Department of Education

Lili Yang

Doctoral Student

College Affiliation: Linacre College

Lili is currently reading for DPhil in Education at Oxford University funded by Departmental Studentship. Previously, Lili obtained her B.A in Public Administration from Minzu University of China (with first-class honour), and M.A in Public Administration (Education Economics and Policy) from Tsinghua University (China).

Before transferring to Oxford with her supervisor, Lili was enrolled as a PhD student at University College London-Institute of Education (ESRC and IOE-funded) and spent eight months studying at the University of Hong Kong (supported by ESRC-OIV scheme) as an exchange student.

In Lili’s doctoral thesis, she explores the similarities and differences between notions of “public” in Sinic and Anglo-American traditions, and its implications in higher education. By conceptually comparing and combining the notion of “public” and related key terms, the research attempts to establish synergies between the two traditions, and to derive a more generic and comprehensive understanding of public goods in higher education, albeit with space for continuing diversity. To give the two traditions equal status and enhance mutual understanding, the research also provides a lexical basis for building bridges between the two traditions through reviewing the works of scholarship in political theory in each tradition. Lili’s doctoral research is potentially path-breaking. It is likely to attract scholarly attention on a global basis and interest policy makers and university leaders in China, the UK and elsewhere.

Lili has been involved in numerous research projects focusing on higher education policies and governance. Broadly, Lili’s research interests include higher education policy, political philosophy and international higher education.

Lili is also working as a PhD researcher at the ESRC/OFSRE-funded Centre for Global Higher Education on the Project 1.1–Local and global public good contributions of higher education: a comparative study in six national systems.

For more details, please check Lili’s personal website.

Title of Thesis

Similarities and differences between notions of “public” in Sinic and Anglo-American traditions, and its implications in higher education


Yang, L. (2017) ‘The Public Role of Higher Learning in Imperial China’, Centre for Global Higher Education Working papers, No. 28, London: UCL Institute of Education (Published working paper)


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