, 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


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.


Equity Access Post-secondary education Minority students Aboriginal education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

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

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