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postgraduate thesis: Neighbourhood enrolment, school choice and educational stratification in China

TitleNeighbourhood enrolment, school choice and educational stratification in China
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2018
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Zhou, X. [周曉辰]. (2018). Neighbourhood enrolment, school choice and educational stratification in China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractSchool choice programmes have been actively promoted by numerous national governments. They are intended to boost educational quality overall through institutional competition, and to meet individual family preferences. However, these programmes may have resulted in social inequalities regarding access to quality provision. The context in China is significantly different to other countries in that school choice among public schools is officially not permitted. However, due to the long-term facilitation of key schools and the quality disparity among public schools caused by it, along with high parental desire of better education opportunities, many Chinese parents have been striving to practise diversified forms of school choice despite the restriction from the policy. Neighbourhood enrolment is the official school admission approach for public schools, which is geared towards the prevention of school choice. This study first offers a review of the historical development of the policy and the response from the public. It addresses the uniqueness of the Chinese school choice policy context, which is relevant for the next stage pertaining to the empirical analysis of the thesis. The policy review demonstrates the tension between governmental determination to prohibit choice and the parents’ desire to exercise it. Inspired by a Bourdieusian conceptualisation framework, the empirical analysis of the current study involves exploring the relationship among family capital (economic, cultural and social capital), parental school choice, and the quality of school the pupils attend. For the research, a two-layer design is adopted, whereby at the national level, the dataset China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) is deployed to investigate school choice nationwide (n=3,570). Regarding the second local layer, primary survey data (n=1,123) from one provincial capital city in eastern China is collected to explore one form of school choice, namely that of purchasing catchment area properties. The findings suggest that school choice in China shows similar characteristics to other contexts, with, not surprisingly, privileged families having a higher possibility of pursuing it and thus, exploiting the better educational resources. School choice is found to be one of the determining factors in the stratified pattern of education, at both the national and local levels. The study outcomes illustrate the prevalence of parental school choice in China’s official ‘no-choice’ system, and empirical evidence is provided regarding the persistent inequality of educational quality. Moreover, the local level of the research reveals the mediating and moderating roles of parental attitudinal factors (e.g. social face, belief in peer effect) on the relationship between family capital and school choice, which it is anticipated will enrich understanding of the educational decision-making model in the Chinese context. Finally, a key aim of this study is to raise public awareness and government concern about the severity of educational inequality, thereby paving the way for future policy actions being geared towards promoting educational equalisation. (459 words)
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectSchool choice - China
China - Educational equalization
Sociological aspects - Education - China
Dept/ProgramSocial Work and Social Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/277093

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorJordan, LP-
dc.contributor.advisorLeung, JCB-
dc.contributor.advisorRan, M-
dc.contributor.authorZhou, Xiaochen-
dc.contributor.author周曉辰-
dc.date.accessioned2019-09-19T02:44:30Z-
dc.date.available2019-09-19T02:44:30Z-
dc.date.issued2018-
dc.identifier.citationZhou, X. [周曉辰]. (2018). Neighbourhood enrolment, school choice and educational stratification in China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/277093-
dc.description.abstractSchool choice programmes have been actively promoted by numerous national governments. They are intended to boost educational quality overall through institutional competition, and to meet individual family preferences. However, these programmes may have resulted in social inequalities regarding access to quality provision. The context in China is significantly different to other countries in that school choice among public schools is officially not permitted. However, due to the long-term facilitation of key schools and the quality disparity among public schools caused by it, along with high parental desire of better education opportunities, many Chinese parents have been striving to practise diversified forms of school choice despite the restriction from the policy. Neighbourhood enrolment is the official school admission approach for public schools, which is geared towards the prevention of school choice. This study first offers a review of the historical development of the policy and the response from the public. It addresses the uniqueness of the Chinese school choice policy context, which is relevant for the next stage pertaining to the empirical analysis of the thesis. The policy review demonstrates the tension between governmental determination to prohibit choice and the parents’ desire to exercise it. Inspired by a Bourdieusian conceptualisation framework, the empirical analysis of the current study involves exploring the relationship among family capital (economic, cultural and social capital), parental school choice, and the quality of school the pupils attend. For the research, a two-layer design is adopted, whereby at the national level, the dataset China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) is deployed to investigate school choice nationwide (n=3,570). Regarding the second local layer, primary survey data (n=1,123) from one provincial capital city in eastern China is collected to explore one form of school choice, namely that of purchasing catchment area properties. The findings suggest that school choice in China shows similar characteristics to other contexts, with, not surprisingly, privileged families having a higher possibility of pursuing it and thus, exploiting the better educational resources. School choice is found to be one of the determining factors in the stratified pattern of education, at both the national and local levels. The study outcomes illustrate the prevalence of parental school choice in China’s official ‘no-choice’ system, and empirical evidence is provided regarding the persistent inequality of educational quality. Moreover, the local level of the research reveals the mediating and moderating roles of parental attitudinal factors (e.g. social face, belief in peer effect) on the relationship between family capital and school choice, which it is anticipated will enrich understanding of the educational decision-making model in the Chinese context. Finally, a key aim of this study is to raise public awareness and government concern about the severity of educational inequality, thereby paving the way for future policy actions being geared towards promoting educational equalisation. (459 words) -
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshSchool choice - China-
dc.subject.lcshChina - Educational equalization-
dc.subject.lcshSociological aspects - Education - China-
dc.titleNeighbourhood enrolment, school choice and educational stratification in China-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSocial Work and Social Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2018-
dc.date.hkucongregation2018-
dc.identifier.mmsid991044069399803414-

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