chapter  12
24 Pages

University entrance examinations in China: a quiet revolution

ByKeith Lewin and Wang Lu 153

This chapter offers a preliminary analysis of university entrance examinations in China during a period of rapid change in educational development. The 1985 reforms announced by the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (Communist Party of China 1985) are now being implemented and they impinge on most aspects of the link between schools and higher education. Their introduction followed a period of rapid development in higher education in the wake of the Cultural Revolution (Huang 1984). University selection has become a key issue as more children reach the end of senior secondary school, and students are being given more choice over courses of study and field of subsequent employment. University entrance, as in other societies, is a crucial allocator of life chances. It is also a critical determinant of pedagogical practice and learning styles in the higher reaches of the school system.