Chinese Minzu education in higher education: An inspiration for 'Western' diversity education?

Mei Yuan, Sude, Tian Wang, Wan Zhang, Ning Chen, Ashley Simpson, Fred Dervin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Calls for complementing, modifying and ‘decolonising’ the conceptualisation and implementation of Diversity Education (e.g. multicultural, intercultural, and/or social justice education) are currently being heard in the ‘West’. This paper explores some of the characteristics and benefits of Chinese Minzu Education as a potential addition to the field. Our starting point is that Chinese education is often misrepresented and that knowledge about diversity in China (which includes, amongst others, minority groups and Han people), and especially about how people are educated for and through it, is scarce and negatively evaluated in the ‘West’. Taking a university specialising in Minzu studies as a case study (which should not be generalized to other Minzu institutions), we problematise formal and informal aspects of Minzu education that could be inspiring to, e.g. interculturalists and multiculturalists in ‘Western’ education. Fieldwork notes, student interviews about Minzu education and models of Minzu Diversity Learning co-constructed by Minzu students, illustrate the characteristics of Minzu education in higher education. The paper ends on a call for exploring other ‘unknown’ perspectives on diversity in education emerging from the so-called peripheries of the ‘West’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-486
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Studies
Issue number4
Early online date30 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2020


  • diversity
  • intercultural
  • multicultural
  • Minzu education
  • higher eduucation
  • China


Dive into the research topics of 'Chinese Minzu education in higher education: An inspiration for 'Western' diversity education?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this