Current Situation of Chinese Higher Education
Insufficient Higher Education Resources in China
education, or academic education, lays a sound higher educational foundation for
students through standard and systematic study and helps students acquire fine
learning capability and quick thinking. It has been established that students
who receive this kind of education will be better capable of analyzing and
solving problems independently and are ensured the opportunity to pursue further
education in the postgraduate or doctoral field. Students of this category will
then have a chance to acquire senior managerial positions and overall enjoy a
higher standard of living.
education is crucial to not only to the development of a stable, solid
infrastructure which benefits society as a whole, but also to the individuals
quality of life by offering better opportunities for a secure financial future.
in China, including degree education, was tightly controlled by the central
government up to the mid-90¡¯s. Student
quotas for each sector and each province, and the distribution of student
enrollment by field of study were strictly regulated.
While universities in China have undergone dramatic changes in recent
years, including an expansion in enrollments, structural reforms and
improvements in quality, its existing higher education resources are still
relatively insufficient and far from meeting current demands.
higher education had a very poor start and still does not receive enough
financial support. A survey
conducted by UNESCO revealed that out of 153 countries, China ranked 145th
with respect to the average per capita spending on education. While developed
countries spend more than 6% of GDP on education, in China the number hovers
around 2.5%, putting it on par with Chad. In
sum, while great progress has been made in higher education in recent years,
China still has a long way to go in order to catch up to the educationally
to an authority¡¯s statistics in 2004, only 19% of Chinese who are at the right
age for higher education have access to it, including higher vocational
education and above. By contrast, between 70-80% of Canadians enroll in some
form of higher education. What do
these numbers mean? Let¡¯s take an example. If there were 100 students who were
to take university entrance examinations in China, only the top 19 students will
be accepted by universities, while the twentieth, who is, comparatively
speaking, a good student will be declined.
Some Chinese academics have coined this condition the twentieth phenomenon.
addition, due to insufficient higher education resources, educational
departments in China have to make student recruitment plans in terms of
different regions in order to keep education in each part of China balanced,
thus the minimum entry scores for universities in different regions in China are
not consistent. The same score may be accepted by a decent university in one
province but refused by a university in another. Therefore, in some regions
where the entry scores are relatively high, there may be the sixteenth
phenomenon or the twelfth phenomenon, i.e. the sixteenth or the twelfth
student in the regions with high entry scores have no opportunity to enter
university, while many with similar scores are admitted in another region.
examination results vary. The university entrance examination cannot define a
student but can destroy some students¡¯ dream for higher education given that
most students can take the examination only once. China unavoidably employs this
examination due to its deficient higher education resources. In fact, if the
students who have done a good job in senior high school once fail in the
university entrance examination, they may become the victims of this examination
and the eighth phenomenon or the sixth phenomenon, i.e. the
students, who may be the eighth or the sixth in their class but don¡¯t do well
on the examination due to stress, illness, or just the jitters¡will miss the
chance to enter a university, despite the fact that actually their overall
grades are higher than some students who are admitted to universities.
Canadian National Education Exchange Centre Inc., 2006