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Local University Governance in Social Transition Period

Author: LiuZuo
Tutor: ZuoDaGuang
School: Xiamen University
Course: Higher Education
Keywords: Local University Governance Narration Exploration Governance Theory External Governance Structure Governance Models
CLC: G648.4
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2007
Downloads: 1229
Quote: 5
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Abstract


In the context of the transition of Chinese social system and the great change of the Chinese higher education, local universities run by cities at the prefecture level and central cities have experienced a history of twenty years, gradually becoming a significant branch of the three forces which propel the localization, popularity and plurality of the Chinese higher education. The origin and development, experience and achievements, function and value, and mission and significance of the local universities constantly appeal to the theoretical study. Complexity of the social transition and uncertainty of the higher education development has, so far, impacted constraint upon our knowledge of the local universities. We are still on the way to learn how to manage and govern the local universities.“New system is brings about study costs, and is likely to cause unharmonious coordination during the social transition period.”This dissertation aims at clarifying the true colors of the local university governance, depicting its external structure, and seeking the ideal model for the governance, so as to reduce the study costs and improve the governance of the local universities.This dissertation attempts to answer the following three problems: 1. the system and policies which circumscribe the development of the local universities; 2. the process and expression way of the game conducted by the governmental force, market force, social force, and academic force during the development of the local universities; and 3. the governance structure and correspondent reasonable models for the governance of the local universities. Through the scrutiny of the issues such as the historical background and the environment of the universities launched by the cities at the prefecture level during the 1980s to 1990s, and the conflicts they face and policies they choose, this research is committed to expanding the horizon of study, clarifying the true colors, exploring the path of development, and pursuing the theoretical interpretation. It also tries to probe into the governance of the Chinese universities from the angle of governance and localization, and to make the“local knowledge”underlie the knowledge accumulation concerning the advanced education theory. The foremost aim is to seek the path of governance of the local universities in China.Choosing the objectivism or interpretivism as the research line and the governance theory as the analysis frame, this dissertation follows the principles of unity of history and logic, and of reciprocal support between theory and experience, ie, the unity of“macro narration”and“empirical narration”, the unity of practical experience and theoretical interpretation. The study of this thesis follows two basic lines. One is the line of history and experience, which, through document research, that is through the“macro narration”of the historical literature, concludes the relevant problems of the governance of the local universities. Meanwhile, through narration research, that is, through the“empirical narration”of presidents of four representative local universities, it tries to seek the“genuine”history of the governance of local universities, make the“macro narration”and“empirical narration”verify each other, and theoretically interpret the history of the established local universities and the experience of their presidents, so as to resume the original colours of the governance of local universities. With historical documents as the research resources, Chapter II and Chapter III of this writing comb out and come up with the historical backgrounds, systematic position, environment, and existing problems of the local universities respectively. Based on the personal experiences of presidents of the local universities, Chapter IV probes into the governance of the local universities, mainly analysing the system and policies that hold back the development of the local universities. Historically and empirically it reflects the contradictions and conflicts between the local universities and the government, market, and society. The other line is the connection of theory and logic. With the“governance theory”as the theoretical resources and analytical frame, it provides a logical analysis of the relationship between the local universities and the external world. Considering the governance theory and system transition, Chapter V, Chapter VI and the conclusion part of this dissertation supply an analysis and construction of the systematic environment, operating mechanism, governance structure, external variable, and ideal models of the local university governance, focusing on the game conducted by the governmental force, market force, social force and academic force and its ought-to-be. The review, organization and commentary of the relevant literature for research provided in Chapter I justify the problems and methods mentioned in this research.The chief conclusion and possible fresh idea of this dissertation exist in the following. 1. The sudden new force of the local universities results from the systematic innovation of the Chinese higher education, which will deeply influence the reconstruction of the Chinese higher educational system, the readjustment of the structure of the higher education governance, and the localization, popularity and plurality of the higher education. 2.Local universities are new-type universities different from the traditional ones. They are characterized with different governance structure and governance models. They add new resources to the knowledge accumulation on how to govern the Chinese universities; 3. Governance of the local universities are deeply influenced by the social system and local government. The special development patterns of the local universities and the special problems they face during the transitional period underlie the change from control to governance with respect to the management of the local universities.4. Governance of the local universities is a need of reform triggered by the government’s“campaign of governance and change”and the“new public administration”. The launching of the governance theory offers a theoretical frame and logical support for the governance of the local universities; 5. The environment for the governance of the local universities in social transition period has changed and is still changing greatly. The external governing structure of the local universities has taken up news characteristics. Therefore, the path to optimize the governance of the local universities is confronted with new demands and feasibility; and 6. Methodologically, the research attempts to act in accordance with the unity of history and logic. Through the research on history and experience, the assertion of the governance logic, and the question on the goal of the universities, it suggests the deliberation of the ideal models of the governance of local universities.Conclusively, by means of literature research, narration exploration and the analysis of the governance frame, together with the repetition of the theme and proposition and their mutual support, this dissertation provides a new path, adds some new knowledge, and supplies a new possibility for the study of the governance of the local universities during the social transition period. The author believes the research methods, frame and conclusion mentioned in the dissertation will be theoretically valuable and realistically significant for the reinforcement of the knowledge of the local universities, and for the choice of reasonable patterns concerning the governance of local universities, and will pave a way for the continued study in this area.

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