Chinese Higher Education and the Quest for Autonomy

One Step Backward


  • Jeffery Wilson Virginia Commonwealth University



academic freedom, autonomy, China, communist party, freedom, governance, government, higher education, laws, leadership


China’s quest for autonomy took a step backward as leaders of the Communist Party amended the bylaws at several postsecondary institutions. China’s restrictions on freedom do not stop at its border and scholars within and visiting the country encounter increased surveillance and scrutiny. This paper explores China's continued interference in postsecondary autonomy.


Download data is not yet available.


Brubacher, John. (1982). On the Philosophy of Higher Education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-
Bass Publishers.
Cain, Timothy Reese. 2016. A Historiography of Academic Freedom for American Faculty,
1865-1941. In Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research, edited by Michael
B. Paulsen, (pp. 157-215). New York: Springer.
Call for proposals. (2019). Jiangnan University and Virginia Commonwealth University Annual
Fischer, Karin. 2019. “Chinese University Deletes Academic Freedom From Its Charter”. The
Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from
Gao, Q. (1992). Zhongguo Gaodeng Jiaoyu Sixiang Shi: Historical Review of Chinese Ideals of
Higher Education. Beijing, China: People's Education Press.
Li, Jane. 2019. “College Party: A Top Chinese University Stripped “Freedom of Thought” from
Its Charter”. Quartz. Retrieved from
Ministry of Education of People’s Republic of China. 2015. “211 gongcheng. Xuexiao mingdan
(211 Project list of universities). Retrieved from
Pan, Su-Yan. 2009. University Autonomy, the State and Social Change in China. Hong Kong,
China: Hong Kong University Press.
Scholars at Risk. 2019. Obstacles to Excellence: Academic Freedom & China’s Quest for
World-Class Universities. New York: Freedom Mentoring Project. Retrieved from
Wu, Hantian and Zha, Qiang. 2018. Chinese Higher Education, History of. In Encyclopedia of
Educational Philosophy and Theory, edited by Michael A. Peters, (pp. 598-615). New York: Springer.

Additional Files



How to Cite

Wilson, J. (2021). Chinese Higher Education and the Quest for Autonomy : One Step Backward. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 13(2), 145–151.