"Social competition in China has intensified greatly. Since the beginning of the open door policy in 1978, social competition has widened the gap between rich and poor in society, while also widening the income gap between industries and vocations. Accordingly, there is a trend toward a growing separation between social classes. Ina highly stratified society with a distinct social hierarchy, opportunities for socioeconomic mobility and status are very limited and the scope of the lower classes is large. For most people, one must compete with others for the limited opportunities in order to attain a better position. In China, education has become a mechanism for social reproduction, but the gaokao is a means of social mobility for many middle class and disadvantaged families. Government leaders and prominent businesspeople tend to send their children to top or well-known universities abroad; families from the middle and lower economic levels expect their children to achieve high score to be admitted to ideal colleges and universities in China. Similar to Marginsion’s finding in Australia, “social competition and educational competition, with its ranking and selection, formed an unbroken circle”.
Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/world-view/china%E2%80%99s-entrance-exam-more-competitive-ever#ixzz206AlvWav
Inside Higher Ed"