but ultimately acceptance into a good college/university depends almost entirely on the student. Students who have to go to their second-choice school can usually later transfer their credits and enter their first-choice school in their sophomore, junior, or senior years.

Actually, people with Doctorates tend to become part of the college/university systems and so they typically earn less money than the lower Master's degrees. Grad students may begin teaching in the college/university as assistant faculty before graduation, but full tenure will not come for many years. The faculty within one's discipline at the college/university votes tenure. Tenured professors have great job security, and it is almost impossible to fire them. That encourages independence of thought, research, and writing by senior faculty. It also occasionally results in "freezing" thought into obsolete, even fantastic, molds until the old professor either dies, or retires. For instance, a tenured professor might suddenly decide that the earth is flat, and he will teach that to a generation of students. Top colleges and universities seldom allow anything that extreme to occur, but it can and has happened. The quality of education available at both State Universities/colleges and at the best private colleges/universities ranges from good to outstanding. The differences are mostly in cost to the student, and sort of connections they make at school for later life. Harvard (a private institution) is hard to get into, costs a lot, but the education is great and later in business the Harvard degree will open a whole lot of doors. That doesn't necessarily mean that a Harvard trained physician is any better than one trained at a UCLA (the California State University in Los Angeles).

The educational system of the United States is remarkably free of government oversight and institutionalized politics. Some of the most anti-government feeling in the country is found on our campuses, and led by faculty some of whom are avowed Communists. Our traditions is that in the academic world one should be free to think, speak, and teach whatever they wish. We believe that education and progress are both highly dependent upon freedom of thought and initiative. To that end, in the United States libraries and campuses are uncensored and one can find the widest range of thought and belief represented.
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