An Analysis of the Affirmative Action Program for Ethnic Minority Students at Hexi University in Zhangye, Gansu, China
MA in Conflict Transformation
This study investigates and critically analyzes the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) preferential policy for ethnic minority students (少数民族的优惠政策) through the use of a case study conducted at Hexi University in Zhangye, Gansu. This study examines how the national preferential policy for ethnic minority students is implemented at a university level and how it is perceived by teachers and students in order to better understand and assess the impact and purpose of the policy. The study is driven by three questions; how is the PRC’s preferential policy for ethnic minority students implemented at a university level? Is the preferential policy for ethnic minority students at Hexi University fulfilling its stated goals and purpose? If yes, how? If not, Why? and How is the preferential policy for ethnic minority students at Hexi University perceived by staff and students? The study’s findings show that teachers and students, especially those of the dominant Han ethnicity, are unclear on the details and purpose of the policy and do not know how the policy is being implemented at the school. Within the study there was evidence from both Han teachers and Han students of a negative bias against ethnic minority students and a lack of knowledge on ethnic minority culture and issues facing ethnic minority students. The literature review provides evidence that structural inequality between ethnic minority groups and the dominant Han majority do exist (Chen, 2016; Myers, Gao, and Cruz, 2013; Hannan and Wang, 2010) and that the preferential policies created by the Chinese government have done little to change these structural disparities (Jeong, 2015; Liebold, 2016). In order to more fully evaluate the preferential policy for ethnic minority students and how it can be improved further research should be done on the following questions; what are the goals and purpose of the preferential policies for ethnic minorities in China? How much do Han students know about the experience of minority students? How much interaction with minority culture do they have? Why is there a smaller proportion of minority students in higher education than Han students?
Key Words: Affirmative Action, Ethnic Minorities in China, Preferential Policies
Chinese Studies | Education Policy | Ethnic Studies | Higher Education | Peace and Conflict Studies
Shea, Caitlin, "An Analysis of the Affirmative Action Program for Ethnic Minority Students at Hexi University in Zhangye, Gansu, China" (2017). Capstone Collection. 3059.
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