Employability and mobility in the valorisation of higher education qualifications : the experiences and reflections of Chinese students and graduates

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the last two decades, we have witnessed a rapid expansion of higher education in Mainland China and Taiwan, recording a significant increase in higher education enrolments in these two Chinese societies. The massification of higher education in China and Taiwan has inevitably resulted in an oversupply of university graduates, with growing social concerns for skills mismatches being found in the labour market, stagnant graduate employment and social mobility. This article critically examines how university students and graduates in these two Chinese societies reflect upon their employment experiences. Human capital theory predicts that other things being equal, raising participation in higher education will initially increase inequality as rates of return rise, and then it will reduce inequality as expansion reaches mass levels and rates of return decline. If the output of graduates outpaces the demand for their skills, which appears to be the current case in many countries, then supply and demand pressures reduce the pay premium for degrees and lower income inequalities. However, this study clearly demonstrates that the massification and the universalisation of higher education in Mainland China and Taiwan, respectively, have actually intensified inequality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-281
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Higher Education Policy and Management
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2016

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employability
qualification
graduate
Taiwan
education
experience
student
China
demand
Social Mobility
premium
mismatch
society
human capital
recording
low income
labor market
supply
participation
university

Cite this

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title = "Employability and mobility in the valorisation of higher education qualifications : the experiences and reflections of Chinese students and graduates",
abstract = "In the last two decades, we have witnessed a rapid expansion of higher education in Mainland China and Taiwan, recording a significant increase in higher education enrolments in these two Chinese societies. The massification of higher education in China and Taiwan has inevitably resulted in an oversupply of university graduates, with growing social concerns for skills mismatches being found in the labour market, stagnant graduate employment and social mobility. This article critically examines how university students and graduates in these two Chinese societies reflect upon their employment experiences. Human capital theory predicts that other things being equal, raising participation in higher education will initially increase inequality as rates of return rise, and then it will reduce inequality as expansion reaches mass levels and rates of return decline. If the output of graduates outpaces the demand for their skills, which appears to be the current case in many countries, then supply and demand pressures reduce the pay premium for degrees and lower income inequalities. However, this study clearly demonstrates that the massification and the universalisation of higher education in Mainland China and Taiwan, respectively, have actually intensified inequality.",
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Employability and mobility in the valorisation of higher education qualifications : the experiences and reflections of Chinese students and graduates. / MOK, Ka Ho, Joshua; WEN, Zhuoyi; DALE, Roger.

In: Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, Vol. 38, No. 3, 04.05.2016, p. 264-281.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

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