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Title: Understanding migrant children's education in Beijing : policies, implementation, and the consequences for privately-run migrant schools
Author: Pong, Myra Wai-Jing
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 2649
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2013
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In China, the so-called “tidal wave” of rural-urban migrant workers since the early 1980s has created unique challenges for the government, one being migrant children's education in cities. In 2001, the central government adopted a policy of “two priorities” (liangweizhu) towards the provision of compulsory education for these children, where the two areas of focus would be management by local governments in receiving areas – which, in the case of municipalities like Beijing, refers primarily to the municipal and district governments – and education in public schools. This decentralization of responsibilities, however, has created space for differential policy implementation, and, in Beijing, this has meant that many migrant children still attend poor quality, often unlicensed migrant schools that are vulnerable to government closures and demolition. Though migrant children's education is attracting increasing government and societal attention, the effects of decentralization on privately-run migrant schools and their students remain largely unexplored. In light of the policy of “two priorities,” this thesis highlights the development of two trends in Beijing: 1) the emergence of variation between district policy approaches and 2) increased civil society involvement. Using Haidian, Shijingshan, and Fengtai districts as cases, this study draws on evidence from qualitative interviews and policy document analysis to examine the interaction between these two trends and the consequences for migrant schools. It addresses critical questions concerning how policy implementation operates in an increasingly important but complex policy area and why, including the roles of policy history and local context, and illustrates that the municipal and district-level policy approaches shape the situations of migrant schools and their students directly and indirectly (through their impact on civil society). These findings shed light on the complexities of the implementation process and the implications for trends in social stratification, creating a stronger foundation upon which to improve educational opportunities for migrant children in Beijing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LC3701 Immigrants or ethnic and linguistic minorities. Bilingual schools ; LG051 China