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Omparison between Chinese student protest and British student protest - Essay Example

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Student movement can also be referred to as student activism. Weiss and Aspinall describe student activism as “a collective action by university students directed toward (and often against) the ruling regime” (2012, p. 2)…
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Omparison between Chinese student protest and British student protest
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Download file to see previous pages 2). The nature of all student movements is irregular. This is because they are on and off lasting only a short time despite the fact that there are a few cases of sustained action for change. The rise of activist movements, as well as their collapse is difficult to predict. The lack of continuity of students’ movements happens due to different structural and possibly psychological reasons. For example, in most academic systems, there is a lot of free time that allows plenty of student life to be appropriated to politics. Altbach points out that “in the traditional European systems, examinations were infrequent and the pace of studies was almost entirely determined by the student” (1998, p. 105). As a result of this, student leaders were able to maintain their student status, and still entirely commit themselves to politics. The education system in America makes it problematic for student leaders to fully engage in campaigns and matters of state, while prolonged action for change is more difficult. According to Altbach, “in the American system, the permanent student syndrome, which is common in some European and Third World nations is not easy to do and student leadership, as a result, is more transitory” (1998, p. 105)....
“Student movements may be impatient for results precisely because the leadership realises that the movement may be short-lived” (Altbach, 1998, p. 106). Students also engage in protests in a struggle for idealistic causes. In such causes, student movements connect with labour unions, political parties, and other non-campus organisations, but the associations are very temporary. Background of Student Movements The earliest forms of student activism occurred in the 1800s (Eckel, 2006). Through petitions, sit-ins, demonstrations, and other forms of protests, students got to indirectly influence decision making in campus, since they could not participate in policy making. However, it was not until the 1960s that students got to engage in official and formal input in policy making (Eckel, 2006). Prior to the 1960s, students only played the role of learning in campuses, and were not consulted in policy making. This however changed as a result of changing social circumstances causing students to engage in movements demanding for their inclusion in university policy making. Eckel points out that “several structural changes occurred as a result of these demands, including the redevelopment and strengthening of student government and emergence of new structures, such as student trustees and student lobbies” (2006, pp. 94-95). Up until the 1900s, student movements were not organised although students engaged in them to protest about ineffective teaching, poor quality food, or overwhelming course requirements (Eckel, 2006). “After 1900, organised student groups began to form, and they provided a locus for not only campus issues, but also for broader societal concerns” (Eckel, 2006, p. 95). There was campus movements focussed on issues beyond the campus, such as ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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