Title

Massification of higher education, graduate employment and social mobility in the Greater China region

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

British Journal of Sociology of Education

Publication Date

2016

Volume

37

Issue

1

First Page

51

Last Page

71

Publisher

Routledge

Keywords

Massification of higher education, changes in labour market needs, social mobility, opportunity trap, Greater China region

Abstract

Globalisation and the evolution of the knowledge-based economy have caused dramatic worldwide changes in the character and functions of education, particularly higher education. In the search for global competitiveness, many emerging economies have begun to expand their higher education systems, which has significantly affected the relationship between higher education and graduate employment. Recently, international comparative studies have suggested that increasing enrolment in higher education does not always promote upward social mobility, and can intensify inequality in education. This article critically examines the impact of the expansion of higher education in East Asia on graduate employment and social mobility in the context of an increasingly globalising economy and changing labour market needs. The article discusses emerging trends in the Greater China region, with a particular focus on Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Taipei, and argues that the massification of higher education has not necessarily led to more occupational opportunities for youth or opportunities for upward social movement, particularly since the signifi- cant changes in the global labour market after the 2008 global financial crisis. On the contrary, the intensification of ‘positional competition’ among college graduates seems to reflect growing social inequality.

DOI

10.1080/01425692.2015.1111751

Print ISSN

01425692

E-ISSN

14653346

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Mok, K. H. (2016). Massification of higher education, graduate employment and social mobility in the Greater China region. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 37(1), 51-71. doi: 10.1080/01425692.2015.1111751