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Dynamics of the Institutional Change in China’s College Enrollment System Reform

Author: ZhouHua
Tutor: DuChaoHui
School: Shanghai Jiaotong University
Course: Public Administration
Keywords: Pingxing Zhiyuan Gaokao Institutional Change Regional development Policy Network
CLC: G647.32
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2008
Downloads: 337
Quote: 0
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Pingxing Zhiyuan (parallel college/university preferences) reform is a small but significant institutional change in the complex Gaokao institutions (the National College Enrollment System of China). Reviewing the characteristics of the reform of the unified national examination system in the past three decades, the article sets Shanghai’s introduction of the Pingxing Zhiyuan in 2008 college entrance exam as a case for further study. While the Pingxing Zhiyuan reform has been carried out in Hunan, Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces, and various other reforms have been experimented in other places, this research tries to explore the driving mechanism of college enrollment system reform both within the structural context and on the policy-making process level.Due to the limited resources of higher education and the uneven development among different regions, the enrollment system, rather than the uniform examination system, including exam format and content, has become the bottleneck to further reforms of the college entrance examination and enrollment system. As more freedom and power are being given to the local administrations of education, colleges and universities in recruiting students, the current college enrollment reform will mainly focus on the change of college/university’s independent recruitment rights and the models of expressing college preferences of the candidates. The introduction of Pingxing Zhiyuan enables the full use of education resources in the provinces where there exists a relatively large scale of elementary education and the higher education has grown to a certain degree, leading to the primary problem of the demand-supply contradiction.The driving force behind the Pingxing Zhiyuan reform in Shanghai mainly lies in the learning process and the characteristic of the Policy Network of the college enrollment system reform. The policy community, which is formed by the Ministry of Education, local education administrations, and colleges/universities, is the most direct factor that pushes the reform in the college enrollment system. Other factors, like governmental or non-governmental organizations and public opinions, will exert different impact on various issues in the course of decision making. The Pingxing Zhiyuan reform in Shanghai and the institutional changes in the college enrollment are also a typical result of active learning. The selection of models for learning and their features contribute to the timing of the reform. Finally, the initiative of innovation leads to the unique plan of Pingxing Zhiyuan prior to the exam.

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