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HEFCE Report 99/09

February 1999

Review of Chinese Studies

Contents

Summary
Background
Needs: the political and business perspective
Current provision: the higher education perspective
Issues
Conclusions and recommendations

Annex A Membership of the review group
Annex B Call for evidence
Annex C Organisations responding to call for evidence
Annex D Key trade figures
Annex E Staff and student statistics


Review of Chinese Studies

Report of a HEFCE Review Group on Chinese Studies

  1. Summary

  2. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) set up the group to review the current provision for Chinese studies in HE, and to advise on whether there are gaps or weaknesses in provision requiring action in the national interest. The review was prompted by growing concern in several quarters that the UK HE system was not equipped to respond to the opening up of trading and political relations between the UK and the People's Republic of China. We have considered needs in relation to Greater China, including Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  3. We sought the opinion of HE institutions, and of bodies directly involved in commercial, cultural and political links with China. We began by considering evidence of national need in the medium term for teaching, research and related activities within HE. This work covered both the narrow field of Chinese language and related studies, and the broader area of expertise in all academic disciplines in relation to China. We then considered the adequacy of existing provision to meet these needs, and what if anything should be done to strengthen provision for the future.
  4. Our key conclusions are as follows:
    1. The opening up of relations with the People's Republic of China, and the economic growth there, represent a major new challenge and opportunity for UK commercial and other interests, on a scale beyond anything currently experienced in relation to other countries.
    2. This is leading to an increase in demand for people with skills in Chinese languages, and with an understanding from direct experience of Chinese culture and political and social systems. These demands will accelerate, but the major immediate need is for more people who combine this knowledge with high level skills in a broad range of fields in relation to phenomena and issues peculiar to China. Skills are needed in the social sciences, technical and scientific subjects, and other fields where economic growth is leading to demand from within the country for specialist expertise.
    3. The UK HE system has started to respond to this challenge. However, it is not currently equipped to play a full part in ensuring that future interactions between the UK and China are at the level and volume which both past history and national needs would indicate. Some other Western nations trading with China have already shown what can be done, building up both their capability in Chinese studies and their economic interactions with the country to a level well beyond what the UK is currently achieving. Nationally, provision for Chinese studies - in particular, the application of specialist knowledge in other disciplines in relation to China - will require some additional and carefully targeted financial support in the medium term to stabilise and safeguard existing provision and to ensure a solid foundation for future growth. It is important that enough of the most able students are attracted into the field to ensure a continuing academic presence at the highest level across a range of studies related to China.
    4. The best way forward is to stabilise and embed provision in a limited number of centres of expertise. These centres should encompass, within themselves or in close collaboration with others, the three elements which we have identified as essential to effective provision for Chinese studies: language skills, area and cultural studies, and the deployment of knowledge and skills in other disciplines in relation to China.
    5. The main immediate task for these centres will be to meet the need we have identified for people with interdisciplinary skills. To that end the centres should encourage and provide for graduates in disciplines outside Chinese studies to undertake further studies in their chosen discipline specifically in relation to China, and to acquire the language and other skills that this will require.
  5. We have therefore made the following recommendations for action by the HE funding bodies and other organisations that fund HE:
    1. The continuing development of provision for Chinese studies in the UK should emphasise and build upon collaboration between established disciplines.
    2. The HE funding bodies should make available additional resources to support Chinese studies provision, focussed upon maintaining and strengthening viable centres of expertise, including centres set up in collaboration between HEIs. We recommend that this funding should be between £1 million and £1.3 million per year. It should be targeted on building up the research infrastructure at these centres; and on enabling them to provide for graduates in disciplines other than Chinese (language or area studies) who wish to pursue further studies in their chosen discipline in relation to China, including language tuition and cultural familiarisation.
    3. Such conversion courses should be of two kinds. Some should provide for students requiring qualifications at Masters level for entry to a career outside HE dealing with China. Others should provide for a smaller but equally important group of students wishing to make a career in academic research related to China, who may elect to move into the field after pursuing studies in their undergraduate discipline to Masters level or above.
    4. Because of the need to provide Chinese language training, such courses will be longer than other postgraduate courses at the same level. Bodies providing funding for students should therefore make available a number of awards to support students throughout these longer courses, including supporting travel to China.
    5. Bodies funding research on a project basis, notably the Research Councils and the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB), should pay particular attention to meeting the national strategic need for new research relating to China by encouraging, and funding at an appropriate level, bids for projects in this area. These could include, for example, overseas travel costs and the additional costs incurred by researchers not based at a funded centre who need to visit a specialist research library. Project funders should also provide grants for scholars not based in a funded centre to take up short-term research fellowships in the centres.
    6. Additional resources should be provided to build up library provision for Chinese studies, planned as a national resource, to ensure that this meets the needs of the centres and of the subject nationally.
    7. The HE funding bodies should monitor provision for tuition in Chinese languages over the next five years, and should be ready to give additional support to this area if necessary.
    8. In finalising the details of the new student support regime, the DfEE should avoid measures which would place additional financial burdens on students on courses that include a year in China, and which would therefore discourage them from choosing these courses.
    9. The HE funding bodies should support the creation of a national database of academic and other expertise in Chinese studies, drawing on the experience of the area studies database set up under the HEFCE Former Soviet and East European Studies (FSEES) initiative.

    Background to the review

  6. This review was set up in December 1997 by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) with the collaboration of the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC). It was prompted by developments over the previous decade in the political culture, and international stance, of the People's Republic of China, culminating in the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997. The People's Republic of China had for many years been a major player on the world political stage by virtue of its size and military capacity, as well as its permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council. It was now beginning to emerge as a major potential market and trading partner for the West, as internal political change made access easier.
  7. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had expressed concerns about the capacity of the United Kingdom (UK) to respond to the challenge posed by these changes, in terms of diplomatic, cultural and business relationships. In particular the FCO questioned whether the UK higher education system could provide the back-up, in terms of both language skills and other expertise in relation to China, that improving and broadening relations would require. The FCO made it clear that it regarded China as an exceptional case: whatever the need for expertise in relation to the Pacific Rim countries more generally, the needs in relation to China were of a different order in their scale, complexity and priority.
  8. Warning bells were sounded too within the academic community. A report to the HEFCE by the Chair of the Asian Studies Panel in the 1996 Research Assessment Exercise expressed concern that the UK was falling behind other Western countries in supporting academic endeavour across the broader field of Asian Studies and could face a serious loss of capacity in the medium to long term. A group of staff from research-strong universities, after a visit to China in 1997, proposed the re-orientation of existing provision for Chinese studies in UK universities, away from the traditional area studies and language/literature perspectives to focus more on pure language acquisition and on studies of contemporary China in the social sciences.
  9. Consequently the HEFCE set up a meeting in December 1997 with representatives of a number of interested bodies (the FCO, British Council, Department of Trade and Industry, and the Economic and Social Research Council - ESRC). The outcome was the establishment of a formal review group, with the membership shown at Annex A and the terms of reference reproduced below.
  10. Our work was given added impetus by the visit of the Prime Minister Tony Blair to the People's Republic of China in October 1998; and by his wish, expressed after that visit, that the UK should contribute to forging closer links, across a broad range of issues, between China and Western countries.

    Terms of reference

  11. The terms of reference of the review were:

    a. To review the current provision of higher education for Chinese studies, taking into account:

    i. The changing needs of diplomacy, covering the full range of UK interests, influence and commitments in China.

    ii. The needs of industry and commerce arising from the development of trade and markets in China.

    iii. The need to have and maintain an academic presence in these subjects, taking the higher education sector as a whole.

    b. To advise where there are any weaknesses or gaps in provision and expertise which may result in these needs not being met, and to make recommendations about future provision, including the scope for making more effective use of the resources currently available.

    Scope of the review

  12. The group agreed that the review should encompass not only language provision and area studies in the traditional sense, but also study in any academic discipline, including the social sciences in particular, in relation to China. We agreed to take as our primary geographic focus the area of Greater China. We decided that studies specifically in relation to ethnic Chinese communities in South-East Asia lay outside our remit, although any benefit to understanding of and relations with these communities flowing from the review would nonetheless be welcome.
  13. A call for evidence was issued in June 1998. Questionnaires were distributed to the China Britain Business Council, to a selection of industrial and commercial organisations with an interest in China, and to all UK higher education institutions (HEIs). Copies of the questionnaires are at Annex B, and a list of respondents is at Annex C.

    Previous studies

  14. We are aware of a number of previous enquiries since 1945 within the field covered by our review. They are:

    a. 1945: Report of the Inter-departmental Commission of Enquiry on Oriental, Slavonic, East European and African Studies, chaired by The Earl of Scarborough (The Scarborough Report).

    b. 1961: Report of the Sub-Committee on Oriental, Slavonic, East European and African Studies, chaired by Sir William Hayter (The Hayter Report).

    c. 1986 : 'Speaking for the Future' - A review of the requirements of diplomacy and commerce for Asian and African languages and area studies, submitted by Sir Peter Parker (The Parker Report).

    d. 1993: 'Area Studies in the United Kingdom' prepared by Professor Richard Hodder-Williams for the Area Studies Monitoring Group (known as Hodder-Williams).

  15. The recommendations in the Scarborough Report were concerned mainly with provision for language and literature in Oriental, Slavonic, East European and African subjects. They sought to establish the academic base of these subjects on a par with the tradition and quality found in the major humanities subjects.
  16. The Hayter Report, building on Scarborough, concluded that language departments would best be developed in close relationship with other disciplines which had interests in the same geographic regions. As a result, development concentrated on a number of dedicated multidisciplinary area studies centres, which still form the core of provision for Chinese studies in the UK. Special funding was made available by the University Grants Committee over a period of 10 years to support new posts and for travel grants and postgraduate awards.
  17. The Parker Report confirmed the undiminished, and in some cases growing, needs of diplomacy and commerce for expertise in Asian and African languages and area studies. It recommended a strengthening of undergraduate and postgraduate provision to meet these needs. It also recommended the provision of more optional courses in the languages, cultures and economies of Asia and Africa as part of degree courses in business studies and the applied sciences. New posts were created in Chinese language at the Universities of Cambridge, Durham, Leeds and Oxford. The School of Oriental and African Studies in London created posts in Modern Chinese and the Politics of China following this report.
  18. Hodder-Williams recorded the state of area studies in the UK as found in 1992. He concluded: '[It is] perhaps not critical, but is a cause for concern. Realistic assumptions would suggest that the aggregate number of area studies scholars will reduce over the next thirty years unless there is a major injection of new posts into the university system.' There is little information in the report which relates specifically to Chinese studies.
  19. The fact that the present review is the fifth to refer to Chinese studies since 1945 indicates that the subject has long been regarded as important to national commercial and diplomatic interests. Less positively, however, it may also indicate that measures taken to safeguard or develop academic provision following the earlier reports have not proved effective in the long term. We shall return to this point in our consideration of current and future needs below.

    Needs: the political and business perspective

    Political and economic context

  20. The growing importance of China on the world stage is generally recognised. Since the 'opening up' of the Chinese economy, initiated in 1979 by Deng Xiao Ping, China's economic growth rate has on average been the fastest in the world. From a quantitatively already large base, annual economic growth averaged 9 per cent in the 1980s and 12 per cent in the first half of the 1990s. In keeping with the problems of the Asian economies more generally, growth slowed to 8.8 per cent in 1997, and is expected to slow again this year, but still remains at around 7.5 per cent. China already ranks fifth in terms of its share of world trade and seventh in terms of GDP.
  21. This position has been achieved by allowing the country's economy to move from the traditional communist model, introduced in 1949, to a less centralised system more similar to those found in Western countries. In particular, the government has encouraged huge inflows of foreign investment - especially in exporting joint ventures, which have produced a rapid increase in China's exports and a positive balance of trade. By the end of 1997, China held foreign exchange reserves of 140 billion US dollars - second only to Japan - and imports too had risen to some 143 billion US dollars in that year.
  22. China continues to maintain a large, inefficient state-owned sector employing over 100 million people. The government aims to restructure this, and it is hoped that the resulting increase in unemployment will in time be offset by the effects of continuing economic growth overall. The Chinese government continues to exercise close control over the economy. Most commentators are reasonably optimistic about the medium- to long-term prospects, short-term challenges notwithstanding.
  23. This situation has a number of consequences. Economic success, combined with previous strengths, is giving China greater international weight and leading to a more assertive and self-confident stance. There is also potential for impact of one kind or another upon Western economic and political interests. Like other developing nations, China may be expected to seek to move through labour-intensive industrialisation to the establishment of more 'high added value' industries. The implications of this, in terms of a need for expertise in fields ranging from IT to the control of environmental pollution, are considerable.
  24. As the Chinese economy has grown, so have trading links between China and the UK. Up to 1997, the calculation of trade figures with China was complicated by the large amounts of Sino-UK trade passing through Hong Kong. Total UK exports to China in 1997 on this basis were some £1.6 billion, uncomfortably exceeded however by some £2.5 billion of imports. Nor does the UK perform well in exporting to China compared with our major European competitors: in 1996, UK exports to China were around a half of those from France or Italy, and only one-sixth of those from Germany. The UK has a 5 per cent share of total world trade but only 2 per cent of the China market. At the same time, however, the UK is the largest investor in China among EU countries and the sixth largest in the world. Cumulative pledged investment in China by UK companies amounted to well over 12 billion US dollars by the end of 1997.
  25. It is not clear to us why other European nations do better than the UK in exporting to China. The explanation could be simply that for one reason or another the Chinese prefer their goods. However, it seems likely that recent investment within France and, in particular, within Germany on expanding academic capacity in Chinese studies has something to do with it. A considerable amount of advanced research in this field is now done in Germany, and German scholars increasingly dominate international conferences.
  26. Nonetheless, the broad picture is clear and not altogether encouraging. China's importance as a potential trading partner is increasing rapidly; and the UK is in danger of falling behind its European and other competitors in seizing this opportunity.

    The needs of industry and commerce

  27. Inevitably, it will be easier to develop trading links with China - and to encourage more UK firms to establish such links - if commercial, language and other related expertise is widely available. Responses to our call for evidence from industrial and commercial bodies with interests in China (reproduced at Annex B) indicated that employers are unlikely to recruit graduates for their Chinese language skills alone. Responses from these bodies (39 responding to our call for evidence and a further 16 through the China Britain Business Council) indicated that:
    1. There was a need for specialists with academic and 'hands on' experience of China's organisational structure, its decision-making processes and its economic regions.
    2. The extent to which companies drew upon research resources on China in higher education institutions varied.
    3. Companies, on the whole, preferred to use research centres that were at the forefront of the discipline. This tended to over-ride the need for local access to expertise.
    4. Many companies felt that it would be desirable to have more graduates who had studied Chinese and a business-related subject.
    5. Many companies had a preference for graduates who had completed industrial secondments in China.
    6. Companies with little interest or a developing interest in China emphasised the need for graduates with Chinese and business-related skills. Those with a more developed involvement stressed industrial experience as a desirable asset.
  28. Providing opportunities to acquire these multiple skills and experience is expensive, and industry and commerce would prefer to recruit staff who already have them. This points to a growing need for people who already 'know how China works' and understand its culture, bureaucracy, and power and decision-making structures.
  29. It is unclear at this stage whether business and commerce will wish to use academic expertise or rely upon other consultants for their understanding of China. However, higher education has a key role in nurturing and developing the skills and knowledge of whichever body of expertise is chosen. Consultants working outside academia will rely on higher education for their grounding in the discipline and for continued updating of their expertise. By the nature of their employment, consultants cannot be expected to acquire and keep up to date the breadth and depth of knowledge which can be built up during a career as an academic researcher in the field.
  30. Small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will have a greater need for UK-based expertise than multi-national companies with access to academic resources in other countries. As an important stakeholder in the UK economy, it remains vital that SMEs retain access to appropriate expertise on China without the greater cost and delay of securing this from abroad. Lack of such UK-based expertise could seriously affect the UK's ability to compete in the Chinese market place. We understand that, in some areas at least, it is possible for SMEs to tap funding from the European Union, channelled through Business Links and similar bodies, to help them meet needs in this area. However, we have seen no evidence that this funding is being used to any great extent nor that it has led to significant new interactions between SMEs and HEIs.
  31. The responses to the call for evidence did not identify any narrowly defined areas of industrial or commercial activity where there was significant demand for China-related expertise. This may strengthen the case for a general, national pool of expertise that can be drawn upon as and when needed by a broad range of customers, especially if measures are also taken to ensure that these customers know what is available and from where.

    Political and cultural relations

  32. The FCO has identified a dual interest in HE provision for Chinese studies in the UK:

    a. In relation to its own operational need for people with good language skills, and for language training.

    b. The availability of specialist advice in a variety of fields in relation to China, both to meet the FCO's own needs and to ensure that advice is available to firms that might need it.

  33. In relation to language skills, the FCO has not usually sought to recruit Chinese- speaking officers at entry level, and has been more concerned about the availability of good quality training for its existing staff, who were taught Chinese as needed. However, this policy is changing: the FCO has now decided to recruit some staff who already have both Chinese language skills and knowledge of contemporary China to work under contract in Beijing and Shanghai. The FCO is also reconsidering its policy on language training for existing officers, and may in future seek to recruit more staff who already have the necessary skills.
  34. In relation to other China-related specialisms, the FCO has indicated some concern on its own account and on behalf of other bodies that may need advice and support in the future. The FCO's recent experience has been that it is easier to recruit staff with Chinese language skills than with, for example, a good knowledge of modern Chinese politics. The FCO sees a continuing need - and, as interaction with China grows, an increasing need - to recruit and retain people with a basic understanding of the country and its culture. These staff would fill posts in the UK and China and be responsible for briefing Ministers and senior officials on political, social and economic developments in the country. Many people with language skills acquired them through HE courses in the tradition of combined language and literary studies, and their knowledge of modern China is limited. The FCO is also concerned, from its own interests, that there should be an adequate and continuing source of high level advice from within the UK. This is more likely to flourish where there is an established community of scholars, within which knowledge and ideas are exchanged and debated, rather than a few individuals working in isolation.
  35. The FCO has also expressed concern that many people in industry and commerce do not understand how sources of specialist advice are created. In particular, firms using commercial consultancy rather than taking advice from academic researchers directly may not have realised the essential role played by the latter in providing new recruits, and updated advice and data, to the former.
  36. The review group also took advice from the British Council on its needs in relation to its role in China, and on some broader aspects of maintaining and improving cultural and educational relations.
  37. The British Council returned to China in 1979. It now operates under the FCO umbrella in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, independently in Hong Kong, and as part of the British Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei and Kaohsiung. It has been involved in:

    a. Helping to create a climate in which the UK can participate in the economic development of China, including through activities to highlight the potential contribution of UK expertise and industries.

    b. Seeking opportunities for UK experts to become involved in the reform process (for example through advice from UK experts on law reform).

    c. Promoting UK education, training and the arts, and seeking opportunities for scientific and technical collaboration.

    d. Promoting the English language as a tool for international business, including providing training in English as a foreign language.

  38. The British Council is planning a significant further expansion of its work in China over the next three years. Its own recruitment and consultancy needs arising from this activity are comparatively modest, though it has used UK universities as a source of area studies graduates and as suppliers of language training. However, its involvement on the ground has given it an exceptional perspective on the process of improving trading and cultural relations.

    Challenges and opportunities

  39. In this context the British Council has observed a number of important trends. First, it believes that the Chinese language has never seemed more likely than at present to emerge as a major international language alongside English in the next millennium. The promotion of Mandarin throughout Greater China and in Chinese communities abroad, and the application of information technology to the written language, have reduced the main former obstacles to its adoption as an international language - dialect diversity and the difficulty and cost of manual or mechanical production of Chinese text.
  40. Second, the British Council believes that more can and should be done to improve relations between the UK and China. The development of a mutually beneficial long-term relationship will, in the council's view, depend not only upon the careful presentation of what the UK has to offer, but also crucially upon a sustained effort by British people to engage more fully with China through knowledge of its language, history, and governance as well as its scientific, technical and professional strengths. If correct, this view implies a continuing and growing need for what might be termed cultural interpreters, who are equipped to take a constructive view of Sino-UK relations from the viewpoints of both sides. It also implies that the countries which most successfully develop these skills will have a head start in forging trading and cultural links.
  41. This points to a clear need for the HE system to play a more active role in reaching out to establish relations with China. Demand from Chinese students for access to UK education, especially higher education, is growing. There are already some 5,000 Chinese students in Britain: many may be here to study engineering and other vocational subjects but their presence represents an opportunity to make lasting and productive connections. We would not expect to see similar numbers going from the UK to study in China, as traffic in that direction tends to be restricted to those wishing to study the language and culture of the country. However, at present it is difficult to find enough thoroughly committed UK students to take up a dozen scholarships to China. This might be interpreted as showing a lack of interest in getting to know the country and its people - a perception which later expansion in demand might not dispel quickly.
  42. Nonetheless, the UK HE system is well placed to build upon certain historical advantages. While expertise in dealing with Hong Kong may be a declining asset in dealing with the People's Republic, links formed before the transfer of sovereignty may strengthen the UK's starting position in seeking to forge new links with China in the immediate future. The UK also has a human resource unmatched within Europe: a rapidly growing number of young people whose parents were ethnic Chinese immigrants to the UK are now coming into higher education, and some of these may well be interested in taking courses in subjects related to China.

    Current provision: the higher education perspective

    Current provision

  43. The group drew upon information and views on the current state of provision for Chinese studies within HE in the UK from several sources:

    a. The 47 responses to the call for evidence circulated on its behalf to all UK HEIs (reproduced at Annex B).

    b. Responses to the parallel call for evidence circulated to other interested bodies and the survey conducted among its members by the China Britain Business Council (see paragraph 26 above).

    c. Responses to a survey of student numbers in Chinese and Chinese studies conducted for the European Association of Chinese Studies - EACS (summarised at Annex E).

    d. Some analysis by the secretariat of submissions in the 1996 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), supplemented by information from a database on area studies expertise in the UK funded by the ESRC and the HEFCE and held at the University of Manchester.

  44. Current provision for Chinese studies in the UK consists of a mix of study centres of varying size and eminence. Some are comparatively small and may be built around a single member of staff, perhaps reflecting individual research interests or an institution's response to a specific opportunity. Other centres are larger, nationally recognised and offer broad provision. Eight HEIs have well established departments or institutes undertaking teaching and research in Chinese or East Asian studies, including tuition in Chinese languages: the Universities of Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Oxford, Sheffield, Westminster, and the School of Oriental and African Studies, which is part of the University of London.

    Teaching

  45. The survey of student numbers mentioned above (see Annex E) showed that, in 1997-98, these eight HEIs between them had some 300 students enrolled on single honours first degree courses in Chinese, and a further 230 on joint honours courses including Chinese. They produced in that year 58 graduates from the single honours courses and 38 from joint honours. They also provided language tuition for 473 undergraduates from other departments (and Westminster provided language tuition for a further 90 students on evening modular degree courses). Between them the eight departments had 64 taught and 63 research postgraduate students, and conferred 10 research degrees.
  46. The survey also showed significant amounts of activity in this field in some other HEIs, though not all institutions known to have such provision responded; the figures therefore convey only a broad impression of actual volumes of activity. A further seven responding HEIs said that they had courses in Chinese languages, and 12 reported discipline or area studies courses related to China. The actual national totals (including non-respondents) will be somewhat higher. However, the survey found no first degree provision in Chinese languages enrolling-significant numbers of students outside the eight centres.
  47. All the 300 students on single honours courses, and some of those on dual honours, will be studying Chinese languages - mainly Mandarin or classical Chinese or both. The focus of the courses varies, but most include some element of contextual studies of modern China; and some of the students on joint honours courses have the opportunity to combine Chinese with the study in some depth of a non language discipline (economics or development studies, for example). Students in the departments set up or strengthened following the Hayter Report (see paragraph 13 above) will also benefit from the presence in those departments of social scientists specialising in China.
  48. These figures have to be interpreted in the context of longer-term trends, and of demand for provision in the language and culture of other countries. Figures for enrolments in the main providing departments over the last decade, returned by departments to the Universities' China Committee, are at Annex E. These indicate a fairly steady trend in enrolments at undergraduate level. Bearing in mind that departments were probably working within intake limits set by their institution, this does at least suggest that demand has not been falling, and the increase in (less constrained) postgraduate numbers over the last three years is encouraging. Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) figures for 1996-97 (also at Annex E) suggest that student demand for provision in Chinese studies in that year was in keeping with, or perhaps rather ahead of, that for other major languages not normally taught in secondary schools.

    Research

  49. It is not easy to build up a comprehensive picture of research activity in HEIs in relation to China. However, a brief survey of the evidence to be gleaned from the 1996 RAE returns, undertaken by the secretariat for the review group, gives a realistic broad view of the scale and extent of activity. Returns in all subjects on form RA2 (listing up to four items of recent research output for each researcher submitted) were searched mechanically, supplemented by visual inspection for selected departments, for citations referring to China. Evidently, this search would not necessarily identify every relevant citation - though it seemed reasonable to assume that researchers outside the 'Asian studies' field who were publishing work related to China would signal that in the title. Equally the search would not identify all academic researchers active in the field, but in view of the connection of the RAE to funding, those excluded would probably be researchers whose best work was in other fields or who had no recent research output of good quality to cite.
  50. This search identified some 400 people (of a total field of 57,000 submitted active researchers in UK HEIs) who had cited works relating to China. The citations spread across most academic disciplines, including medicine and engineering, but were concentrated in Asian studies, geography, economics, politics and international studies, business and management, accountancy, and history. The works cited were diverse, ranging from studies in Chinese language and culture to reports on engineering projects executed in the region. In Asian studies (37 names), most of the researchers identified had cited three or four works relating to China, and clearly specialised in that area. In other subjects, there were generally a few researchers who cited several works related to China, suggesting specialisation; and a somewhat larger number, typically with only one relevant citation, who might have found in China an example of a phenomenon or technical issue which they were studying in a broader context.
  51. The pattern of distribution of researchers between institutions may also be significant. The eight institutions with established Chinese or Asian studies departments (paragraph 43) showed significant activity in Asian studies and also had citations in a number of other subjects. The only other HEIs showing a similarly significant level of activity overall were the London School of Economics - predictably concentrated in a few subject units - and the University of Birmingham, where it was less easy to deduce concerted activity. Some other HEIs had unrelated entries in several subject units, but showed no concentration of work in any one area, beyond a few cases where two or (occasionally) more researchers seemed to be active in the same field.
  52. The overall picture therefore is of significant concentrations of research in a handful of institutions, but accompanied by widespread pockets of interest across a broad range of related studies. We find it particularly encouraging that so many people have developed research interests relating to China without access to targeted support such as language training: this indicates a strong baseline level of interest in the field, to provide a foundation for the developments which we shall propose.

    Staff

  53. It is difficult to form a complete picture of numbers of academic staff in Chinese languages. The EACS survey mentioned above (paragraph 42) identified 46 full-time staff with skills in Mandarin, of whom three also spoke Cantonese, across six institutions (the other two main providers did not give a clear answer to this question). Two institutions also had significant numbers of part-time language staff. The Manchester area studies database includes 40 people who claim some level of fluency in Mandarin. This is roughly the same as the number recorded in the database as speaking Japanese, and more than for most minority European languages, but significantly fewer than for Russian.
  54. It has been suggested that researchers in Chinese studies are an ageing population, to an extent which should cause concern. We have not been able to find statistical evidence to confirm this. However, we believe that the number of researchers in the broad field working at the highest level in the UK is dangerously low. There are a number of academic disciplines in which it would be hard to find an internationally respected scholar working in the UK on issues related to China. A number have retired and were not replaced at the same level; and a significant number have gone abroad without a corresponding inflow of people of the same calibre.

    Institutions' views

  55. Institutions responding to the call for evidence made several suggestions for ways in which UK higher education could respond to the needs of commerce, industry and diplomacy. The point was made that despite the UK being the largest EU investor in China, other EU states were prepared to invest more public money in securing academic expertise on China.
  56. Institutions felt that business expertise on China could be enhanced by improving understanding of Chinese protocols, business practice and thinking. This might best be done by increasing the emphasis on the study of special zones and administrative regions, particularly Beijing, the coastal cities and the hinterland of Hong Kong where commerce is most developed.
  57. Few UK nationals can interpret and translate Chinese. Institutions thought that this might best be addressed by establishing funding arrangements to reflect the intensive nature of Chinese compared with other language courses. Ensuring that most Chinese language courses continue to involve study time in China would also help. This cannot be taken for granted as many students on these courses cease to receive assistance with maintenance and travel costs, and become liable for four years' tuition fees. Institutions felt that more attention should be paid to gearing courses to meet specific needs, such as business, diplomacy, commerce and industry.
  58. Encouraging each area studies department to see China as a major study area would do much to promote Chinese-related study. This could be strengthened by drawing upon the knowledge of institutions' language, history, geography and social science departments, and encouraging interdisciplinary work. Some institutions' responses to the call for evidence argued in favour of creating centrally funded posts in Chinese studies, and for specialist centres of excellence for Chinese studies.
  59. Attention was also drawn to the fact that many distinguished academics in Chinese studies, including those whose careers were launched with post-Hayter funding, will retire soon and will need to be replaced. The UK has some way to go before it can match the facilities available to Chinese specialists abroad. Promoting staff secondments, exchanges, and visiting fellowships might help to ensure that the UK is able to attract the right calibre of staff.
  60. Smaller study centres, given their heavy reliance upon the expertise of individual academics, may be vulnerable to the loss of key staff. Provision might be lost if such staff are not replaced with experts in the same area. The fact that many linguist posts are untenured can also make larger departments vulnerable to staff movement. A critical mass of tenured staff can help to secure the healthy academic development of a department in the medium to long term.
  61. Institutions also thought that a wider grounding in China in the school curriculum would do much to develop wider interest and knowledge of the country and region. Some suggested that any future expansion in Chinese language studies in HE might be hampered by their scarcity in secondary schools. However, this issue falls outside the scope of this study.

    The European scene

  62. We have already referred to our perception that some European countries - notably Germany - are at present doing more to support academic provision in Chinese studies than the UK (paragraph 24). There has for many years been substantial activity related to China in European academic institutions, mainly based on a tradition of classical studies, but more recently through specific government initiatives to support national policy objectives and involving the creation of separate specialist institutes. Increasingly too there is emphasis upon the study of China within a wider Asian framework. Recent initiatives include China or Asia centres at Madrid, Lund (Sweden), Helsinki, Lyons and Aix-en-Provence. The scale of activity in Germany reflects the desire of individual Lander (provinces) to have their own knowledge base in addition to links with federal supported institutions. The strength in the Netherlands reflects programmes focussed upon modern studies and social sciences. In France, the centres at Lyons and Aix reflect a policy of spreading Asia related activity into the south of the country. At the centre, the CNRS is also very active in China studies, and its research director was a well known China specialist before becoming an administrator. The French government also supports permanent research centres in Hong Kong and Taipei (as well as in Tokyo).
  63. According to the database of the International Institute for Asian Studies at Leiden, the UK currently has 88 listed specialists working in the China field in some branch of social studies, history or business studies. This compares with 174 in the Netherlands; 173 in Germany; 138 in France; and, remarkably given their lack of a historic connection, 42 in Spain. The lists are not comprehensive but give some indication of relative levels of engagement.
  64. Although we have not been able to find authoritative comparative data, the available evidence indicates clearly enough that the scale of the UK effort in research and scholarship in this field lags well behind that achieved by some European and other Western countries trading with China. The effects of this shortfall seem certain to be felt in the commercial and other spheres in due course, and may already be reflected in the comparative trade figures we have quoted above (paragraphs 23 and 24).

    Current funding arrangements

  65. At present the HE funding bodies support Chinese studies, in the same way as other forms of academic provision, within their general grant to HEIs. All the funding bodies pay a block grant to institutions to support their teaching, research and related activities, which the institution may use as it sees fit for those activities. However, the grant is calculated by a formula which uses measures of actual activity; this formula is known to the institutions and not infrequently reflected in their internal funding arrangements.
  66. In England, funds for teaching are calculated primarily on the basis that:
    1. Other things being equal, existing levels of activity should continue to be funded from year to year.
    2. The level of funding per full-time equivalent student should reflect differences in the cost of provision between broad groups of subjects.
    3. Provision within each of those groups should be funded at the same level wherever it occurs, unless there are exceptional reasons why more generous provision is justified.
  67. Within this model, provision for Chinese language is funded more generously than for mainstream European languages or most other humanities subjects. Area studies provision is funded at the higher or the lower rate depending upon its relative language, social science, and humanities content.
  68. Funding agreements with English HE institutions do not specify student numbers as such. They require institutions to show that their HEFCE grant per student, taking into account the mix between level, mode and subject, is within a specified range. This leaves it largely open to institutions to decide how many students to recruit to particular courses to reach total enrolments compatible with that target.
  69. Institutions can also gain some additional funding to increase student numbers. This is allocated annually on a competitive basis, and is closely related to the HEFCE's policy priorities. (For example, additional funding is currently proposed for institutions responding to the policy aim to encourage more students from under-represented socio-economic groups). So far, funding for additional students has not been used to encourage the expansion of provision in particular subject areas. The normal means of funding such an increase is for institutions, acting upon local decisions, to manage this within their aggregate total of funding; or (especially in the case of postgraduate students) to recruit additional students on the basis of the tuition fee income only.
  70. In exceptional cases the HEFCE will modify its funding for specific purposes (for example, to safeguard provision in nationally significant subjects with very few students) by making special additional grants. As a matter of policy these cases are kept to a minimum and occur only where there are exceptional considerations of national policy or need. The grants are made for a limited period and subject to special monitoring of delivery. An example is the recent scheme to promote provision in studies relating to the former Soviet and East European countries.
  71. Broadly similar arrangements apply in Scotland. Here too, save for exceptional cases where special grants are made, the normal avenue for an institution wishing to increase student numbers in a particular subject is to offset the increase against lower intakes elsewhere (subject to restrictions on transferring numbers out of certain priority areas).
  72. Funding for research in England reflects for each institution the volume of research in a particular subject group - in terms of staff and research student numbers - and its quality, as measured in the 1996 Research Assessment Exercise. As for teaching, the funding also provides for all activity within each of several subject groups to be funded at a standard rate in relation to volume at each quality level. (Grants in the current year reflect some continuing adjustment between subjects to bring this about.) Broadly similar arrangements apply in Scotland.
  73. The establishment of the Arts and Humanities Research Board has created an additional research income stream for English institutions. Academics undertaking research projects in the arts and humanities, including projects related to China, will be able to bid for funds on a competitive basis.

    Issues

  74. There is considerable evidence that, even without external encouragement, institutions are aware of the changing nature of demand for China-based expertise and are already adjusting their academic portfolios to meet it. Despite this, the concerns expressed by the FCO and the academic community point to a need for further development. In this section of the report we consider some of the key issues to be addressed in any consolidation or expansion of academic provision in relation to China. In the following section we set out our recommendations for tackling these.
  75. The principal overarching issue to emerge from our enquiries is the extent to which provision for Chinese studies is vulnerable to fluctuations in demand from students and research users. If we accept the assertion, made by many of the bodies giving evidence to us, that the subject is of exceptional and growing national significance, the major immediate challenge facing the HE sector will to stabilise and maintain existing provision while demand builds up. This is necessary both to secure a stable capacity for providing advice and undertaking research, and to ensure that this increased demand can be met in future. Any measures to ensure stability should concentrate upon preserving the underlying strengths of existing provision, and on putting or keeping in place a core of highly qualified and experienced people who will form the backbone of an expanded discipline in due course. In the absence of government funded national research institutes of the kind found in some European countries, measures to strengthen and improve the profile of centres of excellence within UK HEIs will be crucial to achieving this.

    Language provision

  76. Chinese language provision serves three broad types of student. There are those studying Chinese language as their main degree subject; graduates in other disciplines wishing to learn it to enhance their expertise in Chinese-related studies; and people at all stages in life, not all of whom will already be studying in HE, needing to learn it for business, diplomatic or recreational use. We would expect demand from all three groups to grow as the international profile of China increases.
  77. The facilities available in language centres and the extent of investment needed will depend upon the nature of the training offered. The requirements of students on accelerated and intensive language courses for business or commerce will differ from those studying traditional three-year degree courses in classical Chinese language. Some institutions have geared their language provision to meet the needs of niche markets such as commerce or diplomacy. It should be noted too that for the time being the difficulty of providing Chinese language tuition by distance learning, even with IT assistance, is greater than for European languages because of the limitations of the available computer software for handling the written language.
  78. Having said this, provision for learning Chinese languages in HEIs is currently healthy and meets the needs of students. It is relatively inexpensive to establish or build up a language centre, and provision should be able to keep pace with any likely growth in demand as long as suitable staff are available (see below). However, we note the concern felt by some institutions about the prospects for increasing recruitment to undergraduate degree courses which include a year spent in China. Changes in the student support regime may lead to many students on these courses having to pay four years' tuition fees and to fund the travel and maintenance costs of the year abroad. The continuing unavailability of Chinese language provision in the great majority of schools will in the medium term contribute to perceptions of Chinese as a difficult minority subject. This may be something of a brake upon the increased interest in Chinese affairs flowing from the opening up of the country, but that is beyond the scope of this review.

    Specialist knowledge related to China

  79. Collaboration between language and discipline specialists is key to the healthy development of the broader Chinese studies subject area. Such collaboration has in recent years been mainly in area studies departments. Area studies courses at first degree level have enabled students to learn Chinese languages in the context of studies of modern China, as well as in the context of classical Chinese culture. These courses produce graduates whose knowledge of the country and its languages is valuable to organisations needing people to work there in a generalist capacity. They will therefore have a continuing role to play within a portfolio of academic provision.
  80. The growth in area studies programmes has brought an increase in the theoretical and mainstream approaches used by scholars to study China; and a broadening of focus from narrowly framed studies of Chinese culture, history and politics to a wider study of the country's economy, impact and role in South-East Asia. The close interaction which area studies departments have engendered between area specialists, linguists, and specialists trained in other disciplines including the social sciences, has been beneficial to all participants. This has helped to keep alive departments in which cross-disciplinary studies in relation to China are pursued at postgraduate level and as a research activity.
  81. Looking to the future, we are in no doubt that there is a continuing and growing need for specialists deploying high level skills in both Chinese and another discipline. Demand for such people from organisations dealing with China is generally expected to increase significantly as the volume of UK interactions with China increases. There will also be a need to secure a continuing supply of senior academic staff with expertise in a range of skills and disciplines in relation to China, to train up the new generation of specialists working outside academia and to ensure that advice at the highest level on commercial and strategic issues is available within a specifically UK/China context.
  82. The first step in securing the supply of these two kinds of specialists will be to make specialisation in Chinese studies a more attractive option for the most able graduates. We consider that specialist study of aspects of China, especially at postgraduate level, should be undertaken by people who have a good understanding of the country and its languages, but who are also clearly at the forefront of the non language discipline appropriate to their study. This will include specialists in disciplines relevant to the study of China as a society or as a political and economic entity, including economics, politics, and international studies. It may increasingly also include people working in a much wider range of disciplines on topics relevant to China, such as, geology or agriculture. Specific needs for China specialists in the short term would best be met by increasing the numbers of graduates in other disciplines pursuing further studies related to China. Institutions and departments are already responding to this, but are encountering problems in relation to both student recruitment and funding.
  83. In terms of the supply of graduates coming into Chinese studies with the intention of making a career as a specialist outside academia, the difficulties arise in securing a regime of funding and course provision which can ensure a swift response to the anticipated increase in employer demand. Such graduates face the challenge of acquiring a difficult language as well as getting to grips with issues specific to China in their chosen field. In practice this means intensive language work, and in most cases a period spent in China, adding at least a year to the period normally required to achieve higher level discipline skills. This represents a challenge well beyond that facing a student wishing to acquire similar qualifications in relation to most European countries. The fact that suitable courses or research supervisors are available in only a small handful of centres may be a further disincentive, though it may well be that little can be done about that until demand builds up.
  84. Beyond this, we would expect any expansion of Chinese studies provision to encounter early problems in the availability of suitably qualified and experienced academic staff of the right calibre. The corps of specialists of this kind produced by the special funding initiatives following the Parker and Hayter studies are largely still active but, as we have observed (paragraph 53), they are a shrinking group. Continuing research coverage of the broad field at the highest level is by no means assured. Moreover, the UK centres for Chinese studies are quite small compared with the concentrations of academic staff found at the leading centres in Germany, the USA and Australia for example. Small departments are vulnerable to closure if reductions in posts are sought within the host institution. They may also be unable to offer the range of career and other opportunities available to staff in larger departments and in more widely studied fields. A continuing adequate supply of highly experienced China specialists in UK institutions cannot be taken for granted.
  85. Although younger researchers are still coming up the ladder, we are not confident that there will be enough of them to meet the needs we have identified unless steps are taken to improve both supply and career prospects. We are aware of a number of cases where Chinese linguists in particular have been appointed to untenured posts. This makes staff more likely to respond to opportunities to work in other fields or outside the UK, and also makes the posts themselves vulnerable to abolition in any restructuring programme. We recognise that there can be flows of expertise in the other direction - people from China or elsewhere coming to work in UK HEIs - and that filling a certain number of vacancies in this way could be an imaginative response to specialism shortages, as well as a means of improving mutual understanding. We feel that such flows should be encouraged as one means among others of meeting short-term needs for language and other expertise, but do not constitute a complete long-term solution.
  86. Researchers in other disciplines who are considering working on China face both the challenge of acquiring the necessary skills in a difficult language, and the possibility that their achievements will not be well understood by colleagues in their core discipline. The absence of established career paths for China specialists, either in area studies departments or within other disciplines, and the costs and difficulties of language conversion, cause many academics to look to specialise in other fields. Researchers in China-related topics are often embedded in a larger, broadly focussed department, which may view their field of study as peripheral to its core academic concerns. The Research Assessment Exercise and teaching quality assurance assessments also look to wider subject groupings; though the former is, paradoxically, also held by some researchers to discourage work of an interdisciplinary nature.
  87. The predicted growth in demand for specialist advice related to China will raise questions about how people and organisations are to find such advice. The experience of the group's secretariat in seeking to identify current activity in Chinese studies in UK HEIs has brought home to us the problems that would face an industrial or commercial organisation seeking advice on China within its field of work. The task would be particularly hard where the organisation's interest in the country was of recent origin, and in cases involving complex technical questions. Where such expertise is available, but not from an area studies department or another source known to the client, making the connection may be a matter of chance. We return to this point in paragraph 109 below.

    Infrastructure

  88. The availability of suitably qualified and experienced scholars, who are confident of making a career in academic studies related to China, is clearly a prerequisite for equipping the HE sector to respond to the challenges and demands we have identified. Almost as important is the question of providing the academic infrastructure to support these people in their work. To be fully effective, they will need access to first rate library and other research support facilities, to travel grants for regular visits to China, and to support for attendance at conferences and seminars outside their host institution. Members of the review group working in HEIs were concerned about the adequacy of existing library provision to meet foreseeable demands in the medium term. They recognised that scholars in a comparatively small discipline cannot expect to find all the library resources they require locally. Nonetheless, they did not believe that the current aggregate library provision for Chinese studies in the UK, or the provision for purchasing new materials, including material published in China, would be adequate to meet the needs of an extended corps of interdisciplinary scholars and researchers seeking to cover the field in ever greater breadth and depth. Given the pressure upon funding for library and research resources of all kinds, it should not be assumed that increasing volume and a higher profile for the subject will of itself lead to resources being diverted from other areas.
  89. There was also concern about the opportunities for scholars specialising in China to spend significant amounts of time in that country after their initial experience. Writing in 1993, Richard Hodder-Williams observed that funding for such experience was much harder to come by than it had been during the post-Hayter funding period. Of his sample of area studies scholars, only one-seventh had resided for a full year in their region of expertise (and less for China specialists). It is now easier for visiting scholars to gain admission to China but the funding issues remain.

    Conversion courses and scholarships

  90. One of the main needs we have identified is for conversion courses to allow graduates to acquire Chinese language skills and a grounding in the application of their chosen specialism to the study of modern China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan). These courses could build upon successful experience of similar developments in Japanese studies, particularly the Japan English Teachers Scheme (JET, funded by the Japanese government) and the EU Japan executive training programme. Such courses should prove attractive to many high quality British graduates, given the growing importance of China, and the possibilities they could offer for employment in business, the professions, academia, diplomacy and consultancy. The attractiveness of the schemes could be enhanced through twinning programmes with Chinese partner institutions.
  91. The British Council has, for a number of years, worked with the Chinese Ministry of Education to administer a small programme of scholarship exchanges for British and Chinese graduates. In recent years, the demand from British graduates for these scholarships has been limited, though we would expect this to change rapidly as interest in pursuing studies related to China grows. Those studying on the exchange programme have mostly been graduates of Chinese studies programmes, wishing to extend their experience of China and their linguistic and literary knowledge.
  92. The British Council plans to explore options for redesigning the programme with the Chinese Ministry of Education. Its future catchment could include social science postgraduates who wish to research contemporary China (which at some Chinese institutions can be done through the medium of English), or intensive Chinese language courses to equip them for research in the future. More flexibility will be sought in the length of scholarships, with more attractive terms for postgraduates wishing to undertake short attachments in China, possibly of three to six months. This may prove attractive to students that have already completed postgraduate conversion courses. Having made contact with the government of the People's Republic of China through its embassy in London, we understand that it is particularly interested in helping to develop conversion opportunities for graduates in specialisms relevant to China's current needs for technical and other advice. Any assistance which the Chinese government could give in finding placements for UK students visiting China during their course, and in encouraging reciprocal visit to the UK by Chinese students and academic staff, would be very valuable.

    Conclusions and recommendations

  93. We accept the argument, put forward by a number of bodies, that the strengthening of the UK's capacity for productive interactions with China, across several fields, is desirable in the national economic and strategic interest. Demand for specialist advice on a range of issues relating to China, primarily from business but also in support of political and other interests, is likely to grow at a significant rate. We see a distinctive role for the higher education sector in both leading and supporting action to respond to this. We are not confident that the HE system can and will respond to increased demand as fully and as rapidly as national interests require. There are too many other calls on the resources available to HEIs, and a shortfall in the supply of young researchers coming into the field. If the capacity to respond is not in place, there will be significant negative consequences for HE and for the country in the longer term. We therefore consider it essential that measures are taken now to strengthen and consolidate existing provision as a foundation for further development and expansion.
  94. The HE sector has a role to play in building up a national reservoir of knowledge and expertise; in the supply of qualified manpower; and in the provision of language training for a wide clientele. This will require action on a number of fronts to strengthen and improve the profile of provision for Chinese studies in HEIs. In particular:
    1. We see clear evidence for a growth in demand from employers for people who bring together two strands of expertise: a sound knowledge of China - the country, its language and culture, and its political and business climate; and some relevant expertise in a specialism such as economics or business studies. This demand will come primarily from businesses operating within or trading with China, which are already finding that people with this full range of expertise work better there than those with no direct experience of the country.
    2. We also predict increasing demand for people with direct experience of living and working in China, who understand how the country and society work and how business is done there, but who may not have any other professional or specialist expertise to offer. The HE sector has a role to play in increasing the supply of graduates who can speak Chinese languages or whose study of the country has motivated them to live there for a period.
    3. Responding to these needs will require the maintenance of a pool of expertise both within and beyond HEIs. Professional people with detailed recent knowledge and experience of China will be more likely to emerge as demand grows if there is a robust and well developed infrastructure of academic expertise. We foresee a growing need too for specialist advice on a range of issues, at a level of expertise which is most likely to be sustained within HEIs.
    4. It is important that sound, expert advice on a range of issues in relation to China should be available from sources within the UK. In principle, businesses dealing with China need not concern themselves with the origin of the advice and expertise they deploy as long as these are available when required. In practice however such advice is more likely to be helpful if it comes from people who understand the UK business environment. There is also an underlying need to maintain both the national capacity to respond to events on the world's political and economic stage, and the perception that the UK continues to take its relationship with China seriously. It is essential to preserve a sound capability in academic research at a high level on a broad range of issues in relation to China.
    5. Demand for tuition in Chinese languages will grow as the broader effects of opening up relations are felt. In the short term, ensuring that tuition is available to all who want it - including academics moving into Chinese studies, and people already in employment - may be a higher priority than attempting to increase the supply of language graduates as such, but any increase in demand for language provision at first degree level should certainly be met.
    6. The study of Chinese history and culture in its own right remains relevant to the commercial and political contexts. The Chinese people have a strong sense of their history and cultural distinctiveness. It is difficult to detach any study of modern China from these perspectives. For this reason, there should still be a place for the serious study of Chinese literature and Chinese culture from a historical and classical perspective.
  95. What forms of provision within the HE sector will be required to respond to these needs, and how far are these already in place? We have identified a significant level and diversity of existing provision for teaching and research in Chinese studies in the UK - ahead of current UK provision in relation to some former Eastern bloc European countries, for example. It may be that some organisations which have already established working relations with China are being poorly served simply because they do not know what is available. In addition to the eight institutions with established Chinese studies departments, we have identified a number of HEIs which are active in teaching Chinese languages and related studies, or where relevant research is being undertaken. Some have established this provision in discrete units or centres, but these are not yet on the same scale as the longer established departments. None currently offers single honours studies in Chinese languages, for example. We are aware that several more HEIs are now considering setting up provision of one kind or another in Chinese studies for the first time.
  96. We consider that this pattern of provision has the capacity to provide a secure basis for the future development of the subject area. However, current aggregate activity in this area has not yet achieved the volume, depth or degree of security that would enable us to say with confidence that the needs we have identified will be met.
  97. Our recommendations for action by the funding bodies and others reflect the lessons to be drawn from previous initiatives to promote the expansion of studies in particular areas. We see no value in attempting to plan expansion tailored precisely to forecasts of demand. Nor do we believe that expanding provision will necessarily lead to any increase in demand from students, or from clients for specialist advice, though we recognise that it might. We propose in the first instance a programme to stabilise existing provision, to ensure its preservation while demand builds up and as a starting point for whatever level of expansion may subsequently be required.
  98. Our vision for the way forward builds upon key elements within existing provision. We have made very clear our view that provision for Chinese studies in HE needs to be embedded in a multi-disciplinary context. We endorse the principle of 'triangulation' proposed by Hayter and repeated in the more recent HEFCE study of Former Soviet and East European Studies. That is to say, there are three aspects of the study of China (or any other country): the languages of the country; its history, culture and political system; and the discipline (for example, economics or development studies) required to address the question in hand. To be fully effective, each of these aspects must be supported by the others; and all must be available, either within the institution or through effective collaboration.

    We recommend that the continuing development of provision for Chinese studies in the UK should emphasise and build upon collaboration between established disciplines.

  99. This could be achieved within a range of institutional contexts. Scholars working in Chinese studies need a certain level of support, in terms of both academic infrastructure and reasonably close working relations with colleagues in this or related areas. But that is not to say that a worthwhile body of expertise can exist only where the full range of language, area studies and discipline provision is available. The UK is a small and mainly densely populated country, and collaboration between researchers across institutional boundaries is generally possible as well as desirable.
  100. However, we are persuaded that the way to safeguard existing provision and to lay foundations for future development lies initially through strengthening existing centres with a range of expertise. As we have observed, area studies departments have kept Chinese studies in the UK alive since the last round of special funding came to an end. They now have a key role to play in generating cross-disciplinary, collaborative expertise and in supporting scholars working in other institutions with a lower volume and narrower range of activity in Chinese studies. It would be unrealistic to expect all institutions where staff are active in Chinese studies to provide the full range of support in-house. In many cases it will be more realistic, and a better use of scarce resources, for staff to draw upon established centres of expertise in other HEIs for support and possible collaboration.
  101. We therefore propose that any additional financial support should flow initially to a limited number of centres (which might include centres established or maintained in collaboration between two or more HEIs). Each should have sufficient breadth and volume of activity - alone or in close collaboration with others - to achieve recognition as a national resource and to maximise its chances of success in building up demand for its services. The centres should all have provision for teaching Chinese languages up to single honours standard at least, in order to support their other work and to ensure that language provision is reasonably well spread across the country. They should also cover a reasonable range of studies in other disciplines in relation to China, and should aim to reach the standards of excellence expected of 'mainstream' researchers in each of those disciplines. The additional support should not be tied to student numbers, though it might be made clear that it was expected to support an increase in teaching over a realistic period.
  102. Each of the centres must also have, or be well placed to develop, a sufficiently high profile within its host institution to be viewed as an asset to be preserved. We would expect the centres to function as national and regional research resources, supporting individual scholars or smaller groups working on China-related issues in neighbouring institutions. To that end the special funding should support the development and strengthening of the centres' research infrastructure, including libraries (see below). If the centres are to offer effective support to scholars based elsewhere, it will be necessary to provide facilities for such scholars to spend time at a centre. This could include, for example, research seminars or conferences, and visiting research fellowships of a year or so.
  103. The key immediate task for the centres - in addition to building up and maintaining their capacity - will be to address the need for conversion courses for graduates wishing to study their chosen specialism in relation to China at Masters level or beyond. This will include graduates seeking to improve their employment prospects, typically by adding a qualification in Chinese or Chinese studies to a first degree in another discipline; and students with an excellent academic record in another discipline who wish to acquire the language skills, and the foundations of relevant knowledge and experience, to pursue an academic career in that discipline in relation to China. We recognise that for both groups the need to spend additional time learning Chinese, and its deterrent effect upon the individual, cannot be sidestepped. However, much more could be done to ensure that students have access to suitable language tuition and familiarisation programmes, and to funding for this element. These students will need to pursue Masters programmes, or periods of research leading to a PhD, at least a year longer than for students undertaking similar study not requiring the acquisition of Chinese or other 'hard language' skills.

    We recommend that the HE funding bodies should make available additional resources to support Chinese studies provision, focussed upon maintaining and strengthening viable centres of expertise, including centres set up in collaboration between HEIs. This funding should be targeted on building up the research infrastructure at these centres; and on enabling them to provide for graduates in disciplines other than Chinese (language or area studies) who wish to pursue further study in their chosen discipline in relation to China, including language tuition and cultural familiarisation. Some of these conversion courses should provide for students requiring qualifications at Masters level for entry to a career outside HE dealing with China. Others should provide for a smaller but equally important group of students wishing to make a career in academic research related to China, who may elect to move into the field after pursuing studies in their undergraduate discipline to Masters level or above.

    We recommend that bodies providing funding for postgraduate students should make available a number of awards to support students throughout the longer courses which this will entail, including supporting travel to China.

    We also recommend that bodies funding research on a project basis, notably the Research Councils and the AHRB, should pay particular attention to meeting the national strategic need for new research relating to China within their fields by encouraging, and funding at an appropriate level, bids for projects in this area. These could include, for example, overseas travel costs, and the additional costs incurred by researchers not based at a funded centre who need to visit a specialist research library regularly. Project finders should also provide grants funding for scholars not based in a funded centre to take up short-term research fellowships in the centres.

  104. The concentration of library resources at regional centres would help to provide research facilities of a higher quality than individual institutions can otherwise support, which could be made available to the wider academic community. A good library is a prerequisite for attracting high quality research staff and raising the academic profile of the centre. Some of the existing national centres have good, specialist library holdings. However, these do not generally cover the whole of the broad field of Chinese studies that we have mapped. Even in aggregate they are less comprehensive than we would consider desirable to support the breadth and depth of academic study that we wish to see develop in the medium term. In particular, UK scholars have access to fewer materials published in China than their colleagues in major study centres elsewhere.
  105. Library provision in the centres should therefore be strengthened, systematically and with due regard to desirable national levels and patterns of provision. Assigning funds to institutions with little or no library holdings would merely dilute the effectiveness of the funds available. It is doubtful that an institution with little or no library holdings could, within the short to medium term, develop a sufficient presence to justify the investment. The amount of material in the broad field of Chinese studies available electronically is unlikely to grow rapidly without some external investment. We understand that the joint funding councils' Research Support Libraries Programme is unlikely to address these problems directly as its focus is primarily on improving the accessibility of existing collections. However we welcome the underlaying policy aim of encouraging the sharing of specialist research resources with other HEIs.

    We recommend that additional resources should be provided to build up library provision for Chinese studies, planned as a national resource, to ensure that this meets the needs of the centres and of the subject nationally. Specific funds should be provided for this purpose.

  106. We have considered recommending that the additional funding for strengthening centres of expertise should be tied to the creation of additional posts. We have decided against this, because we would wish HEIs bidding for a share of this funding to have a free hand in setting their own priorities. Furthermore, previous experience has shown that, where additional funding is tied to particular posts, it may be assumed that the post will cease to exist when the funding ends. We would therefore prefer to see HEIs submit bids in which they set out measurable targets for what they will achieve with the funding within five years.
  107. Having said this, we also consider it important that the amount of additional funding flowing to any centre should be enough to make a real difference to its overall provision. Bearing in mind that the money will in practice mainly be spent on staff, we suggest that the allocation to any one centre should be enough to support an additional three lecturers and all associated costs - say, £150,000 per annum. We also suggest that the amount made available to build up library provision should be at least £400,000 nationally over five years. As we have indicated, we would wish to see this allocated in the light of expert advice and in support of a strategy to improve the availability of research materials at the national level. Duplication between institutions of acquisitions funded from this source should be kept to a minimum, and we recognise that there are strong arguments for concentrating provision in a small number of national centres at this stage.
  108. We anticipate that there will be a need to support between six and eight centres across the UK. In total this suggests that funding of between £1 million and £1.3 million per year may be required.
  109. It should be possible for some institutions to concentrate solely on teaching Chinese language skills, with no accompanying area studies work, if they wish. However, at this stage we do not propose special funding for language studies as such, or outside the centres of expertise, because we believe that the foundations are in place for provision nationally to expand in line with probable increase in student demand. In the longer term we would expect to see provision for language tuition grow in line with the broader subject. We recognise, however, that this provision could come under strain, from demand beyond the capacity of the available staff or from difficulties in funding the intensive first-year tuition required to bring students up to degree level in four years. We are also concerned about the possible deterrent effects if the new student support regime requires undergraduates on language and area studies courses to incur additional expenditure or debts. For example, they may have to pay extra tuition fees for a longer course, high travel costs, and the costs of the period of study in China that such courses necessarily entail.

    We recommend that the HE funding bodies should monitor provision for tuition in Chinese languages over the next five years, and should be ready to give additional support to this area if necessary.

    We recommend that in finalising the details of the new student support regime, the DfEE should avoid measures which would place additional financial burdens on students taking courses that include a year in China, and which would therefore discourage them from choosing these courses.

  110. We have one final recommendation to make in regard to the dissemination of the improved national pool of expertise which we propose. We have noted that an organisation seeking advice on a particular issue in relation to China could find it difficult to identify a specialist with the required expertise, especially if that person was not working in an area studies department or in an HEI known to have an interest in China. As part of its funding initiative to develop provision in relation to the former Soviet and Eastern European states, the HEFCE funded a national database of academic expertise across the entire range of area studies. This has produced a valuable resource, but one with some shortcomings in the selection and quality assurance of names for inclusion, in dissemination arrangements and in the long-term arrangements, for keeping it up to date. We would see value in a project to create such a database specifically for Chinese studies.

We recommend that the HE funding bodies support the creation of a national database of academic and other expertise in Chinese studies, taking into account the lessons learnt from the experience of the area studies database.


Annex A

Membership of the review group

Mr Bahram Bekhradnia, Director of Policy, HEFCE (Chair)
Mr John Beyer, Director, China Britain Business Council
Ms Jannette Cheong, HEFCE
Dr Paul Clark, Scottish Higher Education Funding Council
Mr David Coates, and later Mr David Warren, China Hong Kong Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Professor Ian Gow, University of Sheffield
Dr Jim Hoare, Northern Asia and Pacific Group, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Professor Christopher Howe, School of Oriental and African Studies
Professor Bonnie McDougall, University of Edinburgh
Mr Peter Nightingale, China Desk, Department of Trade and Industry
Mr Michael O'Sullivan, The British Council
Professor Michael Yahuda, London School of Economics

Secretary
Mr Paul Hubbard, HEFCE


Annex B

Call for evidence

The review group invited evidence through:

  1. a letter sent to higher education institutions
  2. a questionnaire sent to academic, commercial, professional and other bodies.

Both are reproduced below.

Letter to HEIs funded by HEFCE, SHEFC and DENI

Also sent to HEIs in Wales by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW)

Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

Review of Chinese Studies: call for evidence

We invite you to submit evidence to a review of Chinese studies in higher education.

The Council has established the review in collaboration with the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC). It will consider higher education provision for Chinese studies in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland taking into account the needs of the United Kingdom as a whole. For this purpose 'Chinese studies' includes Chinese languages, area studies and work within any academic discipline, including the social sciences, in relation to China. The terms of reference for the review, and membership of the working party, are attached. The SHEFC has agreed that this call for evidence should be issued by HEFCE to institutions in Scotland.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other bodies attach high priority to improving and expanding political, commercial and other contacts between the UK and China, following recent developments in Chinese foreign policy and the handover of Hong Kong. The funding councils wish to see the HE sector playing a full part in meeting the demand for specialist support which these contacts will generate, in terms of both language studies and of expert knowledge in other disciplines in relation to China.

The Review Group is seeking evidence and advice from a broad range of sources to inform its advice on

  • the needs of diplomacy, industry and commerce for expertise in relation to Chinese studies
  • the need for provision in these subjects across the higher education system as a whole, taking into account the needs of these groups
  • weaknesses and/or gaps in current higher education provision and expertise which may result in such needs not being met
  • the size, shape and structure of future provision in these subjects including the scope for making more effective use of the resources currently available

A similar letter is being sent to diplomatic, commercial, professional and other bodies with an interest in China or in HE provision for Chinese studies. In tandem with this exercise, there will be a quantitative survey of current HE provision for Chinese language and area studies in the UK. This will be conducted on our behalf by the European Association of Chinese Studies in conjunction with the British Association of Chinese Studies.

The review group expects to conclude its collection of evidence in the summer, and to report to the HEFCE by the end of October 1998.

Responses to this letter should arrive by Friday 26 June 1998, addressed to Yvonne Perry, HEFCE, Northavon House, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QD.

Yours sincerely

Brian Fender CMG
Chief Executive

Call for Evidence

The review group invites submissions from HE institutions, and especially from those interested in or involved in providing Chinese studies, on any aspect of needs and provision. It would particularly welcome responses to the following questions:

1. In what ways, if any, are your institution and its staff currently active in Chinese language or area studies or in any other discipline (for example economics or other social sciences) in relation to 'Greater China' (including The People's Republic of China (PRC), Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore)? Has the scale and nature of these activities changed in response to recent developments, or is any change envisaged in the near future?

2. What in your view have been the major consequences of recent developments in the PRC for demands upon, and provision in, UK HEIs? Have these changes served to highlight weaknesses or gaps in current provision?

3. Are there geographical regions of China, or fields of study in relation to China, which you would identify as priorities for developing expertise in the short, medium and long term?

4. What in your view are the likely developments in demand for provision in Chinese languages (the languages and major dialects of Greater China) including:

  • undergraduate and postgraduate language studies
  • language provision for area studies students
  • provision for established specialists in other disciplines wishing to work on China
  • provision for diplomats, business people and others needing language skills for their work?

In this context, are there particular problems in relation to the time taken to acquire reasonable basic language skills in Chinese, as compared with European languages?

  1. What in your view are the likely developments in demand for:
  • disciplinary expertise (for example, in economics or in business studies) specifically in relation to China
  • courses in subjects related to Chinese affairs (including area studies)?

6. Are there particular problems in relation to language graduates with expertise in Chinese wishing to work in the social sciences or other disciplines in relation to China?

7. How would resources be best employed to service all these demands, and how far is current provision likely to be adequate?

Questionnaire sent to selected academic, professional, commercial and other bodies identified by the Review Group

An almost identical questionnaire was distributed by the China Britain Business Council to member organisations.

The Review Group wishes to hear the views of a broad cross-section of bodies with an interest in China and Chinese studies on any aspect of needs and provision for academic studies in relation to China, and in particular on the following points:

1. What have been the major consequences of recent developments in China for your organisation's professional activities?

2. Which aspects of UK relations with China, and of academic study in relation to China, would you identify as priorities for the development of expertise in the near future and over the next decade or so ? (Note: the review will cover the geographical area of 'Greater China' - The People's Republic of China including Hong Kong, and Taiwan and Singapore; and the languages and major dialects of this region.)

3. What are your organisation's particular needs for specialist support and advice of any kind in relation to China; and how do you see these needs developing? How far do you and will you look to the HE sector to help meet these needs?

4. Has the importance of provision for language training and cultural familiarisation changed in this context, and if so in what ways?

5. How would resources be best employed to meet all of these demands, and do you perceive particular gaps or weaknesses in current provision?

Please reply by 22 May to: Yvonne Perry, HEFCE, Northavon House, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QD


Annex C

Organisations responding to the call for evidence

Higher education institutions

Bath College of Higher Education
University of Birmingham
Bolton Institute
Bretton Hall
University of Cambridge
Cardiff University
University of Central Lancashire
Cranfield University
De Montfort University
University of Durham
Edge Hill College of Higher Education
University of Edinburgh
University of Glasgow
Glasgow Caledonian University
Heriot-Watt University
University of Hertfordshire
University of Huddersfield
University of Hull
Keele University
University of Wales, Lampeter
Lancaster University
University of Leeds
University of Liverpool
Liverpool John Moores University
London Business School
London School of Economics and Political Science
Loughborough University
University of Luton
University of Manchester
Middlesex University
University of Newcastle
University of North London
Nottingham Trent University
University of Oxford
Queen's University of Belfast
University of Reading
University of St Andrews
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
University of Sheffield
University of Southampton
Southampton Institute
Staffordshire University
Trinity and All Saints College
University of Ulster
University of Westminster
Worcester College of Higher Education
University of York

Other organisations

Advanced Composites Group
Aisacus Lighting Ltd
Amec BKW Ltd
Aston Business School
WS Atkins plc
Atlas Ward Structures Ltd
Aulnwest Wallacetown Ltd
BNFL
Boss Group Ltd
British Association for Chinese Studies
British Educational Suppliers Association
BUPA
Carotrans (UK) Ltd
Cherry Valley Farms Ltd
Coopers and Lybrand
CU Phosco Lighting
Dawson International plc
Deloitte and Touche
Dennis Group plc
Dibb Lupton Alsop
Dresdner Kleinwort Benson
Eagle Star Holdings plc
East Word (ATF Ltd)
Eurasia Park Ltd
Europa Scientific
Robert Fleming and Co Ltd
Robert Fletcher (Greenfield) Ltd
General Accident plc
GKN plc
L Gardner Group plc
Hammond Suddards
Hamworthy Combustion Engineering Ltd
Hunters of Brora Ltd
Invest in Britain Bureau
Jardine Matheson
JCB Sales Asia Pacific Pte Ltd
Kvaerner
Lloyd's
Lord Balerno
Mr PS Marshall
Mitsui Babcock Energy Ltd
Net-Tel Computer Sytems Ltd
Polytime International
PPMA Ltd
Regent Holidays
Scottish and Newcastle International Ltd
Shelbourne Reynolds Engineering Ltd
Strathclyde Fire Brigade, International Training Centre
Trans Ocean Distribution
Zeneca Agrochemicals


Annex D

Key trade figures

Table D1: European exports to China and Hong Kong

US$ million

1990

1992

1994

1996

 

 

 

 

 

UK exports to:

 

 

 

 

China

815

745

1273

1154

Market share

2.6%`

1.2%

1.5%

1.4%

 

 

 

 

 

Hong Kong

2216

2835

3541

4570

Market share

1.8%

2.0%

2.0%

2.2%

 

 

 

 

 

Germany exports to:

 

 

 

 

China

2494

3698

6311

7225

Market share

5.5%

4.9%

6.2%

5.3%

 

 

 

 

 

Hong Kong

1954

2027

3586

4241

Market share

2.3%

2.3%

2.3%

2.2%

 

 

 

 

 

France exports to:

 

 

 

 

China

972

1479

2278

2868

Market share

2.0%

2.1%

2.7%

2.3%

 

 

 

 

 

Hong Kong

1174

1587

2331

3517

Market share

1.4%

1.2%

1.2%

1.7%

Source: IMF Direction of Trade statistics


Annex E

Staff and student statistics

Table E1: Students and staff in eight departments, 1988-98

 

Students

Staff

 

UG single hons

UG joint hons

postgrad

Permanent (lectors)

1988-89

380

91

38

40

1989-90

282

173

56

37

1990-91

286

181

55

33.5

1991-92

275

164

62.5

46

1992-93

234

202

54

40

1993-94

236

215

61

38.5

1994-95

249

209

68

39.5

1995-96

286

220

96

37.5

1996-97

279

217

110

53(26)

1997-98

294

233

127

45

Source: Universities' China Committee

Notes

Departments: Universities of Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, Leeds, Oxford and the School of Oriental and African Studies throughout. University of Sheffield from 1996-97 (launch of their first degree). University of Westminster from 1992-93.

Students: enrolments (all years) studying Chinese languages/studies in returning departments. Joint hons combine Chinese with other subjects. PG are taught plus research.

Staff: permanent staff teaching Chinese studies in returning departments - including permanent lectors except in the last two years. Figure for 1997-98 is full-time staff only.

Table E2: Student numbers in Chinese and selected comparator subjects, 1996-97

Enrolments

Undergraduate

Postgraduate

(headcount)

FT

PT

FT

PT

Chinese

304

315

28

16

Japanese

314

387

111

10

Portuguese

7

160

8

12

Russian

527

312

103

78

Source: HESA

Notes

Subjects are 'language, literature and culture' and based on course titles returned by HEIs.

Students are those in all UK HEIs returned in the subject

Level: UG and PG refer to the level of study and include courses leading to qualifications other than first degree/MA/PhD. Virtually none of the part-time UG students in Portuguese or Japanese were preparing for a degree, whereas 202 in Chinese were.

EACS survey

A survey of provision for Chinese studies in UK HEIs was undertaken in 1998 by a researcher at the University of Edinburgh, with financial support from the HEFCE, and was published as Chinese Studies in the UK, European Association of Chinese Studies Survey no.7. A summary of responses to the survey follows.

Table E3: Undergraduate students in Chinese studies departments, 1997-98

 

Single hons

joint hons

 

1st year

2nd year

3rd year

4th year

Total

Grads

1st year

2nd year

3rd year

4th year

Total

Grads

Cambridge

4

7

2

7

20

7

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

0

n/a

Durham

4

4

10

7

25

7

14

11

9

10

44

10

Edinburgh

22

9

12

6

49

6

0

3

1

0

4

0

Leeds

22

25

26

19

92

19

24

25

21

13

83

13

Oxford

8

14

12

10

44

10

0

0

0

0

0

0

Sheffield

1 (5)*

n/a

n/a

n/a

6

n/a

4 (2)*

n/a

n/a

n/a

4 (2)

n/a

SOAS

14

10

12

8

44

8

22

12

13

15

62

15

Westminster

n/a
(92)#

8

9

1

18

1

20

8

6

n/a

34

n/a

Totals

75 (5)

77

83

58

298

58

84 (2)

59

50

38

231

38

 

* The figure in the bracket refers to students studying abroad.

# The figure in the bracket refers to students studying for the Evening Modular Degree Scheme.

Full-time first year undergraduates at Westminster all register for joint honours degrees.

Table E4: Extra-department and postgraduate students and staff, 1997-98

Students:

ex-dept

taught PGs

research PGs

Total

research degrees

f/t staff

p/t staff

Cambridge

70

4

3

7

2

8

0

Durham

n/a

10

10

20

0

5

0

Edinburgh

178

0

8

8

2

4

5

Leeds

156

10

14

24

2

7

4

Oxford

33

0

11

11

3

8

1

Sheffield

14

-

10

10

0

2

4

SOAS

20

37

7

44

1

9

24

Westminster

2

3

0

3

0

2.5

10

Totals

473

64

63

127

10

45.5

48

Part 2 of the questionnaire: other returning HEIs active in Chinese studies

Staff with language skills

M=Mandarin, C=Cantonese, O=Other.

Aberdeen

1M

Bath

1 part-time

Bristol

1

Central Lancashire

0.5 in 97/98 increasing to 1 in August 98 + 2 part-time assistants from partner institutions in China

Dundee

1M (+1)

Essex:

1M

Hull

2M (+1 part-time).

Keele

4 (including 3M)

Middlesex

6

Newcastle

3 full-time (3M incl. 1 M + Hakka + Minnan Hua, 1 M + Minnan Hua) and 2 part-time (both M + Minnan Hua)

Salford

1M (part-time)

Stirling

3M

Wales (Lampeter)

1 full-time, 3 part-time

York

1 (M,C,O)

Language courses: number of students

Bath: undergraduate course non-degree -

35 students

Central Lancashire: joint honours degrees for 97/98; basic language course -

40 students

Hull: 110-hour course in Mandarin, taught by visiting scholar -

8-10 students

Middlesex: modern language course -

20 students

Newcastle: Interpreting and translating -

33 students

Salford: two-year course for students going to China -

3 a year on average

York:

2 students

Disciplinary/Area studies: UG students

Aberdeen: Sociology - 15

Bristol: History two first year units 12 and 30 students respectively; one third year unit with 11 students. Of 9 students doing MA in Contemporary, History 4 are taking a unit relating to China.

Dundee: Geography - 29 students

University of East Anglia: School of Economic and Social Studies 'China and the World', as part of an MA in International Relations - 15 students

Essex:
History Department: 'History of Chinese Revolution' - 20 students undergraduates (alternate years). Language and linguistics - 4 PhD students

Hull:
Centre for South-East Asian Studies
East Asian Socialism 16 undergraduates, 7 postgraduates
South-East Asian Security and defence 11 undergraduates, 17 postgraduates
China and Security in East Asia 11 postgraduates
East Asian Security 11 postgraduates

Keele : History 60, Politics 65, Geography 25.

Middlesex: Health 30

Newcastle: Politics 70

Salford: Department of Environmental resources: around 12 students on BA in Environmental and Resource Science in China

Stirling: Scottish Centre for Japanese Studies 90

Lampeter: Theology and Religious Studies 56, Philosophy 7, Anthropology 5, Geography 2 and History 2.

PG taught courses: students

Bath:

10 (Chinese Language: Mandarin for Cantonese Speakers)

Hull:

15 Centre for South east Asian Studies (see above for exact figures for individual courses)

Keele:

7 (History)

Liverpool:

2 (Geography)

Newcastle:

13 (Translating and Interpreting)

Southampton:

7 (Maritime Law)

Research Degrees: Students

Aberdeen:

2 (Sociology)

Keele:

2 (Management)

Southampton:

2 (Maritime Law)

Lampeter:

6 (1 degree awarded)

Notes

1. Part 2 of the questionnaire was concerned with HEIs other than the eight universities with established departments offering degrees in Chinese or Chinese studies. This was sent to institutions on the list of the Universities' China Committee and others known to be active in the field.

2. The universities on the UCC list, excluding the eight core universities, are Aberdeen, Aston, Bath, Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Brunel, City, Dundee, East Anglia, Essex, Exeter, Glasgow, Heriot-Watt, Hull, Keele, Kent at Canterbury, Lancaster, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Loughborough, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Open, Reading, St Andrews, Salford, Southampton, Stirling, Strathclyde, Surrey, Sussex, Ulster, Wales (Cardiff and Lampeter), Warwick and York.

3. Other HEIs contacted were Aberystwyth, de Montfort (Leicester), Greenwich, Institute of Education London, King's College (London), LSE, London Business School, Manchester Metropolitan, Middlesex, Liverpool John Moores and Thames Valley.

4. Nil returns were received from Aberystwyth, Bradford, Exeter, Heriot-Watt, Institute of Education London, University of Kent at Canterbury, Leicester, London Business School, London (central office), Reading, Southampton, Strathclyde, Surrey, Wales (Cardiff)

5. A word search for China or Chinese on university websites revealed that although most institutions had organisations for visiting mainland students, relatively few offered courses directly relating to China. Many universities are trying to bring Chinese students over to Britain; offering courses such as Southampton University's on international Maritime Law. At the same time, UK universities are establishing links and exchange programmes with Chinese higher education institutions.

6. A number of universities now have centres specialising in regional studies. These include the Centre for South-East Asian Studies at Hull University, the Centre for Chinese Studies at University of Wales (Lampeter) and the China Business Centre at Keele.

7. On the language side, it is clear that there is a certain amount of provision for distance learning under a variety of schemes sometimes called LFA (Languages for All); for examples see Central Lancashire (50 students) and York (NFA).

8. The most extensive language courses at the non-core universities are at Bath, Central Lancashire and Newcastle.

9. Particularly full replies came from Newcastle and Central Lancashire:

a) Central Lancashire is taking over the teaching of Chinese from Lancaster. 1997-98 was the last year for Chinese studies at Lancaster, with three students graduating in joint honours. The other subjects studied were Linguistics, German, Religious Studies, Politics, Mathematics, Japanese and Business. Central Lancaster is now offering Chinese as a component of a joint degree; subjects currently forming the other part of the joint degree are Tourism, Chemistry, Spanish and Asia Pacific studies. The Asia Pacific Studies degree is a four year course with the third year spent at a university in China.

b) At Newcastle there are no single honours degrees in Chinese, nor are there joint degrees in Chinese with another subject where Chinese is the major component. Around 40 undergraduate students take Chinese as 30% of their course in conjunction with a variety of subjects, including Politics, Civil Engineering, Accountancy and Finance, Business Management, Modern Languages, Linguistics and Mathematics.

10. Newcastle, which now has 3 full-time and 2 part-time staff, also offers a diploma and an MA in Chinese-English, English-Chinese Translating and Interpreting.

The East Asian Section was founded to provide service teaching both for the degree in Politics and East Asian Studies (PEAS) within the Politics department and as part of the joint Durham-Newcastle East Asian Studies programme. That programme was abandoned in 1994. The PEAS degree is currently under review, and the majority of students now read for combined honours degrees.