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Institutionalization of Higher Vocational Education in China: A Neoinstitutionalist Perspective

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image of Frontiers of Education in China

From the perspective of neoinstitutionalism, higher vocational education has become an emerging institution in Chinese society. Its development over three decades entails a trend of institutionalization of higher vocational education. In such a process, higher vocational education is gaining legitimacy and experiencing isomorphic changes. Various challenges have indicated an absence of institutional legitimacy at all levels of higher vocational education, namely regulative, normative, and cultural-cognitive legitimacy. The latter two are considered key for the ongoing process of institutionalizing higher vocational education. Moreover, the emergence and development of higher vocational education in China has indicated isomorphic changes in Chinese higher education in terms of non-university sectors, practical/skills learning, teachers with dual qualifications and graduate employment.


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