Private H.E. in China and Russia: A comparison

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Private H.E. in China and Russia:
A comparison
Professor W. John Morgan
UNESCO Chair of Political Economy and
Education, University of Nottingham
Private Higher Education
• The growth of Private Higher Education should
be seen as part of the diversification of provision
in recent years. Hitherto, the state held a near
monopoly on tertiary education.
• That said PHE is a common feature of provision in
North America and in Japan, while it is less wellestablished in Western Europe.
• It is particularly evident in countries where higher
education provision is experiencing contextual
change or is still relatively undeveloped as a
system.
Private Higher Education
• The economic crises and structural
adjustment programmes of the 1980s
challenged state dominance and markets were
encouraged, in higher education as elsewhere
in public policy.
• This is shown by two trends:• The privatization of public institutions.
• The emergence of private institutions.
Private Higher Education
• The former means the use of market
principles in the operation of public
institutions.
• This takes the form of:• Cost recovery or cost sharing through fees.
• Cost recovery of support services through
contracting out.
• Subsidizing the core teaching function
• The development of the corporate university.
Private Higher Education
• The latter means the emergence of a nonstate sector. The institutions within this take
different forms:• Partially state-supported institutions e.g.
Buckingham in the UK.
• Not for profit institutions often with large
endowments e.g. Harvard and Waseda.
• Faith-based institutions e.g. Notre Dame,
Baptist U, Soka University, Gaza Islamic.
Private Higher Education
• The Roman Catholic Church is active globally
outside the Islamic countries and Islamic
organizations in countries such as Egypt,
Indonesia and Malaysia.
• For-profit institutions, some of which are run
by corporations and trade stocks and shares
e.g. Phoenix University. They are common in
developing countries, are fee dependent,
teaching market-friendly courses, rarely
engage in research, and have major quality
assurance issues.
Private Higher Education
• Private higher education is growing and is
increasing its share of the total student
enrolment.
• Private higher education is often cross-border
and sometimes a hybrid with public
institutions in host countries.
• Well-known public universities operate branch
campuses under regulations applicable to
private institutions in the host country e.g.
Royal Melbourne Institute in Vietnam and
Nottingham in Malaysia and China.
Private Higher Education in China
• This is a rather complicated field of practice
usually called Ming-ban higher education and
there is no consensus in China on a definition.
• Today I will focus on for-profit institutions.
• Before 1980 there were no private universities
or colleges in China; by 1999 there were 43
private degree granting universities or colleges
and more than 1,000 other institutions; by
2006 the number of degree granting
institutions had increased to 278.
Private Higher Education in China
• Such institutions are found in well-developed
areas of China. The reasons are obvious:• First, there is more investment available.
• Secondly, local governments have an incentive
to give their encouragement.
• Thirdly, there is a strong public education
system on which private HE can draw e.g.
part-time staff.
• Finally, there are more potential fee-paying
students.
Private Higher Education in China
• There are some fundamental differences
between Chinese private HE and its Western
counterparts:• Investment is favoured over endowments.
• Entrepreneurs expect economic returns when
they invest.
• Compared with public HE it has a poor social
reputation while tuition costs are higher.
• With expansion, social stratification has risen.
Private Higher Education in China
• A tiered system of higher education is
emerging in China of which private HE is a
part. This has consequences for social
stratification in China.
• Although a private not-for profit Chinese
Harvard is unlikely, it is suggested that the
Chinese government, NGOs, IGOs,
practitioners, donors and investors work
together towards a more socially harmonious
private HE system in China.
Private Higher Education in Russia
• In Russia legislation permits that non-public
universities can be completely or partially
funded by the budget of the founding
organization and according to the different
types of private university described earlier.
• Private universities, according to the current
legislation, are therefore established not
through gradual transformation of state
universities, but as a result of the establishing
of new institutions e.g. Moscow School of
Economics.
Private Higher Education in Russia
• A distinct system of private higher education is
taking shape and there are now almost 500
higher education institutions universities,
chiefly for profit.
• Nearly two-thirds of them hold state
accreditation which allows them to issue
approved certificates to their graduates. By
2010 the ratios were:
• Institutions: 474/1134
• Students: 1298/6214 (in 000s)
Private Higher Education in Russia
• Private higher education in Russia is currently
at the transition stage. The sector’s
universities are different in:• Size and origin of capital under the founding
charter; material-technical bases; length of
existence; quality of educational services;
university staff ratios; the competence of
administrators.
• This makes it difficult to assess the system as a
whole.
China and Russia
• The scale of private higher and especially
professional education varies significantly
according to the level of economic
development and cultural-historical traditions.
• It is argued that the privatization process in
education generally is a key characteristic of
the early and more dynamic stages of
economic transformation.
• As transition evolves into stability, so will the
trend to privatization become slower.
China and Russia
• China and Russia are examples of statesocialist systems in transition, but have
evolved differently. In China there has been
transition, but controlled by a still ruling
communist party. In Russia communist party
rule came to an end and there followed a
period of severe volatility, but ending in a
system of ‘managed democracy’. These
differing paths have affected all aspects of
public policy including higher education.
China and Russia
• In China, private higher education has
emerged as a supplement to public higher
education. It remains low in status, but is
capable of meeting a market demand for
higher education qualifications.
• In Russia, private higher education has
emerged as both a supplement and as a
competitor to public higher education. It has
both low-status, even dubious institutions,
together with high-status, prestigious ones.
China and Russia
• In China the demand for higher education,
including private higher education, remains
strong, although expansion is giving way to
concerns about quality, access and
opportunity and social justice. Public higher
education remains dominant and with access
both to funding and to prestigious
international links. It is here that the Chinese
state intends to build a world-class HE system.
China and Russia
• In Russia the demand for higher education,
including private higher education, is muted
by a ‘demographic hole’. The increase in the
number of private higher education
institutions has stopped and some have gone
out of business. Competition with public
higher education has intensified, both from
well-funded and prestigious private
universities with international links; and from
smaller institutions able to provide cheap
part-time provision.
Conclusion
• In China the emphasis remains on the
supplementary nature of such provision which
brings non-state resources into the system. It
is unlikely to permit not-for profit institutions
that raise questions of university autonomy
and academic freedom. Market principles
apply increasingly throughout the higher
education system as a whole.
Conclusion
• In Russia private higher education is
increasingly competitive with the underfunded public system in a declining market.
Not-for profit institutions are possible e.g. the
Orthodox Church. Again market principles
apply increasingly throughout the higher
education system as a whole.
• Both countries retain national academies of
sciences which raises a further question, not
for today, about the organization and funding
of research.
Suggested Reading
• Higher Education Reform in China: Beyond
expansion (Eds.) W. John Morgan and Bin Wu,
Routledge, London and New York, 2011.
• Russian Higher Education and Europe, Special
Issue of the European Journal of Education,
(Eds.) W. John Morgan and Grigori A.
Kliucharev, (forthcoming).
Thank You!
•
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W. J. Morgan
[email protected]

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