Advertisement

Interchange

, Volume 44, Issue 1–2, pp 45–62 | Cite as

Educational Equity in the Access to Post-Secondary Education: A Comparison of Ethnic Minorities in China with Aboriginals in Canada

  • Fei Wang
Article

Abstract

This study provides insight into equity issues in post-secondary education by exploring and assessing the history, the reality and the potential developments in higher education for minority students in China, in comparison to post-secondary education for aboriginal students in Canada. It highlights access to post-secondary education by these minorities in both countries in terms of educational policy enactment, orientation, and its enforcement. The study examines both commonalties and differences in the educational policies of both countries to shed light on how each country is able to grapple with the issue of equity in their respective post-secondary educational systems in response to the principles of liberty, equity and dignity as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This study employs a historical approach to identify the common trends by examining issues concerning access to post-secondary education for ethnic minorities in China and the aboriginals in Canada. Specifically, the study employs a comparative method analyzing how access and equity are defined, how policies have evolved, and the impact that the policy has on the minority students in China and aboriginal students in Canada. The assessment of the access issues in these two countries not only reveals some common trends in the evolution of access norms in the post-secondary education of both countries, but also identifies certain differences in response to their historical traditions, national cultures, and diverse educational structures. The findings are presented in three sections: growth and gap, equality versus equity, and equity and the difference among the difference.

Keywords

Equity Access Post-secondary education Minority students Aboriginal education 

References

  1. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. (2007). No higher priority: Aboriginal post-secondary education in Canada. The Report of the Standing Committee, House of Commons Canada, 39th Parliament, 1st Session. Ottawa: Communication Canada.Google Scholar
  2. Alcorn, W., & Levin, B. (1998). “Post-secondary education for indigenous populations.” In: Paper presented at the International Congress on Social Welfare, Jerusalem.Google Scholar
  3. Ao, J. M. (2006). Individual equality or group equality: Admission policy for minority students in Chinese higher education. Tsinghua Journal of Education, 27(6), 70–74.Google Scholar
  4. Brown, K. (2006). ‘New’ educational injustices in the ‘New’ South Africa: A call for justice in the form of vertical equity. Journal of Educational Administration, 44(5), 509–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Busha, C., & Harter, S. P. (1980). Research methods in librarianship: Techniques and interpretations. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  6. Cajete, G. (1994). Look to the mountain: Ecology of indigenous education. Durango: Kivaki Press.Google Scholar
  7. Census. (2006). Aboriginal peoples of Canada. Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada.Google Scholar
  8. China, Department of Population & Employment: Statistics Social Science and Technology Statistics. (2005). China National Population Sample Survey. Beijing: National Bureau of Statistics of China.Google Scholar
  9. China Education and Research Network. (2012). Rural student college admission rose 13% in ten years. Retrieved June 4, 2013 from China Education and Research Network website http://www.edu.cn/2012gaozhao_12000/20120612/t20120612_789865_4.shtml. Accessed 12 June 2012.
  10. China Population Statistics Yearbook. (2002). China Statistics Publication.Google Scholar
  11. Clancy, P., & Goastellec, G. (2007). Exploring access and equity in higher education: Policy and performance in a comparative perspective. Higher Education Quarterly, 61(2), 136–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Demeuse, M., Crahay, M., & Monseur, C. (2002). Efficiency and Equity. In W. Hutmacher, D. Cochrane, & N. Bottani (Eds.), In pursuit of equity in education: Using international indicators to compare equity policies (pp. 65–92). New York: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dworkin, R. (1977). Taking Rights Seriously. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Huang, M. G., & Nong, C. G. (2003). On equal rights of schooling for college students from minority nationalities. Journal of YouJiang Teachers College for Nationalities GuangXi, 16(1), 93–95.Google Scholar
  15. Hutmacher, W., Cochrane, D., & Bottani, N. (Eds.). (2002). In Pursuit of Equity in Education: Using International Indicators to Compare Equity Policies. New York: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  16. Jenkins, L. A. (2007). Indigenous post-secondary institutions in Canada and the US. Higher Education Perspective, 3(1), 1–27.Google Scholar
  17. Kirkness, V. J., & Bowman, S. S. (1992). First nations and schools: Triumphs and struggles. Toronto, ON: Canadian Education Association.Google Scholar
  18. Kranich, N. (2001). Equality and equity of access: What’s the difference? In N. Kranich (Ed.), Libraries and democracy (pp. 15–27). Chicago: American Library Association.Google Scholar
  19. Li, X. X. (2005). Analysis of the preferential policy for the minority students in university enrollment in Xin Jiang. Journal of Xin Jiang University, 33(1), 77–88.Google Scholar
  20. Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. (2012). Educational Statistics in 2012.Google Scholar
  21. Ministry of Supply and Services Canada. (1996). The Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. Ottawa: Canada Communication Group-Publishing.Google Scholar
  22. National Indian Brotherhood. (1972). Indian Control of Indian Education. National Indian Brotherhood: Ottawa.Google Scholar
  23. Neegan, E. (2005). Excuse me: Who are the first peoples of Canada? A historical analysis of aboriginal education in Canada then and now. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 9(1), 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ontario Ministry of Education. (2007). Ontario First Nation, Metis, and Inuit Education Policy Framework. Aboriginal Education Office.Google Scholar
  25. Oppelt, N. T. (1990). The tribally controlled Indian college: The beginnings of self determination in American Indian education. Tsaile, AZ: Navajo Community College Press.Google Scholar
  26. Population Census Office under the State Council & Department of Population and Employment Statistics, National Bureau of Statistics. (2012). Tabulation on the 2010 population census of the People’s Republic of China. Beijing: China Statistics Press.Google Scholar
  27. Postiglione, G. A. (1998). “State schooling and ethnicity in China: The rise or demise of multiculturalism?” In: Paper presented at the 14th World Congress of Sociology, Montreal, QC, 26 July–1 August 1999.Google Scholar
  28. Rawls, J. (1971). A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Richardson, C., & Cohen, N. B. (2000). Post-secondary education programs for aboriginal peoples: Achievements and issues. Canadian Journal of Native Education, 24(2), 169–184.Google Scholar
  30. Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. (1996). Report of the Royal Commission on aboriginal peoples—Volume 1: Looking forward looking back. Ottawa, ON: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.Google Scholar
  31. Saskatchewan Education. (2001). Our children, our communities and our future, equity in education: A policy framework. Regina: Saskatchewan Education.Google Scholar
  32. Secada, W. G. (1989). Educational equity versus equality of education: An alternative conception. In W. G. Secada (Ed.), Equity and Education (pp. 68–88). New York: Falmer.Google Scholar
  33. Sharpe, A., and Arsenault, J. F. (2009). Investing aboriginal education in Canada: An economic perspective. Canadian Policy Research Network.Google Scholar
  34. Stonechild, B. (2006). The new buffalo: The struggle for aboriginal post-secondary education in Canada. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press.Google Scholar
  35. Teng, X., & Ma, X. Y. (2005). China’s preferential policy to minority nationalities in higher education and education equality. Ethno-National Studies, 5, 10–18.Google Scholar
  36. The Aboriginal Institutes’ Consortium. (2005). Aboriginal institutions of higher education: A struggle for the education of aboriginal students: Control of indigenous knowledge, and recognition of aboriginal institutions. Toronto: Canadian Race Relations Foundation.Google Scholar
  37. The Association of Canadian Community Colleges. (2005). Meeting the needs of aboriginal learners: An overview of current programs and services, challenges, opportunities and lessons learned, final report.Google Scholar
  38. The Constitution Act. (1867). 30 & 31 Victoria, c. 3.Google Scholar
  39. The Indian Act. (1876). Ottawa: Department of Justice.Google Scholar
  40. Toutkoushian, R. K., & Michael, R. S. (2007). An alternative approach to measuring horizontal and vertical equity in school funding. Journal of Education Finance, 32(4), 395–421.Google Scholar
  41. Yang, C., & Zhang, M. K. (2007). The reconsideration and adjustment on the national minority favorable policy of higher education entrance examination. Journal of ShanXi Finance and Economics University, 10(1), 26–29.Google Scholar
  42. Zhaoxia, & Xiang, (2006). Chinese minority education’s preferential policies and the legal problems. Journal of Xuzhou Normal University, 32(4), 108–111.Google Scholar
  43. Zhou, M. (2000). Language policy and illiteracy in ethnic minority communities in China. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 21(2), 129–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Zhou, M. (2001). The politics of bilingual education and educational levels in ethnic minority communities in China. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 4(2), 125–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, OISEUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

Personalised recommendations