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Global Influences and Local Responses at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

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The authors introduce findings from a case study of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (known as “Guangwai” to locals) in Guangzhou, China. Based on 45 formal interviews (with 25 faculty and 20 undergraduate students), over 50 informal interviews, and over 300 hours of participant observation the authors describe how a variety of forces associated with China's increasing participation in the global economy are influencing academic life at Guangwai. In particular, they discuss five key issues: 1) the growing importance of English, 2) the influence of foreign experts/professors, 3) pedagogical changes/challenges, 4) new academic pressures to engage in research, and 5) the changing socialist danwei (community of workers). Theoretically, the authors provide understanding of the ways in which local contexts respond uniquely to global challenges.

Keywords: Chinese higher education; decentralisation; globalisation; neoliberalism; university reform

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: UCLA 2: Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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  • World Studies in Education is a bi-annual, refereed, international journal offering a global overview of significant international and comparative education research. Its focus is on educational reforms and policy affecting institutions in the global economy.

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