From Learning Theory to Academic Organisation: The Institutionalisation of Higher Education Teaching Assistant Position in China

Chandu Lal Chandrakar, Yuan Bentao


This exploratory study critically investigates the teaching assistant regulations of higher education institutions of China. On the basis of content analysis of the teaching assistant regulations of five premier universities of China this study analyses the possible discrepancies that might compromise the principles of transparency, equal opportunity and encouraging excellence as stipulated in the vision, mission, and goal of the regulations.
Teacher assistants do make more than two third of the academic staff at the universities in China. Besides, China has a second largest higher education system in terms of scale in the world. Practices of sharing skills and imparting knowledge at these institutions have been intermediated by a semi-institutionalized position, called ‘teacher assistants’. It’s therefore, the informal submission of assignments without record at the PhD level questions the purpose of integrity and academic freedom of the higher education at the universities.
On the basis of an instrumentalised framework guided by the dimensions of decision making and learning organization theories this study using content analysis has formulated the recommendations for the institutions while selecting and training the students as teaching assistants. A critical but logical illustration of the teaching assistant regulations has also been detailed regarding academic integrity in this study.

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Copyright (c) 2018 International Journal of Higher Education

International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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