The purpose of this paper is to investigate the problems experienced by the higher education system under the Nationalist Government of China (the Nanking Government, established in 1927), especially in the period when the League of Nations' Mission of Educational Experts surveyed the Chinese educational situation in 1931.
The paper focuses on the characteristics and the limitations of the employment system for academic teaching staff at the time the League of Nations' Mission visited China. In the Mission's report, a special section on the higher education system headed "Criticism of Educational Standards and Methods," looked at the various problems experienced by the academic teaching staff and compared them to problems experienced within the Chinese university education system. This paper discusses the government's regulations relating to the employment of academic teaching staff and how problems with the regulations were used in 1931 as a premise for inspection by the Mission.
The discussion of the regulations looks at three aspects: 1) the regulations in respect to the qualifications of the academic teaching staff; 2) the regulations for vetting candidates for academic employment and for the nomination of staff; and 3) the regulations governing the terms and conditions of academic teachers.
The first part of the paper describes the regulations relating to the qualifications of the academic staff and some of the problems experienced with the regulations in 1931, when compared to those in existence at the end of the Qing dynasty and the Militaristic Government of China (i.e., the Peking Government, 1912-28). The findings are as follows: 1) the regulations enacted by the Nanking Government were more rational than those enacted by earlier governments; but 2) the requirements relating to qualifications were too abstract; and 3) some qualification requirements were impractical.
The second part of the paper addresses the regulations for the vetting candidates and the nomination of staff, particularly the fact that no regulations for the vetting of candidates for employment were enacted from the end of the Qing dynasty until 1931, and that the regulation for the nomination of staff was the only regulation governing the promotion of academic staff enacted by the Chinese Republic Government prior to 1931.
The third part of the paper focuses on the regulations relating to the terms and conditions of academic teaching staff. The results were as follows: 1) the proclamation of the regulations against concurrently holding posts at several institutes and illegally accepting salaries were in existence from the period of the Peking Government; besides 2) the regulations for the term system, that is the system of setting the terms of contracts and renewing contracts, were probably enacted by most universities; and 3) these various regulations relating to the terms and conditions severely affected the psychological state of academic teaching staff during the Chinese political and economical crisis.
In conclusion, it can be confirmed that the government's regulations on the employment of academic teaching staff issued before the League of Nations' Mission of Educational Experts visited China in 1931 have connoted many problems. Therefore the various problems faced by the academic teaching staff, as referred to in the Mission's report, were certainly connected to the functional inefficiency of the higher educational system.