Education with(out) distinction: Beyond graduate attributes for Chinese international students

Xianlin Song, Kate Cadman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Everyone, without distinction, is educable; Education should be provided for all without distinction — Confucius, Analects 15.39 Introduction Recently a scholar from the Chinese National Academy of Educational Administration, Jianfu Yu (2009), has argued strongly for the continued relevance of Confucian educational principles in a pluralistic cultural world, especially for contemporary European-based civilizations. One of the principles unequivocally embraced by Yu and others (Yang 1999/1993; Cheng, 2009) lies at the heart of Confucian educational philosophy (Analects 15; see epigraph). In our researchintensive Australian university, we found ourselves challenged by this principle as we investigated curriculum for a new initiative, a research-based Asian Studies course for the final-year of the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of International Studies degrees. This course is one of a suite of courses offered under the banner of Advanced Chinese by the University's Centre for Asian Studies (CAS). Entitled Research Project for Chinese Speakers (RPFCS), it is designed to address the rapidly increasing numbers of Chinese international students in the University, and is thus only offered to students who are Chinese speakers. Interestingly, through our investigations it became clear that this famous Confucian edict offers two possibilities for translation into English. The first of these (see epigraph) suggests that everyone, equally, has the capacity to be educated, placing the focus of the Analect's meaning on the learner. The second translation moves the burden of responsibility to the education provider, implying that everyone, equally, has the right to be educated.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBridging Transcultural Divides
Subtitle of host publicationAsian Languages and Cultures in Global Higher Education
PublisherUniversity of Adelaide Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781922064318
ISBN (Print)9781922064301
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


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