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Student motivations, quality and status in adult higher education (AHE) in China

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This article examines an important and yet neglected aspect of the relationship between higher education and the labour market in contemporary China. It does this through a detailed case study of student motivations, quality and status in adult higher education (AHE) in the city of Taiyuan, Shanxi Province. This is a region which has seen major economic and social changes as China makes the transition from a centrally planned to a market-oriented economy. The case study is placed in that context. Using the theoretical perspective of human capital theory, the article examines the role of education in labour markets. It then considers the relevance of lifelong learning to the research and provides an account of the methodological approach used in the study. The findings of the research are then presented according to the key research questions. These are that the utilitarianism which exists in AHE provision and demand in China has had an impact upon the quality of provision and learning in this sector. This will definitely not help to develop a lifelong-learning-based society and promote citizens' all-round development as suggested by government regulations on lifelong learning.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Nottingham, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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