The internationalisation of China's higher education: Soft power with 'Chinese characteristics'

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Recent research has focused either on the internationalisation of China's higher education (HE) as soft power, or on soft power with 'Chinese characteristics'. There is a paucity of research combining these two foci. This paper fills this gap by: (i) unravelling the meanings and features of the 'Chinese characteristics' embodied in the policies of President Xi Jinping's new regime that seeks to rejuvenate the 'civilisational state' through internationalising HE as soft power; (ii) analysing the implications and complications therein; and (iii) exploring the predicaments and paradoxes as China seeks to construct a Sino-centric world order alongside, if not atop, the Westphalian system. It demonstrates how the internationalisation of HE as soft power with 'Chinese characteristics': finds its legitimacy in a historico-cultural narrative; rides on the tide of the current global norms/practices; builds on national agenda/priorities; and is running into conflict with the West which is pursuing its own similar interests. 
最近的研究或關注中國高等教育的國際化,將其作為一種軟實力,或關注具有“中國特色”的軟實力,而將這兩個焦點結合起來的研究較少。本文通過以下幾個方面填補了這一空白:i)揭示習近平主席新政權的政策所體現的“中國特色”的含義和特徵,該政策試圖將高等教育國際化作為軟實力以復興“文明國家”; ii) 分析由此產生的影響和相關問題; iii) 探討中國在試圖構建一個並行于或超越威斯特伐利亞體系的一個以中國為中心的世界秩序時,所面臨的困境與悖論。我們展示高等教育國際化,作為一種具有“中國特色”的軟實力,如何:在歷史文化敘事中找到其合法性;在當前全球規範/實踐中乘勢而上;建立在國家議程/優先事項之上;以及與追求類似自身利益的西方國家發生衝突。 Copyright © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-246
JournalComparative Education
Issue number2
Early online dateSept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2021


Lo, T. Y. J., & Pan, S. (2021). The internationalisation of China's higher education: Soft power with 'Chinese characteristics'. Comparative Education, 57(2), 227-246. doi: 10.1080/03050068.2020.1812235


  • Internationalisation
  • Higher education
  • Soft power
  • Chinese characteristics
  • Globalisation
  • 國際化
  • 高等教育
  • 軟實力
  • 中國特色
  • 全球化
  • Alt. title: 中國高等教育國際化:具有“中國特色”的軟實力


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