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Chinese Education System Reform in the Wake of Tiananmen in 1989

Student: Sofia Melnichuk

Supervisor: Mikhail Karpov

Faculty: Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs

Educational Programme: Socioeconomic and Political Development of Modern Asia (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2019

The Chinese education system is striking many experts and theoretical educators by its effectiveness. Over 40 years of reform, the Chinese leadership has managed to achieve a radical increase in the level of literacy and the quality of education. Initially, educational reform was not regarded as independent, but only an appendage to the larger-scale economic transformations. Later, the government concluded that without focusing on education reform, it would not be possible to achieve its objectives. During the reforms, the government met many obstacles. The most weighty were student protests of the late 1980s. Many factors influenced the rise in student tensions, and they reached a critical point in 1989, when students entered Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The tragic events changed the direction of the reform and forced the government to reconsider many of its provisions. In our work, we will look at how exactly the protests affected the course of the education reform in the PRC.

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