CAN SOMEONE REAP THE FRUIT BEFORE PLANTING THE TREES? WHY SHOULD ROMANIAN UNIVERSITY MANAGERS REFLECT MORE OFTEN ABOUT THE CHINA MODEL
Keywords:neoliberalism, evaluation, university reform, developmental policy, Popular Republic of China, Communist Party of China
Over the years, as the all-encompassing processes of globalization and neoliberalization unfolded, the Popular Republic of China increasingly deepened its developmental policies intended to increase its technological and economic competitiveness. Chinese universities experimented with various forms of managerial techniques imported from the West, including those inspired by the neoliberal ideology. Their achievements in the field of tertiary education were so impressive that they easily became a source of inspiration for neoliberal managers aspiring to „excellence” all around the world. On the other hand, in post-socialist Europe, stuck in an unsatisfying and unfulfilled search for ideal neoliberal productivity models, Romanian university managers are still obsessing with pushing their institutions among the ones listed by the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), while many Romanian researchers are seeking to publish in Chinese journals. Some of them look up with envy to the generous incentives that Chinese public universities are providing in order to increase their publication output. However, the interest for debating or critically understanding the governance behind all these trends is barely visible. More often than not, researchers and experts alike are happy to believe that their academic work has nothing to do with politics or ideology. Few are questioning the political bases of neoliberal reforms at home, and even fewer are trying find out more about what really happens in China. In this paper I will try to incite questions or working hypotheses about the ideology of neoliberal competitiveness by encouraging Romanian readers to reflect upon issues and debates informed by the prestige-driven university reforms experimented over the last three decades by the Popular Republic of China. Also, the paper will provide some useful bibliographical suggestions for those who want to dive deeper and better understand recent policy directions adopted by the Communist Party of China in this field.
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