AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
The paper investigates the development of education for the publishing industry in China in the past twenty years, with a focus on the middle and late 1990s. In the introduction, the overall situation of the publishing industry and book sales is presented. The author discusses the current situation of education for publishing, consisting of higher education, mid-level education and professional training. In the main body of the paper, he also describes publishing majors in various universities and courses they offer, and analyzes the problems with the courses as well as counter measures from the publishing industry. The concluding part of the paper explores the influence of the World Trade Organization and the application of new technologies on education for publishing.
China's publishing industry began to regain its strength in the early 1980s and tremendous advances have been achieved in this industry in the last 20 years. The number of publishing houses has increased to 566 in the year 2000, while there were only 214 in1981. The industry has a total of 46,390 employees at present. There were 73,898 bookstore retailers by the end of 1999, among which 10,376 belonged to Xinhua Book Store, and over 240,000 employees were engaged in book distribution.(1) Since the government takes the publishing industry under strict control, the number of the publishing houses has not increased much. However, the scale or volume of the business has been growing fast throughout the recent years. In 1999, more than 140,000 titles were published in China, and 7,329 million volumes were sold, with total sales estimated to reach a total of $4.3 billion. This means that an average of 5.82 books were sold per person in China last year.(2)
The most distinctive of China's book market is that students are the major consumers within the market. According to statistics, textbooks and supplement books only account for 20 percent of the titles published, while their sales volume occupy 70 percent of the whole book market. The textbooks represent the largest amount of the profit of the publishing business.(3) The profit rate of publishing industry kept increasing by 20 percent from 1996 to 1998 and the profit was $382 million in 1998. It represented the 12th rank among the 37 industries throughout the country. The rapid development and growth of the industry included a tremendous recruitment of new employees. The industry has a great demand for employees with related professional backgrounds and training. In addition, with the employment of computers, the Internet, and the introduction of electronic publishing, publishing employees have to update their knowledge frequently to meet more and more challenges within their own business. Therefore, various education institutions have to assume the responsibility of providing human resources for the publishing industry in the future.
A Brief Introduction to Higher Education for the Publishing Industry
The development of higher education for the publishing industry in China is due to the prosperity of the industry itself. Before the 1980s, there was no other college offering publishing professional education than the Beijing Printing College in China. Then in 1983, Wuhan University cooperated with Xinhua Bookstore, which is the largest (and state-owned) book distributor, to set up a department of book distribution identified as the Book and Information Institution of the University. Graduates of this major are awarded a bachelor's degree after four years study, and more than 2,000 graduates from this department have entered into publishing business in the last twenty years. After that, some universities such as Anhui University and Nanjing University successively set up majors of book distribution to train distribution professionals. In 1984, Beijing University, Nankai University, and Fudan University set up majors of "editing" which focused on the publishing process. Then Tsinghua University and University of Science and Technology of China established majors of editing for publishing books in the sciences subject area. There are several colleges offering courses on printing and related graphic arts technologies. The Central Institution of Arts and Crafts and Beijing Printing College have majors of book design and binding.(4) The Beijing Printing College is the largest and most comprehensive site for cultivating professionals for publishing and printing in China. It consists of seven departments, which include publishing, administration, art and design, foreign languages, engineering, electronics, printing, and binding. There are over 2,000 students attending the college, with 700 graduates each year.(5)
The growth of the publishing industry caused demands for more highly educated professionals. Therefore, some universities such as Wuhan University, Beijing Normal University, Tsinghua University and Beijing Printing College began to offer postgraduate courses. The graduates receive an MA degree and then teach or enter the publishing and printing professions. However, nearly all postgraduates of publishing studies are required to take courses in journalism offered by their universities. In recent years, teachers and experts in this field have been requesting the establishment of an independent postgraduate program that addresses only publishing studies.
TABLE 1 a list of the universities who have the majors for publishings(6) Editing Major Anhui University …