Published on October 16, 2007
Cultural Conflict or Amalgamation?Higher Education Access and Equity of Ethnic Minorities in China: Cultural Conflict or Amalgamation? Higher Education Access and Equity of Ethnic Minorities in China Zhiyong Zhu Ph.D. Fulbright New Century Scholar (2007-2008) Institute of Higher Education Administration College of Educational Administration Beijing Normal University Email: [email protected] Presented in the Workshop of Higher Education at the University of Hong Kong March 13, 2007 Content: Content Origin of the Study Introduction Research Questions Methodology Significance of the Study Origin of the Study: Origin of the Study Research interest: Ethnic identity and state schooling: assigned identity; school education and local community development in ethnic minority regions; Ethnic minority’s perspective towards their ethnic culture; Educational conceptions and ethnic culture (ways of production, life values, living styles, viewpoints about nature and its relations to human beings); Ethnic cultural influence and ethnic minority higher education access and equity. Introduction (1): Introduction (1) Social equity and educational equity in China; Higher education expansion: from elitism to universalization; Research focus on disparities between rural and urban areas, east and western regions, and genders, rather than ethnicities and ethnic minorities; Introduction (2): Introduction (2) Preferential policies for ethnic minorites in higher education since the 1950s: The lower score line than Han Chinese students for admission to higher education; The building of ethnic colleges and preparatory class; The situation for ethnic minority access to higher education is not optimistic; Comparison between ethnic minority and the national; Comparison between ethnic minorities; Introduction (3): Introduction (3) Some ethnic minority region’s higher education better than others; Some ethnic minority (Korean, Daur, Xibe, Naxi, Hui, etc.) groups’ higher education higher than the national average; Research Questions (1): Research Questions (1) The general objective is to examine the mechanism for higher education disparities among different ethnic regions and ethnic minority groups, especially the role of the relationships between ethnic minorities’ cultures and mainstream culture in the change of higher education. Research Questions (2): Research Questions (2) The specific objectives are: What policies have been implemented to improve access to and equity of higher education for ethnic minorities in western countries (the USA, France, Australia, etc.) and Asian countries (Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, etc.) in the transferring of new century? And what kind of relevance to China? How does the concept of equity in higher education change in the Chinese historical context, especially after the founding of the People’s Republic of China? And what is the significance to other ethnic groups? What kind of cultural and social norms lead to less access to and inequity of higher education of ethnic minorities beyond the preferential policies in China? What kind of cultural and social factors contribute to the higher education development disparities between well-developed higher education of Korean, Daur, Naxi minorities and less-developed higher education of Tibetan, Tu, Dai minorities? Methodology (1): Methodology (1) Based on the purpose of the project, data will be solicited from a variety of sources: ethnic minority students and their parents, ethnic minority school teachers, administrators, ethnic (racial) minority educational scholars, and professionals, as well as different kinds of documents to triangulate a holistic understanding of access and equity of ethnic minorities’ higher education in the United States, China, and other countries. Methodology (2): Methodology (2) Informal and in-depth interviews with academic scholars, stakeholders, and policy makers are to be used to explore the understanding of the reality of related policies for ethnic minority higher education through international exchange visits and NCS seminars; Formal Interviews with Korean, Daur, Naxi, Tibetan, Tu, Dai people, teachers, and students in China, and minority students and other stakeholders in the U. S. are employed to catch on their beliefs and values on higher education. A questionnaire survey will be designed to examine the significance of cultural change, population mobility, commercial exchange, trans-marriage, religion, history of ethnic group, language and characters, and other factors to the development of higher education among some ethnic minorities in China. Significance of the Study: Significance of the Study The significance of this project lies in helping professionals in the United States, China, and other countries communicate and understand ideologies and practices in access to and equity of higher education of ethnic minority, and contributing to the deep understanding of under-representative ethnic groups in higher education access and equity in the global context through the exploration of cultural and social norms of the case of China, and generating feasible implications on promoting ethnic minority higher education in China drawing on the experiences of the United States and other countries in this regard.