Policy and Public Preferences Regarding the University Enrollment Quotas System across Chinese Provinces
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The University Enrollment Quota Policy in China determines the proportion of Chinese University Entrance Exam (known colloquially in China as the Gaokao) takers in each province that is admitted to the country’s universities each year. This policy strongly favors Gaokao takers from just eight provinces, while those from the other 23 provinces have no quota privilege. In this article, we find evidence that this policy negatively affects the public’s preferences regarding the university enrollment quotas policy after examining the relationship between changes in university enrollment quotas and public preference in 23 Chinese provinces from 2011 through 2016. This relationship is consistent with what is predicted by the “thermostatic” responsiveness model, which has only been tested in democracies until now. We also test whether government policy is responsive to public preferences and find that government policy is not responsive to the general public in this issue domain. Our findings support the argument for deep reform of the university enrollment quota policy to address the core disparities in quotas across provinces and improve equal access to higher education in China.
Keywordsuniversity enrollment quotas policy public responsiveness equal rights in higher education China
National Planning Office of Philosophy and Social Science from China (15BZZ072).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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