Li Yining: Market should play a greater role in educational resource allocation
Peking University, Mar. 17, 2014: “Market should play a greater role in the allocation of education resource,” said Li Yining, economist and honorary Dean of Guanghua School of Management of Peking University.
Li talked about some main issues and challenges confronting China’s education from an economist’s perspective in an interview during the NPC&CPPCC.
Right now market is playing a decisive role in allocating resourses. This economic system reform in China will surely bring about some great influence on society, including education.
"Resources are required to be allocated equally in towns and cities,” Li suggested. Urban-rural integration is necessary and essential.
To reach this goal, urban-rural dual structure must be unrooted because it does not fit the socialist market economy system. Urban-rural integration should take its place completely.
To enjoy equal right between urban and rural areas is crucial in the urban-rural integration. Equal education is an inevitable requirement of market economy. As a result, education reform is in urgent need.
The Role of Government
Urbanization does not simply mean that more county people come into city but that they truly get to know city culture and become part of it. Naturally, education is the key point.
But solutions to this need careful consideration particularly in terms of different functions of government and market. To ensure equality and efficiency of allocating resource is very important.
Government’s role is mainly responsible for the planning. They should provide guidance for infrastructure constructions of education, health and safety. Some local governments have gone beyond their power range, interfered with market and brought negative effects on reform.
"What actually plays a fundamental role in the reform is the market, which is decisive,” said professor Li.
Thus, the best solution lies in that government and market each perform its own “role”.
Allocation of the Talent
"How to allocate the best social resource, especially the talent, to the field of education is really a big issue”, Li said.
Nowadays, many talented teachers tend to give up their jobs in universities and institutes and set up their own businesses. This leads directly to the talent shortage in the field of education.
But how to attract and retain the talent?
Professor Li held that market competitiveness should be advanced in educational field so that talents can be retained. Universities can create an environment favorable to teachers so that they can do teaching and business at the same time.
And how the education meets the need of market?
Some vocational and technical school graduates are better received than the college students in the labor market, which is a serious problem that needs reflection. But claim on the uselessness of education should be fully banished since it is misleading. To correct this misunderstanding, the standard of labor market must be clarified.
Investment on Education
According to Professor Li, more investment on education does not necessarily mean the increase of education benefit and efficiency.
What really matters is the reasonable distribution of these resources. Only in this way can efficiency and benefits be attained at the same time. Apart from government investment, other accesses to education fund should be explored too.
Professor Li gave some suggestions concerning the “three distributions”. In the first distribution, educational institutions raise funds in various ways, to encourage entrepreneurs to invest, donate or provide intern positions, etc. In the second one, they take part in social activities to make some profits. In the third one, donation is greatly encouraged from both alumni and charities.
Written by: Yan Shengnan
Edited by: Zhao Xiaowei