Although national trends in rural-urban gaps in college enrolment have been well studied, little research has examined variation in gaps across provinces. Using representative data of five provinces from China Family Panel Studies (CFPS), this study adopts a cross-provincial assessment approach to explore the relationship between higher education expansion and rural-urban inequality in college enrolment. Results demonstrate that the higher education expansion does not close the rural-urban gap in college enrolment in all five provinces. Rural-urban gaps vary in size substantially across provinces. Additionally, inter-provincial inequalities in higher education opportunities, particularly disparities between eastern coastal provinces, like Shanghai and Guangdong versus central provinces, like Henan, have widened. This study contributes to international scholarship by presenting evidence supporting the theory of Maximally Maintained Inequality (MMI) in a context where access to higher education is highly differentiated by structural factors.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education|
|Early online date||11 Aug 2021|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 11 Aug 2021|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2021 British Association for International and Comparative Education.
- higher education expansion
- inter-provincial disparity
- rural-urban gap