Advertisement

Massification of Higher Education: Challenges for Admissions and Graduate Employment in China

  • Ka Ho MokEmail author
  • Jin Jiang
Chapter
Part of the Higher Education in Asia: Quality, Excellence and Governance book series (HEAQEG)

Abstract

With a strong conviction to transform the country and prepare its people to cope with the growing challenges of the globalizing market, the Chinese government has actively increased more opportunities of higher education. The higher education system experienced a transformation from elite to mass form. The massification of higher education has provided more and more accesses to junior college and universities, and subsequently produced a growing number of college graduates looking for jobs in labor market. Similar to other East Asian countries/economies like South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, the strong impacts of China’s expansion of higher education on higher education admission and labor market are expected to appear. College students start to doubt the effect of higher education massification on bringing more equality in admission and improving their competitiveness in the job market. This, in turn, leads to a wide dissatisfaction of higher education development in China. Realizing students coming from different family backgrounds may confront diverse experiences in higher education admission, graduate employment, and opportunity for upward social mobility, this chapter sets out against the policy context highlighted above to critically examine the impact of the massification of higher education on admissions and subsequently on graduate employment and social mobility in contemporary China. In the final section, this chapter also reflects upon reconstructing new education governance framework in promoting educational equality when higher education is massively expanded.

Keywords

High Education Labor Market Family Background Educational Inequality College Attendance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Acemoglu, D., & Autor, D. (2012). What does human capital do? A review of Goldin and Katz’s the race between education and technology. Journal of Economic Literature, 50(2), 426–463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alon, S. (2009). The evolution of class inequality in higher education competition, exclusion, and adaptation. American Sociological Review, 74(5), 731–755.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Becker, G. S. (1962). Investment in human capital: A theoretical analysis. The Journal of Political Economy, 70(5), 9–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Becker, G. S. (1993). Human capital: A theoretical and empirical analysis, with special reference to education (3rd ed.). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Becker, G. S., & Chiswick, B. R. (1966). Education and the distribution of earnings. The American Economic Review, 56(1/2), 358–369.Google Scholar
  6. Bian, Y., & Ang, S. (1997). Guanxi networks and job mobility in China and Singapore. Social Forces, 75(3), 981–1005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bian, Y., & Li, L. (2012). The Chinese General Social Survey (2003–8). Chinese Sociological Review, 45(1), 70–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brown, P., Lauder, H., & Ashton, D. (2011). The global auction: The broken promises of education, jobs, and incomes. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Checchi, D. (2006). The economics of education: Human capital, family background and inequality. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. China Labor Statistical Yearbook, 1996–2012. Beijing: China Statistical Press.Google Scholar
  11. China Labor Statistical Yearbook, 2003–2012. Beijing: China Statistical Press.Google Scholar
  12. Coleman, J. S., et al. (1966). Equality of educational opportunity (3rd ed.). Salem: New Hampshire.Google Scholar
  13. Dale, R. (2015). Employability and mobility in valorization of higher education qualifications. Paper presented at the International Symposium on Globalization, Changing Labour Market and Social Mobility: Challenges for Education and Urban Governance, January 20, 2015, Hong Kong Institute of Education.Google Scholar
  14. Deng, Z., & Treiman, D. J. (1997). The impact of the cultural revolution on trends in educational attainment in the People’s Republic of China. American Journal of Sociology, 103(2), 391–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Economist. (2015, March 28). The world is going to University: More and more money is being spent on higher education. Too little is known about whether it is worth it. Economist (p. 232). http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21647285-more-and-more-money-being-spent-higher-education-too-little-known-about-whether-it
  16. Educational Statistics Yearbook of China, 1982–2012 (annual). Beijing: China Statistical Press. Google Scholar
  17. Furlong, A., & Cartmel, F. (2009). Mass higher education. In A. Furlong (Ed.), Handbook of youth and young adulthood: New perspectives and agendas (pp. 121–126). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Ganzeboom, H. B., & Treiman, D. J. (1996). Internationally comparable measures of occupational status for the 1988 international standard classification of occupations. Social Science Research, 25(3), 201–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ganzeboom, H. B., De Graaf, P. M., & Treiman, D. J. (1992). A standard international socio-economic index of occupational status. Social Science Research, 21(1), 1–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and self-identity: Self and society in the late modern age. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  21. Goldin, C. D., & Katz, L. F. (2009). The race between education and technology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Granovetter, M. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78, 1360–1380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Granovetter, M. (1974). Getting a job: A study of contacts and careers. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Green, A., & Mok, K. H. (2013). Expansion of higher education, graduate employment and social mobility: An Asia and Europe dialogue. Paper presented at the 2013 Hong Kong Educational Research Association Annual Conference, February 2013, Hong Kong Institute of Education.Google Scholar
  25. Guo, M., & Wu, X. (2008). School expansion and educational stratification in China, 1981–2006. Paper presented at the conference of ISA Research Committee on Economy and Society (RC02), June 26–28, Switzerland. http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~hos/papers/Maocan_Guo/Maocan_Guo.pdf. Accessed July 6, 2012.
  26. Haveman, R. H., & Smeeding, T. M. (2006). The role of higher education in social mobility. The Future of Children, 16(2), 125–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hawkins, J., Mok, K. H., & Neubauer, D. (2014). Higher education massification in the Asia Pacific. Paper presented at the 2014 Senior Seminar on the Many Faces of Asia Pacific Higher Education in the Massification Era, October 2014, Hong Kong Institute of Education.Google Scholar
  28. Hirsch, F. (1976). Social limits to growth. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Jiang, J., & Tam, T. (2015). Rising class inequality of higher education during rapid college expansion in China, 1988–2002. Working paper.Google Scholar
  30. Knight, J. B., & Sabot, R. H. (1987). Educational expansion, government policy and wage compression. Journal of Development Economics, 26(2), 201–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kong, S., & Sreng, P. (2012, November 28). The real reason for unemployment. The Phnom Penh Post. http://www.phnompenhpost.com/lift/real-reasonsunemployment
  32. Lauder, H. (2014). Jobs or skills? The role of education in the 21st century. Keynote speech presented at the 2014 APERA–HKERA Annual Conference, November 2014, Hong Kong Institute of Education.Google Scholar
  33. Li, C. (2010). Expansion of higher education and inequality in opportunity of education: A study on effect of Kuozhao policy on equalization of educational attainment (gaodeng jiaoyu kuozhang yu jiaoyu jihui bupingdeng—gaoxiao kuozhao de pingdenghua xiaoying kaocha). Sociological Research (shehuixue yanjiu), 3, 82–113 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  34. Lin, N., Ensel, W. M., & Vaughn, J. C. (1981). Social resources and strength of ties: Structural factors in occupational status attainment. American Sociological Review, 46(4), 393–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Liu, J. (2006). Expansion of higher education in China and inequality in entrance opportunities: 1978–2003 (gaodeng jiaoyu kuozhan yu ruxue jihui chayi: 1978–2003) Society (shehui), 26, 158–179 (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  36. Lucas, S. R. (2001). Effectively maintained inequality: Education transitions, track mobility, and social background effects. American Journal of Sociology, 106(6), 1642–1690.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mincer, J. (1974). Schooling, experience, and earnings. New York: Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
  38. Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. (1998). The action plan to education in the 21st century. http://www.moe.edu.cn/publicfiles/business/htmlfiles/moe/moe_177/200407/2487.html. Accessed April 20, 2015 (in Chinese).
  39. Mok, K. H. (2015). Transnationalizing and internationalizing higher education in China: Implications for regional cooperation and university governance in Asia. In Internationalizing higher education in Korea: Comparative perspectives. California: Stanford University Press, forthcoming.Google Scholar
  40. Mok, K. H., & Han, X. (2015). Local responses to the central calls: Decentralization and cellularization in education governance in China, Unpublished paper.Google Scholar
  41. Mok, K. H., & Neubauer, D. (2015). Higher education governance in crisis? A critical reflection on the massification of higher education, graduate employment and social mobility. Journal of Education and Work, forthcoming.Google Scholar
  42. Mok, K. H., & Wu, A. (2015). Higher education, changing labour market and social mobility in the era of massification in China. Journal of Education and Work, forthcoming.Google Scholar
  43. Psacharopoulos, G. (1973). Returns to education: An international comparison. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  44. Psacharopoulos, G. (1985). Returns to education: a further international update and implications. Journal of Human Resources, 20(4), 583–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Psacharopoulos, G. (1994). Returns to investment in education: A global update. World Development, 22(9), 1325–1343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Psacharopoulos, G., & Patrinos, H. A. (2004). Returns to investment in education: a further update. Education Economics, 12(2), 111–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Quinn, F., & Kay, K. (2007, September 9). Recent graduates find job prospects are bleak. Cambodia Daily: https://www.cambodiadaily.com/archives/recentgraduates-find-job-prospects-are-bleak-1219
  48. Raftery, A. E., & Hout, M. (1993). Maximally maintained inequality: Expansion, reform, and opportunity in Irish education, 1921–75. Sociology of Education, 66(1), 41–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Robertson, S. L., & Dale, R. (2013). The social justice implications of privatisation in education governance frameworks: a relational account. Oxford Review of Education, 39(4), 426–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Schultz, T. W. (1961). Investment in human capital. The American Economic Review, 51(1), 1–17.Google Scholar
  51. Sorensen, A. B. (1979). A model and a metric for the analysis of the intergenerational status attainment process. American Journal of Sociology, 85(2), 361–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Tam, T., & Jiang, J. (2014). The making of higher education inequality: How do mechanisms and pathways depend on competition? American Sociological Review, 79(4), 807–816.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tam, T., & Jiang, J. (2015). Divergent urban-rural trends in college attendance: State policy bias and structural exclusion in China. Sociology of Education, 88(2), 160–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Trow, M. (1973). Problems in the transition from elite to mass higher education. Policies for higher education, Conference on future structures of post-secondary education (pp. 55–101). Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.Google Scholar
  55. Van de Werfhorst, H. G. (2009). Credential inflation and educational strategies: A comparison of the United States and the Netherlands. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 27(4), 269–284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wan, Y. (2006). Expansion of Chinese higher education since 1998: Its causes and outcomes. Asia Pacific Education Review, 7, 19–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wen, D. (2005). The impacts of SES on higher education opportunity and graduate employment in China (jiating beijing dui wo guo daodeng jiaoyu jihui ji biye sheng jiuye de yingxiang). Peking University Education Review (beijing daxue jiaoyu pinglun), 3(3), 58–63. (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  58. Wen, Z., & Ngok, K. (2011). Vulnerable college graduates: Working poor and social capital (ruoshi daxue biyesheng: zaizhi pinqiong yu shehui ziben shiye xiade “yizu”). Journal of Public Administration (gonggong xingzheng pinlun), 3, 125–145.Google Scholar
  59. Wu, X., & Treiman, D. J. (2004). The household registration system and social stratification in China: 1955–1996. Demography, 41(2), 363–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wu, X., & Treiman, D. J. (2007). Inequality and equality under Chinese socialism: The hukou system and intergenerational occupational mobility. American Journal of Sociology, 113(2), 415–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Yang, D. (2006). Access to higher education: Widening social class disparities (gaodeng jiaoyu ruxue jihui: kuoda zhizhong de jieceng chaju). Tsinghua Journal of Education (qinghua daxue jiaoyu yanjiu), 27, 19–25. (in Chinese).Google Scholar
  62. Zhang, W. (2014). The demand for shadow education in China: Mainstream teachers and power relations. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 34(4), 436–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Zhou, X., Moen, P., & Tuma, N. B. (1998). Educational stratification in urban China: 1949–94. Sociology of Education, 71(3), 199–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Zinn, J. O. (2004). Health, risk and uncertainty in the life course: A typology of biographical certainty construction. Social Theory and Health, 2(3), 199–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Zinn, J. O. (2008). Heading into the unknown: Everyday strategies for managing risk and uncertainty. Health, Risk and Society, 10(5), 439–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Social PolicyLingnan UniversityTuen MunHong Kong
  2. 2.Asia-Pacific Institute for Ageing StudiesDivision of Graduate Studies, Lingnan UniversityTuen Mun, New TerritoriesHong Kong

Personalised recommendations