"The international community knows very little about Chinese schools as it is difficult for researchers to gain the confidence of the schools,” says PhD candidate Deyun Yang from mainland China. “I am very fortunate that four of the best selective schools in China have given me access to conduct interviews and examine their practices.”
Deyun Yang (MEd 2012) is examining the marketing practices of four highly selective 'demonstrative' secondary schools in China. She believes this may be one of the first times that the work of these government-run schools has been observed and analysed.
"As a Chinese citizen applying a Western framework of best practice in education management and marketing I bring a unique perspective to this research,” Deyun explains.
“Ultimately I would like to find a way to contribute to the high school education system in China. My long term ambition is to apply all I have learnt to contribute to current literature in educational administration in my home country.”
Deyun is the grand-daughter of one of the founders of Harbin Medical University in Northern China. All of her family are employed in the university sector so her plan to travel abroad to undertake a PhD in Education at the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education was met with unconditional support.
Leaving her infant son in the care of her husband and parents, Deyun has 'commuted' between Harbin and Melbourne for the past three years to complete her research.
Deyun’s research is supported by the Riady Scholarship which helps her finance the extensive travel needed to reach the four schools and gives her flexibility to work in with the timetables of the people that she needs to interview at each school.
“What I want to understand is how these highly sought-after schools market themselves, are they meeting the needs of their markets, and are there any links between marketing and institutional performance.
“These schools are giving me unprecedented access to their teachers, students, parents and management,” says Deyun, "so I must be flexible to fit the focus groups and interviews around their availability.”
The Riady Scholarship was established by Indonesian alumnus Mr James Riady (BCom 1977, International House) to provide support for high achieving research students to undertake fieldwork in Asia.