Education in ChinaPhilosophy, Politics and Culture
Education in China
Philosophy, Politics and Culture

Throughout its history, education in China has played a pivotal role in the nation’s governance, civic society, and the social and cultural lives of its citizens. Today we see a nation grappling with how to modernize and internationalize its education system, while still retaining China’s intellectual traditions and values in the face of growing educational inequalities.

This book analyses the historical and contemporary place of education in China and how the past has influenced today’s trends. Recent fundamental educational reforms have been driven by the need for continuing economic development and a highly skilled workforce, at the same time fulfilling the aspirations of its citizens and their desire for the prestige education brings. Moreover, ideological education plays a key role in enlisting citizens to the national cause. Although China has ambitious plans for its education system, several problems remain, including an examination-obsessed system and highly competitive culture, which skew the social fabric and dominate family life and childhoods.

This accessible analysis will be a welcome resource for students of comparative education as well as those across the social sciences interested in Chinese society.

Show More
Buy Now


Order Exam Copy

For Lecturers Only

More Info
  • May 2019
  • 208 pages
  • 155 x 214 mm / 6 x 8 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9780745664088
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9780745664101
  • Open eBook $18.99
  • 9781509535972
Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: History of education in China from Confucius to the present
  • Chapter 2: Formal and informal education policies, structures, governance and contexts
  • Chapter 3: Education reform and internationalisation
  • Chapter 4: Inequalities and disparities
  • Chapter 5: Tradition and innovation
  • Chapter 6: China’s changing relationships with the world and future challenges
About the Author

Janette Ryan is a Visiting Academic at the China Centre at the University of Oxford and an Independent Educational Consultant, formerly of the University of Birmingham and the UK Higher Education Academy

Show More


’This vivid and insightful account of China's education system and its rich traditions enables readers to understand both its strengths and the tensions that have made equity of access and genuine transformation difficult.’
Ruth Hayhoe, University of Toronto

‘This book provides an insightful, clear and comprehensive picture of Chinese education, from the reforms that have taken place to the challenges that lie ahead. It is a must-read if we are to understand China’s “rise” and her trajectory into the future.’
Kam Louie, University of Hong Kong

"[A]n interesting and valuable volume on contemporary Chinese education."
Pacific Affairs

Show More