Serious gap in higher education opportunities
As part of China's National Education Science tenth Five-year Plan, the working group "Research into Equity Issues in Chinese Higher Education" announced that a widening education gap exists between China's rural and urban populations.
China's rural areas have a far higher proportion of residents with low and middle education levels than do China's urban areas. The proportion of urban residents who have attained higher education also surpasses rural China.
This represents the primary disparity in China's education system. The group's research further indicates that the disparity between urban and rural areas has widened gradually as education levels have increased.
51.5% of rural residents and 16.3% of urban residents have only achieved an elementary education.
41.5% of the rural population and 32.4% of the urban population have a junior middle school education.
6% of rural residents and 21% of urban residents have attained a senior high school education. Graduates of technical secondary school accounted for 0.8% and 13.2% of rural and urban populations, respectively. And only 0.2% of rural residents had attended junior college, compared to 11.1% amongst China's urban population.
Residents with a university education accounted for just 0.02% and 5.63% of the agricultural and nonagricultural populations, respectively.
Those with a graduate education made up 0.001% of rural Chinese and 0.323% of city dwellers.
In urban areas 3.5, 16.5, 55.5, 281.55 and 323 times the number of people in rural areas had attained senior high school, technical secondary school, junior college, university and graduate levels of education, respectively.