China has gone through great social, political and economic changes since the market reforms in the late 1970s, which replaced the planned economy by market mechanisms to allocate resources more effi ciently. An open-door policy was adopted at the same time to help China to integrate into and interact with the world economy. In this context, many articles set to discuss governance changes in education, emphasizing the global context and impact of globalization on education reforms (e.g., Currie, 1998; Eggins, 2003; Mok, 2005a, 2005b). It is noticed that widespread ideologies, such as neo-liberalism, have signifi cantly infl uenced the governance style of individual countries. The retreat of the welfare state undoubtedly calls for the market to fi ll the gaps. At the same time, the neo-liberal thinking also encourages the government to deregulate the delivery of public services in order fully to utilize market tools and resources. Consequently, strategies such as privatization, marketization, decentralization and corporatization have been widely used to reform public services. A number of factors, including economic, academic, cultural and political rationales, are seen as drivers of the restructuring and reforms in a globalized world (Eggins, 2003).