Achievement Gap in China

  • Gaoming Zhang
  • Yong Zhao


Education inequality exists everywhere, and China is no exception. However, the achievement gap in China takes entirely different forms and has different causes compared to that in the USA. Given that over 90 % of China’s population is ethnically Han, the gap is not primarily an ethnic one, but rather geographical, economical, and political. For example, education in Western China is generally of lower quality than that in more developed eastern provinces of China. Children in rural areas are much more likely than those in the cities to drop out of school and to have fewer opportunities to attend college. The national hukou system, a way to manage population based on their place of birth, has been another powerful cause of the gap. Additionally, China has intentionally created an educational system based on meritocracy. The patterns and causes of general educational gap are also applied to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) gap in China. China has undertaken numerous efforts to address the inequalities in education, out of national economic and political concerns.


Gross Domestic Product School Choice Quota System Urban Student Rural Student 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Teacher Education, School of EducationUniversity of IndianapolisIndianapolisUSA
  2. 2.College of EducationUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA

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