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The incentivisation of English medium instruction in Chinese universities: Policy misfires and misalignments

Xu, X; Rose, H; McKinley, J; Zhou, S; (2021) The incentivisation of English medium instruction in Chinese universities: Policy misfires and misalignments. Applied Linguistics Review 10.1515/applirev-2021-0181. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The growth of English medium instruction (EMI) in higher education in China over the past two decades has been promoted via implicit and explicit policies that aim to incentivise activities associated with the creation of English-taught courses and programs. This study investigates the components of such incentivisation schemes. It also explores how incentivisation policies are being implemented by policy arbiters, EMI programme directors, and EMI teachers. Data were collected from two sources: 93 institutional policy documents on EMI provision collected from 63 Chinese universities, and 26 interviews with senior university staff at a selection of eight Chinese universities. Results revealed that incentivisation policies focused on increased workload weighting for EMI courses, greater access to career development opportunities for teachers, increased monetary rewards, and dedicated financial support for creating and delivering courses. A comparison of policy and practice revealed areas of policy misfires and misalignments. EMI teachers considered the workload incentives insufficient and were not primarily motivated by financial rewards, but rather chose to teach in English for professional, academic, and personal intrinsic rewards; many viewed EMI at the core of their teacher-researcher academic identities. The paper concludes with recommendations to better align incentivisation policies with the driving forces attached to EMI in China.

Type: Article
Title: The incentivisation of English medium instruction in Chinese universities: Policy misfires and misalignments
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1515/applirev-2021-0181
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2021-0181
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 Xin Xu et al., published by De Gruyter, Berlin/Boston This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Keywords: Chinese higher education; EMI driving forces; English medium instruction; higher education policy; incentivisation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10140729
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