23 October 2018

HE and national identity in China

In a new paper, Professor Ka Ho Mok argues that China’s attempts to promote national identity through higher education and graduate employment have been unsuccessful.

Exploring the reasons for this, he argues that there has been a failure of policy coordination, policy interpretations and implementation.

The paper looks specifically at China’s attempts to encourage students originally from Hong Kong and Macau to study in Chinese universities in the mainland and develop their careers there after graduation.

The analysis identifies gaps between the policy agenda and policy implementation, especially when policy discourse is shaped differently because of local interpretations.

Professor Mok found that Hong Kong and Macau graduates experienced frustration when their job applications were denied because of their inappropriate ‘identity’ and ‘resident status’. He argues that the failure of effective policy coordination across government bureaus led to the counter-productive formation of a ‘positive national identity’ among Hong Kong and Macau graduates.

Promoting National Identity through Higher Education and Graduate Employment: Reality in the Responses and Implementation of Government Policy in China is published in the Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management.