Yiran Li

Postgraduate Research

Research Areas: Policy Design, Impact & Evaluation, Measures of Social Inequality & Wellbeing, Chinese Social Policy

Research Topic: Public-Private Partnerships in Rural Education: A New Organisation of Basic Schooling under China's Urbanisation
Supervisor: A/Prof Bingqin Li
Co-Supervisor: Dr Ayxem Eli

In both MRes and PhD projects, Yiran continues to focus on basic education in rural China, evaluating educational governance, quality and inequity.

Research Summary:

Yiran's PhD project aims to evaluate China's emerging model of provision of basic education in rural areas. Responding to the nation's New Urbanisation Plan (2014-2020), grass-root governments are experimenting public-private partnerships (PPPs) with businesses that are specilised in educational core services, such as school management, course development and teacher training. This educational PPP model has been officially praised as a revolutionary solution which manage to duplicate quality education from urban elite schools to less developed rural areas. Being one of the first studies on this topic, the project uses qualitative methods to analyse the economic and social effects of such organisation of basic schooling in the urbnisation process of rural China.


• Li, Yiran. (2018). “Praxis makes preference: Grassroot governance of school funding in rural China with evidence from a northeast county” Australian and International Journal of Rural Education (forthcoming);

• Li, Yiran, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, UNSW. (2015). Is it a fairer play? Effectiveness evaluation of china's funding mechanism for rural education.

• Li, Yiran. (2014). “Equalising policies equals to education equity? A case study on the implementation of new compulsory education policies in rural China”. Rural Education Midpoint Publishing and Nanjing University 2014,

• Li, Yiran. (2012). “Dewey’s Education on Experience: Reflection on Its Application in China’s Rural Education”. Rural Education, Midpoint Publishing and Nanjing University 1 (1), 71- 82.

• Li, Yiran. (2004) Analysis on IELTS Tests – Reading. Shanghai: Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press.

Conference Papers or Presentations

• The Asian Conference on Education & International Development, Japan, March 2018

• Keynote Speech at Annual Conference of The Chinese Language Teachers Association of NSW Incorporated, Sydney, August 2016;

• ASPAC (Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast Conference), USA, June 2016;

• The 31st SPERA (Society for the Provision of Education in Rural Australia) National Conference, Canberra, November 2014;

• The 9th Annual Conference of the Asian Studies Associate of Hong Kong March 2014;

• The 13th Biennial Conference of the Chinese Studies Association of Australia, Hobart, July 2013