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Regular version of the site

Working paper

People’s Liberation Army’s Recruitment Policy For Civilian Universities Graduates In 1990s-2010s

WP BRP Series. International Relations / IR. НИУ ВШЭ, 2020. No. 37.
Kashin V., Smirnova V.
In the end of the XX century the PLA faced a challenge of the possibility of the outbreak of a high-tech war, which required it to improve technical capacity and raise the quality of human resources. The latter was ensured by establishing cooperation with civilian universities and colleges used as a source of qualified science and engineering personnel. The PLA strategy to attract highly-qualified personnel has changed over time, including the experiments with the establishment of the model resembling the US ROTC program aimed at combining advantages of military and civilian education. Notably, though guofansheng or defense students program used to be one of the prominent channels of attracting students from civilian universities and colleges, it has been terminated. The paper focuses on revealing the reasons behind the termination as well as specifics of the program. It is concluded that the program has failed to overcome civil-military divide and successfully integrate guofangsheng into the army. It is noted that at the current moment, there is a gradual shift towards recruitment primarily from among university graduates having served in the army, while adapting the enrolment structure of undergraduate students in military academies.