The Normal University as a Distinctive Chinese Model in the 21st Century

7th June 2022 : 14:00 - 15:00

Category: Webinar

Speaker: Ruth Hayhoe, University of Toronto, Canada & Hantian Wu, Zhejiang University, China

Location: Zoom webinar, registration required

Audience: Public

As China has developed into a global power in recent decades, many have asked whether it will bring a distinctive university model into the international higher education arena. In this presentation we will suggest that the normal university might be viewed as a unique institution, quite different from the global research university. Beginning from the late 19th century it integrated progressive ideas from post revolution France into a Confucian epistemological frame which gave highest status to education, encouraged knowledge in action for the public good and fully embraced the participation of women.

Ruth Hayhoe will provide a brief historical overview of the development of normal universities in China and East Asia, while Hantian Wu will elaborate on several examples of leading normal universities in China’s current higher education system. These have spawned forms of curricular innovation that nurture a knowledge society, where professional specialists in all areas can benefit from a profound exposure to the field of education. Normal universities also have reason to be less constrained by the pressures coming from the imposition of patterns of the global research university under global ranking systems, given their roots in an entirely different cultural and historical tradition.

This webinar is part of the free public seminar programme hosted by the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE).