Pros and Cons of University Merger and Development Strategies: A Case Study of Jilin University in China


In 1993, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council made a decision to gradually promote the reform of the higher education system, put forward the eight character policy slogan of “readjustment, restructuring, consolidation, and improvement”, and successively merged 637 colleges and universities into 70 multidisciplinary and comprehensive colleges and universities. Jilin University was formed on June 12, 2000 by the merger of the former Jilin University, Jilin University of Technology, Norman Bethune Medical University, Changchun University of Science and Technology and Changchun Institute of Posts and Telecommunications. On August 29, 2004, the former Quartermaster University of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army was transferred to Jilin University. Jilin University is a typical case of university merger. It has been more than 30 years since the “wave of university merger” in the 1990s. Timely summarizing the relevant experience and lessons is conducive to providing reference experience for university decision-making in the future. Firstly, this paper analyzes the reasons for the merger of colleges and universities, analyzes the necessity of the merger of colleges and universities from three aspects: the lack of educational resources, the discipline structure not meeting the requirements of the time, and the reform of government institutions. The authors take Jilin University as an example to summarize the benefits of the merger of colleges and universities from both theoretical and empirical aspects. As a mode of university development, merger also has its problems in the choice of merger policy and the process of merger. Finally, in view of these existing problems, this paper summarizes the relevant solutions of Jilin University, and puts forward supplementary measures from the perspective of the government, universities and teachers and students, hoping to provide experience for the practice of university merger.