Since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, there are many tumultuous changes in every aspects of Chinese society, and the education of Chinese Mainland also got rapid development. China's education development has achieved a high level due to the success of market-oriented socialist economy after 1978. These changes including the expansion of education scale and system, the gradual elimination of education inequality, and nurturing of many engineers and scientists were tightly linked to the national education policies' adjustment and shifts (Tsang 2000, p. 2). For the past few years, the Chinese government has input huge efforts to the multi-level education system, which contained the nine-year compulsory education, vocational and technical education, adult education, and the higher education (Chinese Education Development, 2003). The regular higher education of China has become more rational on structural pattern and the education quality was markedly improved. With the implementation of the policy of reform and opening, the international cooperation and exchange in higher education entered a new stage. Each year many Chinese students are studying abroad, more and more foreign students seek to study in China. But comparing to other advanced countries' education level, the Chinese higher education is still on a common level. For example, in the World University Rankings 2011-2012 by Times in UK, there were only three Chinese Mainland universities appearing in top 200, but the Australia has seven (The World University Rankings 2011-2012).
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Australia's higher education has high quality and comprehensive system and is prestigious in the world. It attracted many foreign students to finish their higher education in Australia, such as Chinese students. Australian higher education could provide high quality and world- recognized education and offer competitive lower tuition fees. Many students viewed the Australian education system as of world-class quality to be their stuffy broad destination. So the China and Australia both have their advantages and disadvantages in the higher education. For this reason, the research paper will firstly provide an analysis of current research into the differences behind the higher education performance of China and Australia from several aspects. Then based on research findings, it will discuss the broad reasons why Mainland Chinese are not establishing strong international higher education. This research will provide an understanding of the potential problems in Chinese higher education, which may enable solutions for government to improve its efficient development.
2.0 Literature Review
Nowadays the education is becoming more and more internationalization and globalization, Yang (2005) illustrated that Chinese higher education also gradually become the internationalization, and the forms or features of education are also different between different countries. Especially, Marginson (2006) pointed out that there were obvious national competition and global competition in global higher education, which was due to the pattern of asymmetrical resources and one-way global flows. In this essay, it compares the advantages and disadvantages of higher education in Chinese and Australia.
Through a research conducted by Marginson (2006), it was found that inequality existed in university hierarchy in higher education between Australia and China. Australia obtained more elite-universities, and pursues different global strategies with varying leverage global activity, making their higher education at a high status. Australia speak English as dominate language, and its well-funded research infrastructure allow universities to deploy their best performing faculty, concentrate strength and secure intellectual leadership, which is a positional advantage compared to China. Australia has benefited from the students migration from importing country such as China. And it also increases the funding input in target Asian languages education (Bianco, 2008). Zha (2009) drew that Chinese universities were being structured in a hierarchical way according to functions and goals, and it exceedingly depended on state financing and only the provision could not satisfy the growing demand of enrollment expansion for higher education.
Another difference is the private higher education, which was an important sector of education. Wang and Secombe (2004) found that privatization of higher education was more the case of public privatization in Australia while in China it took the form of independent privatization. Private tertiary education in Australia is very common and without the difference on the regional economic development, which was advantage to promote the development of education. But it also existed unfair in higher education. White (2003) indicated that senior academic women in Australian Universities, as elsewhere, continue to experience both direct and indirect discrimination to the disadvantage of the academic development in Australia. In China the overall standard of private colleges varies significantly in different regions, the relatively developed provinces obtain private higher institutions with better conditions. The quality and reputation of Chinese private higher education were at low social status. Lack of enough funding and policy supporting seemed the disadvantages to achieve fine expansion of enrolments, quality and efficiency. Su (2012) insisted that the government should take into consideration policy options for quality improvements, and the social donations to the private education sector should be exempt from tax. The establishment of quality evaluation mechanisms by Chinese government, such as an official rating system, showed the advantages to safeguard educational quality, ensure equal opportunities and improve overall efficiency.
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The specific learning and teaching system in higher education is also not the same. In Australia universities, teachers have always held the dual role of contributing to and judging student development, and students have always simultaneously juggled dependence on their teachers and the requirement to demonstrate independence of them (White, 2007). Such education mode viewing students as customers could be advantages for shaping students' independent thinking and innovation ability, the ability to solve problems and strong competition ability. This view was also could be found in the research on differences between Chinese and Australian higher education by Zhang (2011). The teaching way of Chinese universities is the teacher-centered institution, and the teachers are used to directly inculcate theoretical knowledge infusion to students. Students have been used to passive reception, which causing themselves having strong imitation ability but lack of creativity.
These ideas were discussed in this review to draw to the point that there were China and Australia's higher education have their own advantages and disadvantages. Mostly the Australian education system at university hierarchy, private higher education and learning and teaching mode comparing to Chinese, has many advantages for students increasing practical knowledge, shaping students' comprehensive quality and endowing creative thinking. Although what has been drawn upon through this review has been highly important and relevant to the education study, what needs to be further researched is the difference of education returns in Chinese society and Australia society.
The higher education as an important part of education is becoming more and more valued. People through the higher education learning could obtain the professional skills, become qualified citizen in society ability, and get good income level after graduation. The outcome of the higher education should conform to the needs of social and economic construction and development. Now the global national and global competition make the higher education presents regional development imbalances and global unevenness and inequalities. It also led to a world-wide university hierarchy at the present. Australia and other English speaking countries, their many universities in higher education were ranked in the forefront of the university hierarchy. The economy of Australia is more developed, and it gets a high degree on the internationalization level of higher education. So a huge part of higher education students across national borders were imported into the English speaking nations, such as the USA, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand (Marginson, 2006). The Australia obtain more famous comprehensive research universities, and these outstanding faculty of high research performing universities could attract bright students which always came from affluent families. These tuition revenues could promote its expansion, research projects cooperation, rising donations to higher education (Marginson, 2006).
The Chinese higher education system also became expansion and diversiï¬cation. Zha (2009) investigated a population of 594 Chinese universities in 2001, and he found that Chinese universities were forming a hierarchical way. Some Chinese university has being implementing internationalization, such as Zhongshan University, and it adopted international communication and trains with foreign universities (Yang, 2005). This change was affected by government forces and market intervention. Comparing to Australia, in Chinese higher education state appropriations and tuition fees are the main sources of revenue, which could not fulfill its expansion and integrated development.
Another difference is the private tertiary education between China and Australia. Nowadays the privatization of higher education is becoming a popular phenomenon in the world. The form of education privatization in China is independent privatization, and its private tertiary education includes the People-Run education and People-Run Gong Zhu education, which were usually ambiguous (Wang & Secombe, 2004). The People-Run higher education means the universities is fully funded by sponsors and industries, and the People-Run Gong Zhu education comes from the state-owned colleges. The number of Chinese private tertiary educational institutions has grown quickly science 1980's. From the comparison of three private tertiary schools in undeveloped Gui Zhou province and developed Guang Dong province, Wang & Secombe (2004) found that the privatization of higher education in China was observably affected by regional economic and social context. The low and unbalanced economic level across the country is the disadvantage for China to improve its educational level in private tertiary education. Chinese private higher education could not get enough funding by government and social organization, which cause its social satisfaction and education quality is lower compared to public universities. This is also the reason why Chinese higher education international level is low today.
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Although the Australia education is well-developed, attracting many foreign students to study in Australia every year, but in Australia's higher education still has discrimination on senior academic women (White, 2003). It is a disadvantage for Australia higher education to get a health academic environment and management mode. The full-time and fractional full-time academic women in Australia higher education have fewer opportunities to become research active. These women were offered too much teaching and administrative works to get few opportunities to participate the academic research. This discrimination on senior academic women was resulted from the masculine culture in Australian universities, and male manages promote the academic exclusion on women. Bennington and Wenn (2000) also insisted that the anti-discrimination legislation had played little role on actual behaviors and outcomes for gender equity in Australia higher education.
In order to promote the international level of Chinese higher education, it should avoid the inequity and discrimination of academic women in Australia universities. It seems that the government should strength the legislative supervision and the enforcement anti-discrimination employment. For the gender difference existing in universities' academic research, the administrators should implement diversity management, carry out effective supervision, and provide more opportunities to encourage the participation of academic women. With these measures, the academic research level of Chinese higher education could be got promoted in the further. Given the poor level of private higher education in China, the government should play the vital role on the promotion of private higher education. At the first of all, it should strengthen regional economic construction, in order to make the private universities get economic self-sufficiency. In addition, government supervision is highly necessary to maintain the balanced development and the well quality of private higher institutions. The improvement of efficiency and quality of private higher education, the enrolment expansion, both should be effectively monitored by Ministry of Education. Calling for social organization donation not only the government's funding support is also a measure to promote the development of private higher colleges.
Australia presents more open atmosphere in specific learning and teaching system of higher education compared to Chinese higher education. It is an advantage to cultivate students' independent thought and personality. In the class of higher education in Australia, the students are now described as customers and the teachers are service providers (White, 2007). Through the organized and practiced teaching and learning trains, the students could get enough personal exploration and development in everyday common life. Zhang (2011) also thought that there was huge difference on higher education system between China and Australia. It revealed that Australia's higher education is pragmatism, and it focuses on training students' practical operating ability, rather than simply to get the theory study. This model can adequately cultivate students' independent thinking and creativity. Many Australia lecture teacher came from related industry, in the lecture they would usually combine with some real life example, which makes dull theoretical knowledge become lively and students become easy to accept. Students learn course with positive preparation, a collect relevant course material for sufficient argument to answer teacher's question. It is a process of spontaneous active learning, just understanding more comprehensive and profound. The group learning type can cultivate students' teamwork spirit and oral presentation ability. Its strict teaching system and examination system advanced education method are worth Chinese higher education to learn from. But this kind of consumable commodity relationship between teachers and customers would militate against student engagement in learning process to some degree. So in order to promote the quick international development of Chinese higher education, the government should carry on the higher education pattern reform, mobilize the enthusiasm of teachers and students, and take reconsideration for the higher education teaching aims and teaching practices.
Nowadays the higher education is getting through national competition and global competition, and it is also affected by history, law, policy and funding. In the world, the international process of Chinese and Australia education appears to be more and more remarkable. Chinese higher education as an important part of education, get the rapid development after China's reform and open in 1978. Australia's higher education is achieving a high level and obtains advanced and mature system, which form a cross-border education market attracting more and more foreign students to study in Australia universities. They both have advantages and disadvantages in the tertiary education, and compare to Australia the Chinese higher education pattern in training students' independent thinking ability, practical ability and creative thinking is seemingly insufficient.
A number of suggestions have been made in response to some disadvantages Chinese higher education performance in references. These suggestions include continuing to implement higher education rank system, increasing the private higher education investment and strengthening the legislation and supervision of higher education, to improve education quality and the internationalization level. At the same time, it should strengthen the cooperation with advanced education country, learn from Australia in the higher education on the training of the students' success model, avoid the discrimination of academic women in scientific research in Australian universities, and actively promote the of quality and level China's higher education. It is hoped that this research will provide a framework from which managers of Mainland Chinese higher education to reform their education mode and education level, can use to diagnose problems which hinder their performance. The importance of higher education employment or education returns in Chinese and Australia higher education should be provided for the basis for further research in this area.