Training Farmers or Educating Citizens?

A Very Brief History of Rural Education in China

  • Stig Thøgersen Aarhus University
Keywords: China, rural education, agricultural education


Jørgen Delman’s Ph.D. thesis “Agricultural Extension in Renshou County, China” (1991) was the result of his return to academia in the late 1980s after he worked for three years at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN in China. It is a detailed study of the complex rural bureaucracy promoting agricultural innovation and change and reflects a deep understanding of how things worked on the ground in those relatively early years of market-oriented rural reforms. It also contributes to a larger story of how ‘modern’ knowledge over the last century has been transmitted and negotiated between China’s urban centers and its countless rural communities. This vignette offers some thoughts on this larger topic.

Author Biography

Stig Thøgersen, Aarhus University
STIG THØGERSEN is emeritus professor of China Studies, Aarhus University. He was Jørgen Delman’s classmate at Aarhus University in the 1970s and they have later worked closely together on several China-related research projects.


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