A New Look at Chinese Liberalism among Elite Students

Memo #330

By Fen Lin – fenlin [at] cityu.edu.hk

Lin_Chinese College Students_photoPeking University, the traditional locus of Chinese liberalism, seems to be yielding this role to China’s economics and financial universities. A 2012 survey, conducted among six elite universities in Beijing and Shanghai, revealed that only 14% of Peking University students described themselves as liberal reformists, the lowest percentage among the… Continue reading

The Global Intensification of Supplementary Education

Memo #271

Featuring Julian Dierkes

Recently, Ee-Seul Yoon of the Faculty of Education at UBC in coordination with the Asia Pacific Memo sat down with Dr. Julian Dierkes, Associate Professor and Keidanren Chair in Japanese Research at UBC’s Institute for Asian Research, to pose a few questions about Professor Dierkes’ recently co-edited volume, Out of the Shadows: The Global Intensification Of Supplementary Education, which was published in December 2013… Continue reading

Visas, Medicine, Education: Feeling Chinese Soft Power in Mongolia

Pacific Prospective features the research of graduate students.

Memo #256

By Jargalsaikhan Mendee – mendee [at] alumni.ubc.ca

China has been gradually increasing its soft power in neighbouring Mongolia, from offers of visa-free travel to access to its medical facilities, and most recently, growing educational opportunities in China for Mongolians. These policies have gone far in diminishing… Continue reading

Japan-China Relations: Issues and Prospects (Video Interview with Akio Takahara) – Part 1 of 2

Memo #253

Featuring Akio Takahara

Recently the Asia Pacific Memo sat down with Dr. Akio Takahara, Professor in the Graduate School of Law and Politics at the University of Tokyo and a recognized authority on contemporary Chinese politics, international relations in East Asia, and Japan-China relations in particular.

In this first part of a two-part video memo, Dr… Continue reading

China’s Environmental Education: A Mandate Unfulfilled

Memo #245

By Rob Efird – efirdr [at] seattleu.edu

China’s environmental impacts are front-page news. We have all seen the pictures of smog-choked cities and fouled waterways, and many of us know that China is the single largest source of the carbon emissions that drive global warming. It is encouraging, then, that in 2003 China’s Ministry of Education mandated environmental… Continue reading

Tertiary Education in Mongolia: Tackling Mongolia’s Labor Deficit Problem

The Mongolian economy is booming and continues to enjoy an extremely high GDP growth rate. Economic opportunities for citizens in urban and rural settings abound. Mining is a major portion of the economy, with the massive Oyu Tolgoi mining project accounting for a third of Mongolia’s GDP. While World Bank development projects focus on infrastructure development, economic governance and institutional strengthening of the mining sector, the demand for a sufficiently educated Mongolian workforce remains unmet. Continue reading

What is Language For? “Other” vs. “Heritage” Language Education in Australia

Australia is an ethno-linguistically diverse country with more than 15% of people speaking languages other than English, or a heritage language, at home. While learning English can contribute to immigrant students’ socioeconomic and educational success, heritage language maintenance facilitates maintaining ties with family and community members unable to speak English, avoiding a potential generation gap in immigrant families. Heritage language maintenance refers to a situation where immigrants continue using their languages in a host society. Additionally, maintaining a heritage language and ethnic identity are interconnected; individuals who lost their heritage languages reported feeling as though a part of their identities were missing. Finally, heritage language maintenance promotes multilingualism in society, which facilitates economic, cultural and political communications among countries. Continue reading

Judo in Japanese Schools – Concerns about Safety

Memo #191 – Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe oversaw the revision of the 1947 Fundamental Law of Education to emphasise traditional “Japanese values” in 2006. As one direct result of this, traditional martial arts became compulsory in junior high schools in April 2012. Unlike the initial opposition to the new law, opposition to this particular aspect has not been led by teachers’ unions and their political allies, but by parents concerned about the health and safety of their children. Continue reading

Tokdo/Takeshima Island Dispute: A Call for Educators to Act towards Mutual Understanding

Memo #184 – The tiny island that lies between Japan and Korea – Takeshima (竹島) in Japan and Tokdo (독도) in Korea – is at the centre of a territorial dispute and serious bilateral tension. This is nothing new. The island, along with other remnants of Japan’s colonial aggression in Korea, has sparked diplomatic issues throughout postwar history. Despite unprecedented levels of cultural, academic, and economic exchange between the two nations, the dispute continues to be defined by a persistent legacy of colonialism and growing nationalism. Japanese and Korean political leaders demand that educators legitimate territorial claims by including these in their national curricula. But if educators comply uncritically, we will undermine future generations’ development of mutual understanding and respect. Continue reading


Memo #184 (English translation available) – 日本と韓国の間に浮かぶ小島 ―日本側呼称は竹島、韓国側呼称は獨島(トクト)― を巡る領有権争いが、二国間に緊張関係をもたらしている。もちろん、この手の問題は何も目新しいことではなく、今件のような日本の過去の植民地政策の残滓は両国間の外交問題として戦後たびたび浮上してきた。今回の緊張関係に目新しい点があるとすれば、近年日韓の距離がとりわけ文化面において急速に縮まった中で、これが生じている点であろう。交流増加の一方で、依然として二国関係が過去の暴力の記憶と内向きなナショナリズムによって規定されていることを、今回の出来事は物語っている。領土問題が外交問題化するや否や、両国の政治家たちは挙って自己の領有権を正当化することを教育現場に指示した。だが教師たちがこの方針に無批判に従うならば、二国間の相互理解と尊重を将来の世代に育むという理想は更に遠のいてしまう。 Continue reading