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Nurul Afiqah Binte Rashid_A0160361R_C01_Problem Solution Essay_Second Draft

Nowadays, almost anything can be bought and this causes ubiquitous

commodification to occur in many areas, for example, education. (The

Hedgehog Review, 2003, pp. 5-6). A fast evolution is undergoing from free

education to a fee-based system due to marketability in education and the

problem is that the massive, increasing cost of study is taking a heavy toll

on poorer students, especially in developing countries such as China

(Yang, 2006, pp. 52). Since education is compulsory in China, as declared

in the Compulsory Education Law of the Peoples Republic of China (The

State Council, 2014), this makes it harder for the citizens to avoid the

problem of increasing education fees inflicted by the commercialization of

education. This essay will further explain why the incrementing cost in

education fees have been a problem due to commodification of education

in China, which inflicted negative impacts, such as financial problem for

poorer individuals and gave way to illegal profiting from school fees,

followed by the implemented solutions, such as providing scholarships

and reforming education funding, that were carried out to counter this

problem. However, providing a financial assistance scheme seems to be

the better solution to tackle this problem.

The industrialization of education has caused an increase in the cost of

education and it is becoming a problem in China due to its negative

impacts such as financial problem for poorer families and illegal profiting

from school fees.

Yang (2006) states that grievous stories of working parents unable to

afford to pay their childs education fees, often appear in the press. She

Nurul Afiqah Binte Rashid_A0160361R_C01_Problem Solution Essay_Second Draft

also added that the increasing cost of study has affected these poor

families financially to pay for education fees. This clearly shows how the

increase in education fees have become a crucial problem in terms of

affordability, especially for the poorer individuals. Another reason why the

escalating cost of studies is becoming a problem, is because it has given

way for illegal profiting from the school fees to occur. Due to

commodification, education became one of the most profitable industries

in China (Peter, 2014). Education being a profit industry has contributed

to the rise in education fees, which then led to corruption. According to

Yang (2006), Many of those involved in market principle, arguing that

their school prices should conform to the market, this shows that

institutions are inflating the cost of education based to its market.

However, she rebutted that some institutions are corrupted and

commercialising education to pursue profits rather than increasing its

education costs based on the institutions market.

Based on negative impacts, inability to pay education fees and illegal

profiting, it is crucial that the problem of escalating education fees should

be tackled as the impacts may cause social ramification. For instance,

discrepancy in educational inequality will widen the economic gap

between social classes and urban-rural districts (Yang, 2006, pp. 61). The

widening of the gap may cause social friction, which may lead to outbreak

of riots and eventually, all members of society lose out (Pettinger, 2011).

There are solutions that were undertaken to counter this issue, such as

Nurul Afiqah Binte Rashid_A0160361R_C01_Problem Solution Essay_Second Draft

providing scholarships and reforming educational funding; however, it did

not resolve the problem fully.

One of the implemented solutions was by providing scholarships. China

Scholarship Council released scholarships in 2012 (China Scholarship

Council, 2017) and these scholarships are available for those students

who meet the criteria of each scholarship, including the fact that they are

studying in the province that offers that particular scholarship. The

scholarships could offer to pay for the students registration fee, tuition

fee, fee for basic learning materials and even buy Comprehensive Medical

Insurance (China Scholarship Council, 2017). Scholarships help to reduce

the education fees on poorer individuals and made education affordable.

Thus, this promotes equality for the less fortunate to attain knowledge.

Since scholarship made education affordable and available for poorer

individuals, it narrows down the social economic gap between the social

classes. However, it still does not help to improve the social gap between

urban-rural communities (Yang, 2006, pp. 61) as not all rural communities

are offered with scholarships and are not readily available for schools in

every province.

Other than that, reforming educational funding is another solution that

was implemented. Litao (2010) states that reforming educational funding

helps in the redistribution of power and also include the transfer of

responsibilities and financial burden. She also added that it is a movement

where the investment for education costs are dealt by local governments,

communities, students families and non-governmental organization. It

Nurul Afiqah Binte Rashid_A0160361R_C01_Problem Solution Essay_Second Draft

has its advantages as well, in terms of increased educational output with

lesser investment (Litao, 2010, pp 59). However, some studies from the

Educational Statistics Yearbook of China shows the opposite. According to

Ministry of Education Peoples Republic of China (2014), the regional gap

in per student budgetary educational expenditure in primary schools

decreased faster but the reform did not produce any instant result in

narrowing the regional gap in corresponding expenditure in junior

secondary schools, which shows that this solution has helped to a certain

extent in narrowing the social economic gap but did not fully solve the

problem. Further studies should still continue to be carried out to improve

the problem.

Providing scholarships and reforming educational funding have helped to

reduce the problem in the escalating cost of education, only to a certain

extent. A better, alternative solution would be by setting up a financial

assistance scheme. This scheme should be implemented and fully

supported by the Chinese government. It should also be available for

poorer students, based on social class, in every province. This assistance

would help to reduce the massive cost of education for these individuals

and provide equal opportunities for all to be educated. It will help to

subsidise school fees from lower to middle income families; thus, these

individuals would not be affected by the rising education fees or be

exploited by the extra cost from illegal profiting.

All in all, commodification of education has altered the cost of education

fees to increase in China and it has become a crucial problem due to its

Nurul Afiqah Binte Rashid_A0160361R_C01_Problem Solution Essay_Second Draft

negative impacts, such as illegal profiting from the school fees and

financial burden for poorer individuals. This issue also impacted Chinas

social economic gap to widen and increase of inequality in education

availability for all students. Thus, modifying Chinas social mobility. There

have been ways to counter the problem in escalating cost of education,

such as reforming education funding and providing scholarships, but a

financial assistance scheme, provided by the government, seems to be

the best way to deal with this issue because not only does it narrows the

social economic gap between social classes and urban-rural communities

but also help to support poorer individuals to attain knowledge and

education at an affordable cost. Consequently, it helps to achieve equality

for all individuals to attend school and attain knowledge.

Nurul Afiqah Binte Rashid_A0160361R_C01_Problem Solution Essay_Second Draft


China Scholarship Council. (2017). Introduction to Chinese Government

Scholarships. Study

in China. Retrieved from

Litao, Z. (2010, February). Reforming China's funding of compulsory

education: changes and

their outcomes. Social Sciences In China, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp. 55-
73, DOI:

10.1080/02529200903565087. Retrieved from

Ministry of Education Peoples Republic of China. (2014). Educational

Statistics Yearbook of

China. Peoples Education Press. ISBN/ISSN : 9787107308918

Peter (2014, March). Top 15 Most Profitable Industries in China. China

Whisper. Retrieved


Pettinger, T. (2011, October). Pros and Cons of Inequality. Retrieved



Nurul Afiqah Binte Rashid_A0160361R_C01_Problem Solution Essay_Second Draft

The Hedgehog Review (2003). The Commodification of Everything VOL. 5,

NO. 2.

Introduction, pp. 5-6. Retrieved from


The State Council (2014, August). Compulsory Education Law of the


Republic of China. Retrieved from



Commodification of

Education and Its Effects on Developing Countries: A Focus on

China, pp 52-69.

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