Handbook on Complexity and Public Policy
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Handbook on Complexity and Public Policy

Edited by Robert Geyer and Paul Cairney

Though its roots in the natural sciences go back to the early 20th century, complexity theory as a scientific framework has developed most rapidly since the 1970s. Increasingly, complexity theory has been integrated into the social sciences, and this groundbreaking Handbook on Complexity and Public Policy has brought together top thinkers in complexity and policy from around the world. With contributions from Europe, North America, Brazil and China this comprehensive Handbook splits the topic into three cohesive parts: Theory and Tools, Methods and Modeling, and Application.
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Chapter 18: Educating for equality: the complex policy of domestic migrants’ children in China

Qian Liu


For the last 30 years, China has been going through a massive economic and social transformation. Large-scale economic development has driven up the wealth and living standards of society and generated substantial internal migration. Most of this migration has been from the rural and agricultural area to the rapidly developing cities in China. Managing this migration has been a huge task and has led to increasing social strains – particularly in the growing urban areas where millions of migrants with limited social and economic rights put increasing pressure and demands on local and regional authorities. One of these main areas of pressure is education, in particular for the children of internal migrants. This chapter will explore some of the complexities that confront Chinese policy makers who are trying to respond to the significant inequalities in educational opportunities for the children of internal migrants. To set the scene, the education system in China will be briefly introduced, focusing on recent policy developments, the three-level structure of Chinese education and the importance of the GAOKAO examination process.

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