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Education Partnership Assistance to Promote the Balanced and Sustainable Development of Higher Education: Lessons from China

Ruichang Ding () and Zheng You ()
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Ruichang Ding: Institute of International and Comparative Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Zheng You: Graduate School of Education, Beijing Foreign Studies University, 963 International Building, 19 Xisanhuan North Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100089, China

Sustainability, 2022, vol. 14, issue 14, 1-16

Abstract: The Education Partnership Assistance (EPA) is an institutional arrangement that has played an important role in the balanced and sustainable development of higher education in China, in which universities of East China provide the paired universities in West China with various assistance. EPA is part of the political commitment made by the Chinese government to fulfil sustainable and balanced development. By applying a policy process framework and qualitative text analysis to the government and universities’ official documents, we find EPA is primarily based on the Communist Party of China (CPC)’s ideological cornerstones of “common prosperity”. Over the past two decades, by conducting leadership secondment, faculty and student training, and ICT and library development, EPA has improved the development of universities in West China, and the central government’s current emphasis remains on the continuation of EPA. However, this paper argues that EPA cannot be going on indefinitely and that true sustainability is contingent on the capacity building of the recipient universities, rather than on the endless assistance from supporting universities. EPA is a localized action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in China. It sheds light on the connections between domestic aid and the SDGs from a supplementary perspective.

Keywords: education partnership assistance; common prosperity; balanced and sustainable development; sustainability; higher education; capacity building (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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