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Yongpo Tian and Wenwen Ji

The chapter considers the relationship between education and the labour market. It provides as an example, the so-called ‘massification’ of higher education that has raised questions concerning its effects on graduates’ employability, income distribution and labour mobility, the provision of vocational education, and tensions between labour supply and demand.

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Miaoyan Yang

The chapter considers the policy and funding initiatives that the Chinese government has put in place to support and improve the access and quality of education provision for ethnic minorities in different parts of the country. It concludes that, although though there is evidence of success, there are also persistent problems rooted in the disparity of socio-economic development among different regions, as well as differing and sometimes conflicting cultural and religious values.

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Xin Zhou

The chapter provides an account of early childhood education. It shows that, although provision has improved because of policy and funding support from the central government, there are still significant differences in provision between urban and rural areas. It concludes that quality provision of early childhood education for all children has become an urgent policy responsibility for the government.

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Fengliang Li, Nianchun Wang and Xianan Hu

The chapter shows how lifelong learning in China, encompassing broader avenues and opportunities for learning, has accelerated the development of distance education and promoted the status of adult vocational education and training in Chinese society. It concludes that the exponential advance in modern communication technology plays a defining role in the rapid expansion of distance education, and has challenged and modified traditional concepts and modes of education in China.

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Wing-Wah Law

The chapter analyses the complex relationships between curriculum, citizenship and nation-building since the founding of New China in 1949. It shows that the school curriculum continues to serve as a state device with two essential functions: equipping students for the country’s development and modernization, and socializing them into values and norms prescribed by the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party. The citizenship curriculum has been revised occasionally to reflect and support the changing nuances in official ideology. It concludes that this process is faced with fresh challenges, especially in in preserving and promoting cultural identity and national solidarity.

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Qing Gu and Michele Schweisfurth

The chapter considers the processes and consequences of Chinese students’ study abroad and return to China. It concludes with two observations. The first emphasizes the social and relational nature of Chinese students’ study abroad experience; and the second, a far-reaching process of change (rather than transient) that many Chinese students experience in both their host and home countries.

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Dan Liu and W. John Morgan

The chapter provides an extensive review of the literature on student choice of destination. This identifies push and pull factors influencing Chinese students’ decisions about the country of destination for overseas study. It shows also that in addition to push factors, largely concerned with general issues regarding the country of origin, and pull factors, concerned similarly with the country of destination, students’ personal capabilities and ‘influencing others’ in their personal and professional lives also play an important role in decision making.

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Edited by W. J. Morgan, Qing Gu and Fengliang Li

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Thomas David DuBois

This chapter examines the roots of public welfare in China, spanning the crucial 100 years before the 1949 founding of the People’s Republic, and highlighting the political importance of welfare provision across a range of very different Chinese regimes. Rather than attempting to map the contemporary Western understanding of welfare onto history, it presents Chinese ideas and institutions on their own terms. During the late nineteenth century, well-established traditions of State and private charity provision began to transform in the face of new pressures and opportunities, including the arrival of Christian missionary institutions. In the early twentieth century, China was divided into a number of regimes, including the Republic of China, the Communist-held areas and the Japanese client regime in Manchuria. This political fragmentation caused the welfare tradition to diversify into a number of competing ideologies and strategies. The transformation of welfare provision during this century was driven by a number of interrelated processes: the growing influence of foreign actors and institutions; the formation of legal and legislative frameworks for the rights and responsibilities of welfare providers; and the shift in balance between private and State initiative, and between disaster relief and longer-term programmes of economic development. This history continues to tangibly shape contemporary political and social attitudes towards welfare provision.

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Kimiko Suda

The precarious housing and working situation of rural-to-urban migrant graduates (vocational college or university education) – colloquially known as the ‘ant tribe’ – has been discussed in China´s public media since the first two reports on this social group were published by the Beijing-based scholar Lian Si in 2009 and 2010. Against the background of current Chinese debates on the distribution of urban public resources and social injustice, this chapter presents a localised picture of the welfare access of migrant graduates in the southern city of Guangzhou. It investigates different factors (e.g. household registration and human and social capital) affecting migrant graduates’ access to urban employment and to the urban social insurance system. It further examines how they cope with the lack of access to welfare, and concludes by putting forward some policy suggestions to increase the level of access to welfare services for this social group.