The development of policy borrowing

Policy borrowing in general and political science, and then in the field of education.

This part introduces the development of policy borrowing in general and political science, while at the same time focusing more on borrowing in education policy. First, this essay will explain the definition of policy borrowing through the research of previous scholars. As the term “policy borrowing” is difficult to define, and many researchers have described it in different ways. In other words, they explain it through the macro aspects that focus more on “policy borrowing” agents. Oliver and Martin (2003) split policy borrowing into two ways, one of which is ‘ lesson drawing ‘ which implies ‘ a metaphor involved in influencing public sentiment and talking about social scientists to pay more attention to the dependent variable ‘ (Rose, 1993, p.27). This clarified that the learning aspect of whether or not to borrow their policies relies on the efficacy of what they do and on the causal relationship. The other is ‘ policy transfer ‘ which could explain the policy convergence (Holzinger and Knill, 2005). Globally, the policy applies to “a process in which knowledge of institutions, policies or delivery systems in one sector or at the level of governance is used in the development of institutions, policies or delivery systems in another sector or at the level of governance, has thus been common practice since the dawn of civilisation” (Evans, 2004, p. 1). Policy transfer is thus a process for government or institutions to exchange and promote advance policies among learning sides. Phillips and Ochs (2004a) make a description of this concerning education policy borrowing. They said’ educational policy borrowing’ is’ conscious adoption in one sense of policy found in another’ (p. 774) and a ‘clearly stated aim to follow a way of doing things observed elsewhere’ (p. 776). So it is an analysis and comparison of good policies amongst national governments, from the macro level to understand policy borrowing. It is prudent for education policy to study and implement advanced education system at home.

 

The above scholars researched the importance of policy borrowing, and they found that it is still at the emerging, particularly in the field of education. Education policy borrowing plays an essential role in the development of global education. Oliver and Martin (2003) said that policy borrowing would give policymakers a new perspective, pushing them to note and identify new phenomena and trends in the world.

 

Rose also stated in 1993 that it is essential to learn from past policies based on a multi-disciplinary capacity. Nevertheless, Dolowitz and Marsh (2003, p.3) have been more emphasised on “knowledge of policies, administrative arrangements, institutions and ideas in one political system in the development”. Such policy development is important for the development of education. The connection between policy borrowing and educational transition is that “policy borrowing takes place within a framework of educational transfer, from the forced transfer of knowledge to the voluntary acceptance of international instances, frameworks and discourses (Phillips and Ochs, 2004a, 2004b; Steiner-Khamsi, 2000).” In other terms, the borrowed sides will embrace the strategy but the learning sides are willing to borrow on their own. Therefore, in the borrowing of educational policy, the educational policies of the former are important because they are not only required to use them for their own, but have also been used for a long time and are already useful. Thus, these advanced policies are of great value to the learning side.

 

 

 

Why would the Chinese government want to borrow the British higher education system?

 

In particular, this section analyses the reasons for the Chinese government and the institution. There are many reasons to support the establishment of the UNNC. The reasons could be divided into two aspects, one based on rationality, and the other on coercive westernisation.

 

Voluntary action to borrow British education policy from Chinese universities

 

First, there is a huge cross-national attraction to Western education policy. This situation is caused by cultural hegemony and leadership in the field of education. As Phillips and Ochs (2003) mentioned the cross-national attraction of the four stages of policy borrowing, only the reference side has a good quality of education, other agents would like to study and borrow their prior experience or policy. That’s why they can extend their policies to other areas. For educational policy borrowing, Wadham, Pudsy and Boyd (2007) stressed the essential interplay between education policy and society’s culture. In other words, “culture shapes education, and education shapes culture (Wadham, Pudsy and Boyd, 2007, p.1)”. Also, Astiz and Baker (2013) highlight “the hegemonic influence of the western cultural account in social, political and economic institutions globally and even to explain many comparative education phenomena worldwide”. Similarly, Carney, Rappleye and Silova (2012) are developments in schooling in western countries. Thus, because Western education policies have a dominant position in culture and a leading position in the education system, Western education policies have a strong cross-national attraction to other countries or institutions.

 

In the West, especially UK universities for contemporary education in China, there is a clear cross-national attraction and this can be proven in many ways. Tan (2016, p.150) acknowledged that “there is strong evidence of cross-national attraction to Western philosophies, logics, strategies, models and procedures, whether in the fields of education, educational administration, curriculum material, pedagogy or evaluation.” In this situation, the British education system is always in the top position in the world. In the 2020 QS World University Ranking, the University of Nottingham ranking in the United Kingdom is 96, and the research output is ‘quite good’ in this world university ranking research. And UNUK, as one of the world’s top universities, attracts a lot of students and researchers to study here.

 

The University of Nottingham in United kingdom therefore has a strong educational advantage, and the Chinese government is willing to accept excellent and advanced education policies and curricula.

 

Second, the cooperative university appears in China for historical reasons. Many developing countries in Asia and elsewhere are also turning to Western countries for legitimacy, affirmation and inspiration. For research on Chinese comparative educational history, since the Qing Dynasty, China has been learning Western education policies (Tan, 2016). However, he (2016, p.21) criticised the policies of that time, “the borrowing was wholesale, unquestionable and detrimental to China’s traditions.” The previous copy was not useful, however, and all resolutions were filed at that time. Then the Chinese government began to study Soviet education policies because of “many basic similarities between the Soviet and traditional Chinese systems” (Tan, 2016, p. 22). Although it made such a move palatable, the Chinese education system always had to be rescued. Such observations have reinforced what Gonan (1998) and Ochs (2005) have said, that borrowing ideas and practices need to carry on their own interests and needs. And as China’s education system evolved in the twentieth century, the Chinese government abandoned the pattern of direct copying, so began to make its own improvements. In indigenisation in China, Yang (2005) found that good indigenisation should be paired with Chinese characteristics.

In summary, on the basis of the above historical reasons, the Chinese Government has learned lessons and has begun to look for a higher education system in conjunction with its own situation to set up a new education model in China. Nottingham University in Ningbo China has integrated western and eastern policies, which have developed a transnational university. UNNC is the result of the reflection and implementation of the localisation of the western higher education system in China.

 

Finally, when studying policy borrowing subjects, it was found that the change in agents led to the decentralisation of education policy. This change makes the policy borrowing not only a regional decision but also a greater autonomy for schools and local governments to choose their policies and develop them. As far as policy borrowing is concerned, many scholars have studied it at global level, and policy borrowing agents are important to research. Mark and Jonathan (1999 p.367) said that “the policy borrowing category is in the global, international, transnational and domestic structure.” And there’s a general borrowing policy between the international. As the globalisation process accelerates, new economic, political and social environments emerge, thereby changing the state power situation and leading to the right of local and institutional borrowing (Rosenau, 1990; Mann, 1997).

Nonetheless, the criteria of the migration are stringent, first of all, they need to identify the borrowing policies that have been enforced very well internally and have the qualification for international transfer. Since 2004, Betsill and Bulkelay research has shown that, due to internal factors such as globalisation and decentralisation, state and local government agencies also considered to be important agents of policy borrowing. In other words, colleges or organisations have greater autonomy to determine whether or not to change policies. The UNNC also insists on international educational policies borrowing that make use of the British education system in Chinese society.

 

Agents from two countries are an institution and are also supported by the governments of the United Kingdom and China. The Ningbo Government played a very important role in the process of setting up the UNNC. For the local government of Ningbo, the loss of talent and lack of universities and other reasons make the Ningbo government strongly willing to cooperate with Nottingham University and open an overseas campus in China. As a part of the decentralisation of power and the policy reform of the Chinese Ministry of Education, the Ningbo Government has the right to introduce the British education system and the University of Nottingham in Ningbo China.

 

Coercive westernisation: internal reasons for the need to borrow British education policy in China.

 

First, for reasons of policy borrowing, the process of globalisation needs to be considered for the internal reasons that China needs to learn from the Births Education System. Mark and Jonathan (1999) found globalisation to be the main reason for government borrowing and transition. As Dolowitz and Marsh (2000) research, technological developments increase communication between policymakers. At the same period, Evans concluded in 2004 that “this is essentially the result of the field of public policy being increasingly small owing to dramatic changes in global political and economic institutional structures and to the nation-states themselves.” Thus, several researchers have already shown that globalisation is the main reason why financial borrowing is taking place all over the world. In fact, in a globalised competitive economy, countries mimic productive rivals to enhance their international competitiveness (Cerny, 1997).

 

In summary, because of globalisation, the Chinese government needs to adopt a new economic, political and social environment. Because China is on the road of successful change and rapid development, it is difficult not to establish its own education system, which is why it will accept the new British education policy. The University of Nottingham in Ningbo China is in line with the development of globalisation in China. The Ministry of Education of China had published a regulation to support the development of Chinese higher education system, which is Chinese-foreign cooperation education’s regulation (2003) This is why the Chinese government strongly supports the establishment of The University of Ningbo China.

 

 

 

Instead, because some internal system issues can not be fixed on their own, agents would like to borrow from other advanced policies to address or develop. In the field of educational policy borrowing, more researchers regarded the motives for borrowing education policy as internal reasons. In 2004 Steiner-Khamsi researched American education policies at home in contrast with other nations, thinking that current education in the United States is glorifying, does not need to improve or adapt from others. However, not all comparative researchers have agreed with the education policy of their own countries, such as Gonon(1998), Halpin and Troyna (1995). Still, they all prefer to legitimise the adoption of educational policy reform in their own countries. Because of their internal factors in the phase of the educational revolution, policymakers and academics want to make some changes.

As a consequence, owing to some issues on the academic side, they are willing to receive or pass advanced strategies. This is the main point posed by Dolowitz and Marsh in 2000, who offer further information about the explanations for the government borrowing. This is due to the increased demand from the global competition cycle to force other agents towards aggressive westernisation. In other words, to catch up with the rapid development of other countries, some countries need to learn advanced policies and, of course, sometimes this is an act of forced progress.

There are many explanations for the internal factors which contribute to the pre-requisite and the reasons for borrowing. Tan (2016) causing them in several sections, such as’ political changes, discontent with main education stakeholders in the local education sector,’ and external factors would also affect creativity in education policy borrowing, such as’ unsatisfactory eternal evaluation in international assessment (PISA) and economic competition.” In this situation, the internal education policy can not suit China’s fast-growing economy and society. Throughout Mainland China, gaining inspiration from progressive Uk education policy, it is a kind of challenge to the New Curriculum Reform in 21st century. The NCR is based on the 2001 text, which seeks a mechanism to’ meet the demands of quality-oriented education’ in Mainland China (Tan, 2016, p.29). As Steiner-Khamsi (2006) studied the NCR education system in China, NCR employs and favours exam-oriented education rather than quality-oriented education. In other terms, it has not been able to adapt to the’ developmental requirements of the times’ in contemporary China. As a result, China as a “developing country does not always have the resources to tackle the problems it faces and therefore searches beyond the agency to other governments or non-governmental organisations for answers to the problems” (Evans 2004, p.3).

Moreover, following the reform of the education system of the NCR, the Chinese government has not reformed and innovated the education system to a large extent. Thus, the new cooperative university was established in 2004 by the Chinese government and the British university. Since British universities are more concentrated on quality-oriented higher education, therefore, this government borrowing remains primarily based on a rational process in the ways, as this mechanism also needs to learn from successful examples to develop efficient national development or reconstruction planning and programming.

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