ABSTRACT

This chapter provides a kind of snapshot of the Central South region, taken in the spring of 1992, not long after Deng Xiaoping's celebrated visit to Shenzhen in February of that year, amid the economic ferment that resulted from it. In the Central South region, three provinces belong to the developing central region—Henan, Hubei, and Hunan, while three belong to the developed eastern coastal region—Guangdong, the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, and Hainan Island. The intention had been that national-level institutions in each province would serve both the Central South region and broader national needs, with annual student intakes and graduate job assignments tightly controlled by central planning mechanisms. The first World Bank project directly involving provincial institutions was the polytechnic and television university project, launched in 1983, which assisted seventeen vocational universities across the nation, including several in the Central South region, as well as television universities in each province.