Higher Education Expansion in East Asia: How it is Financed and What are the Impacts on Access?

Higher Education has been expanding rapidly in East Asian countries in the past two decades. While Japan, Korea and Taiwan entering the stage of universal higher education in late 1990s and early 2000s, China has crossed the borderline between elite and mass higher education in 2002. However, higher education expansion in the region is mainly fuelled escalating investment from private resources. The fact that an emergence of large number of private institutes and an increase of tuition fees have been widely witnessed across the region prompts concerns on if the expansion is for the interest of the disadvantaged. By investigating the new financial mechanism behind the expansion and disclosing its impacts on students from disadvantaged backgrounds, especially their access to university, this paper argues for a counterbalancing student aid system as a supplementary scheme to expansion in order to offset its negative impacts.

Full paper download: 1.3.1 Wing-Kit Chan & Xuan Wu.pdf