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ZHONG Bingshu Beijing Sport University DONG Jinxia Peking University. A Study of Health-oriented University Sport Reform in China. 4. 1. 2. 3. Contents. Introduction. Conceptualization. Health-centered reform in USC. 4. Problems to be addressed in future USC. Introduction-BSU.

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ZHONG Bingshu

Beijing Sport University

DONG Jinxia

Peking University

A Study of Health-oriented University Sport Reform in China









Health-centered reform in USC


Problems to be addressed in future USC






  • BSU, originally named as the CIPE, was founded in 1953 and renamed as the BIPE in 1956, and then BSU in 1993.

  • It is under the leadership of the State Sports Administration.

1、Physical Education

7、Sports Administration

2、Sports Coaching

8、Sports Communication

3、Social Sports

9、Sports Psychology

4、Sports Science

10、International Sports

5、Martial Art

11、Sports Performance

6、Sports Rehabilitation

12、Sports Business


  • BSU has 6 doctor programs, 10 master programs and 12 majors for undergraduate students.


  • BSU has developed its international exchanges and collaborations with 43 universities and sports organization from 22 nations and regions.

  • It has also accepted over 3000 overseas students from 103 countries.


  • University sport, a combination of university and sport, is self-evidently of significance.

  • First, university is an important institution in modern society.

  • It is a place where our philosophical, political, economic and moral values on society and human beings are shaped.


  • Second, virtually no student is immune from the impact of sport – either through direct participation in sports training and competition or watching others playing or simply chatting with peers about competition or sports stars.

  • Indeed, university sport has played prominent roles in the expression of university identity, in enriching campus live and in promoting students physical, psychological and social well beings.


  • In addition, most students finalize their philosophy of life and their lifestyle while they are in college.

  • Therefore, the importance of university sport should not be underestimated.

  • Based on literature reviews, observation and interview, this paper will introduce the development of such reform in China, analyses the problems facing university sport today and address the relevant issues and challenges in initiating further changes in university sport.


  • What is university sport?

  • Different nations might have different definitions about it.

  • University sport in China consists of physical education classes, varsity sports and recreational sports undertaken either through organized sports clubs, gym or individual participation.


  • “Health”, according to the WHO as early as in 1947, refers not only to the state of not being ill and weak, but also to physical, psychological and social wellbeing.

  • Understanding the importance of university sport to the health of people and the nation at large, China started its nation-wide university sport’s reform and put emphasis on health promotion through sports and physical education since the early 1990s.

Health centered reform in university sport in china
Health-centered reform in University Sport in China

  • In the era of satellite television, the Internet and cellular phones students tend to sit more and do less physical activities, especially outdoor exercises.

  • Lack of sufficient physical activities is a problem facing a number of students, which resulted in the decline of fitness level.

  • According to a report on national physique test in 2004, the fitness of Chinese students, particularly in muscular strength, endurance and flexibility, had declined significantly over the past 15 years.

  • Physical inactivity is associated with the increased risk of many chronic diseases.

Health centered reform in university sport in china1
Health-centered reform in University Sport in China

  • Since the mid-1990s with the increasing autonomy in management and curriculum construction, a number of universities have initiated rapid and significant changes in their physical education.

  • Borrowing from the Western practices that students make their own choice on whether to join a sports club or go to gym to do exercises or do no exercise at all, which is advantageous in stimulating students’ initiative in sports and developing life-long sports habit, most universities have provided more selective PE courses and diversity of sports club activities for students.

Health centered reform in university sport in china2
Health-centered reform in University Sport in China

  • The Ministry of Education and the State Sports Administration endorsed jointly in 2002 the “Criteria for Students Fitness”, and the Ministry of Education put the new “National Program of Physical Education Courses for Universities”, replacing the ten-year old one.

  • Various health or fitness centers have being set up in universities one after another and fitness tests have been carried out in schools and universities throughout the country.

The changing goals of university sport
The Changing Goals of University Sport

Health-centered reform in University Sport in China

System of Course Goals

New Program

Old Program

Skill-centered PE

Sports participating



Health caring

Fitness enhancing

Health centered reform in university sport in china3
Health-centered reform in University Sport in China

  • The belief that “greater health benefits can be achieved by increasing the amount of physical activity” led to the launch of the nation-wide program of “Sunny PE and Sport for Hundreds of Million Students” initiated by the Ministry of Education in 2006.

  • Recently, it is advocated that fitness test should become an important index to measure local and school physical education development, and students fitness and health will be taken into account in college enrollment and graduation.

Problems to be addressed in future university sport in china
Problems to be addressed in future university sport in China

  • Generally speaking, university sport has become institutionalized in China.

  • In the light of the changes made so far and the unavoidable difficulties that lie ahead, the future of Chinese physical education is far from ideal.

  • First, the educational philosophy which is influenced by Chinese traditional culture is hard to change.

  • Chinese tradition granted the highest status to men who achieved success in imperial academic examinations.

  • Book knowledge was stressed and gentleness was regarded as an important quality of man.

  • Sport was despised as lower-class activity.

  • Thus, the deteriorating physical state of Chinese students has not been reversed significantly.

Problems to be addressed in future university sport in china1
Problems to be addressed in future university sport in China

  • Second, more attention should be given to the psychological benefits that sport can generate.

  • While China has become a more affluent and modern country more and more people feel stressed and the occurrence of mental illness has risen significantly in the past years.

  • According to a national survey of 14,000 college students, 54 % of the students who discontinued their studies did so due to psychiatric disorder.

  • How to improve students mental health has become the major concern.


  • University sport has become a very important institution by any reasonable measures – participation rate, media coverage, financial support and corporate sponsorships as well as spectators.

  • It plays prominent roles in building university identity, in promoting students physical and psychological health and in improving students’ live quality.  

  • University sport in China comprises P.E. classes, sports clubs, varsity sports teams, module of sports theory subjects, and sports research centers.

  • Guided by the “Criteria for Students Fitness” in 2002, the idea of “health first” was stressed.


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