In the last four decades, especially the recent 20 years, Chinese higher education expanded rapidly and has already become universalised. But what changes have fiscal policies of Chinese higher education experienced to better support the dramatic scale of growth? And what ideas and values underlie the changes?
Based on an analysis of the ‘Educational Finance Statistical Yearbook’ published by the Chinese government, and related policy texts, this research finds that China has established a multi-channel financial mechanism for raising funding for higher education. The core channels include governmental public financial investment steered and guaranteed by the aim of using four per cent of GDP for education, a cost-sharing system, and loans from financial institutions. Other channels contain financial aid systems for students, and an appropriation model based on a basic expenditure budget plus project-based competition.
This research argues that equal financial appropriation for all students and financial aid systems for students demonstrate the pursuit of education equity, while the competition-based appropriation model reflects attempts to ensure quality in Chinese higher education.
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