A Critical Analysis of Belief Education in Chinese Higher Education

  • Shijing Gao
  • Bingna Xu
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 49)


As a natural by-product of globalization, belief systems within Chinese higher education face increased challenges from both internal and external forces that present challenges beyond previous generations. The primary focus of this chapter is to understand the complexities of the multifaceted aspects of belief systems within Chinese higher education. First is a brief treatment of the basic characteristics of Chinese belief culture and education, along with an explanation of some common misunderstandings. Second, we offer an analysis on the growing crisis in Chinese belief education, including root causes of diversified ideologies, belief choices caused by crisis of thought, and a crisis of judgment precipitated by vulgarization. In the final section, we analyze the fundamental reasons for the crisis in contemporary Chinese higher education. Belief education is not only a complex social and cultural construct but also an individual psychological one. We offer possible explanations from a variety of perspectives, including individual, cultural, educational, and psychological factors. From the purview of higher education, universities face the pressure of complex relationship between academic, government, and market, which leaves belief philosophy in a difficult position. It is because Chinese belief education is restricted by many internal and external factors that students generally do not have a solid understanding of Chinese belief philosophy, even though much philosophy is embedded into curricula. We present several paths for improvement. The government should grant tertiary education greater epistemic and philosophical latitude in the area of belief education. Higher education scholars in China ought to reconsider the rights and responsibilities of belief education and maintain a system that is removed from overtly pragmatic and utilitarian purposes.


Belief education Chinese higher education History Explanation Paths 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shijing Gao
    • 1
  • Bingna Xu
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Education Zhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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