Equity Issues in Chinese Higher Education Policy: A Case Study of the Enrolment Expansion Policy

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Investigating the highly influential enrolment expansion policy in Chinese higher education, this book outlines how educational equity issues were understood and addressed in the formulation and implementation of the policy, and its impacts on the socio-economic fabric of China in the past decades.

Drawing on Chinese policy documents and interviews with government and university representatives, Zhang examines the education system under the Mao era and the post-Mao era and outlines the different approaches to equity that have characterized education in China in the 20th and 21st centuries. Stephen Ball’s "policy cycle" is used as a framework to analyse the various contexts (text, discourse, and social practice) in which policy is formed. Zhang argues that education policy was not simply driven by concerns of equity but also by economic interests and political discourse. Zhang further goes on to analyse how education policy was implemented by provincial governments and highlights the tension between central policy and on-the-ground implementation.

Bringing analysis of Chinese policy and research to a wider audience, this text will interest education policymakers and academics in the field of educational equity and higher education research.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
Number of pages200
ISBN (Electronic)9781003328889
ISBN (Print)9781032358345, 9781032358352
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Publication series

NameEducation and Society in China


  • Higher Education
  • Education Policy
  • China
  • Educational equity
  • Asian study

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