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Foreword

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 October 2011

Norman Uphoff
Affiliation:
Cornell University
Ronnie Vernooy
Affiliation:
Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada
Li Xiaoyun
Affiliation:
Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada
Xu Xiuli
Affiliation:
Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada
Lu Min
Affiliation:
Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada
Qi Gubo
Affiliation:
Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada
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Summary

This book documents with detail and insight an initiative to reorient the teaching and research of Chinese universities so that their faculty and students could make more direct and significant contributions to what has come to be known as ‘Community Based Resource Management’ (CBNRM).

There have been some previous initiatives in the domain of economic and social development to achieve what has been referred to as ‘bureaucratic reorientation’ (Korten and Uphoff, 1981), or BRO in brief. Not many efforts have been made explicitly to achieve ‘university reorientation,’ which is the focus of this book – curriculum reform, changing staff responsibilities, moving research and learning activities to field locations, introducing new criteria for achievement.

One of the lessons from other experience with BRO is that institutional reorientation needs to be part of some goal-oriented, substantive undertaking, embarking upon reorientation for its own sake is not likely to be successful. People are generally resistant to being ‘reoriented’ unless they regard the changes being proposed in organisational structure, mission, staffing, incentives, accountability, etc., as serving some compelling or transcendent purpose (Uphoff et al., 1991). The forces of collective inertia and individual rationalisation and defensiveness reinforce and raise the costs of making institutional changes.

The admonition of Italian political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli in his classic treatise The Prince may sound extreme, but the essence of his message has seldom been contested – ‘It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, normore dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things.’

Type
Chapter
Information
Learning from the Field
Innovating China's Higher Education System
, pp. v - xiv
Publisher: Foundation Books
Print publication year: 2008

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  • Foreword
  • Edited by Ronnie Vernooy, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, Li Xiaoyun, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, Xu Xiuli, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, Lu Min, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, Qi Gubo, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada
  • Book: Learning from the Field
  • Online publication: 26 October 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/UPO9788175968707.001
Available formats
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Send book to Dropbox

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  • Foreword
  • Edited by Ronnie Vernooy, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, Li Xiaoyun, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, Xu Xiuli, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, Lu Min, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, Qi Gubo, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada
  • Book: Learning from the Field
  • Online publication: 26 October 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/UPO9788175968707.001
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Foreword
  • Edited by Ronnie Vernooy, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, Li Xiaoyun, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, Xu Xiuli, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, Lu Min, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada, Qi Gubo, Senior Programme Specialist, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada
  • Book: Learning from the Field
  • Online publication: 26 October 2011
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/UPO9788175968707.001
Available formats
×