Prior Liberation in 1949 China had a long tradition of private education. In 1952 when the entire system of education was being restructured under Soviet influence all private institutions were done away with. It was in the Post-Mao Reforms era that private or non-public education was reintroduced. The main trigger for this change was the growing number of students at every level of education -primary, secondary and tertiary - with each passing year. The state-owned schools and universities were unable to meet the massive demand for admission even though the number of public institutions and student enrolments in each one of them were both increasing phenomenally. In 2003 private education was made legal. While the non-public institutions have been able to absorb a large number of students but in terms of quality they lag behind. Some legal restrictions on these institutions also inhibit their growth. As a consequence, many schools and universities have shut down. A new law passed in 2017 seeks to address some of the issues.
About the Speaker
Sreemati Chakrabarti is a retired Professor of Chinese Studies in the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Delhi and Honorary Fellow and Vice-Chairperson of the Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi. She has been Head of the Department from 2000 to 2003, from 2005-2008 and again from 2014-2017. From April 2014 to December 2015 she was Dean (Social Sciences) of Delhi University. Between 2009 to 2012 she was Honorary Director, Institute of Chinese Studies, Delhi. She has a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University and holds Master’s degrees from Delhi University (Political Science) and Harvard University (Regional Studies – East Asia). She has done post-doctoral research at Beijing Normal University. Between 2007 and 2013 she was the Book Review Editor of the Sage journal China Report. Her publications include China and the Naxalites (1990), Mao, China’s Intellectuals and the Cultural Revolution (1998), Taiwan Today (2007, edited with Anita Sharma) and a National Book Trust document, China (2007). She has also edited a forthcoming volume titled: Higher Education in Transition: Select Perspectives from India and China. She specializes on politics and education. On academic assignments she has traveled to Russia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Nepal, the United States, South Africa and several times to China. She is on various China-related panels in Indian universities and government-run research and educational organizations. Several television and radio news channels, including the BBC, invite her to comment on issues concerned with China and East Asia. In the year 2010 Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao felicitated her with the China-India Friendship Award.
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