Programs and curricula at a Chinese vocational university: A case study
AdvisorLevin, John S.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study attempted to investigate the characteristics of vocationalization and localization of program structure and curricular system at Chinese vocational universities. As a case, Nantong Vocational College was chosen for an in-depth study. Both interviews and document analysis were applied as data collection to reveal the nature of programs and curricula. A field research strategy was adopted. Institutional administration and external management network were examined and organizational behavioral change was analyzed. Both vocationalism and localism were developed and adopted at Chinese vocational universities along with China's modernization campaign and China's involvement into the global world. In this unique social transitional process, localization of global influence was visited as both significant and magnificent. The local economic structure was altered and a new labor market rose. In addition, China's national bureaucratic structure under the Communist Party of China and the central government played a decisive role in guiding the transition from the mandatory planned economy to a market oriented economy. In this turbulent social economic context, Nantong Vocational College was forced to internalize the institutional initiatives for adaptation to the external transformation. Consequently, the college organizational structure and management mechanisms altered both at the institutional and departmental levels. Business management strategy was adopted. Programs and curricula were further vocationalized and localized as a result in line with the globalized local economic structure. Academic pursuance retreated to vocational training, to job skill building and competency acquisition for local economic development and the needs of the labor market. Following conclusions are drawn: (1) Program structure and curricular system has changed and is changing toward vocationalism and localism. (2) Chinese vocational universities have become semi-political and semi-economic institutions serving the national interests under the guidance of the Party and the central government. (3) Program restructuring and curricular reconfiguration were initiated and managed to serve the changing local economic needs. (4) Institutional administration adopted business type mechanism for marketization and competition. (5) Global forces contributed to the localization of the institutional change.
Degree ProgramGraduate College