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Nurul Afiqah Binte Rashid_A0160361R_C01_Problem Solution Essay_Final 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 rapid
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 studies 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 increasing education fees inflicted by the commercialization of education. Several
solutions were implemented such as, providing scholarships and reforming education
funding, to resolve the problem of incrementing cost in education fees due to
commodification of education in China; however, these solutions were ineffective in resolving
the problem. Consequently, an alternative solution is needed and setting up a financial
assistance scheme could resolve this problem better. Commented [NAR1]: Thesis can be more concise.
Several solutions have been implemented such as, providing
China has been improving the quality and resources for education but such improvements scholarships and reforming education funding, were
ineffective to resolve the problem of incrementing cost in
implicates a rise in education fees (China Education Centre, 2017). Increasing the quality and education fees due to commodification of education in
resources for education could promise better prospects for students and this is becoming the China.*
factor and selling point for the commercialization of education. This commercialization is Consequently, an alternative solution, setting up a financial
assistance scheme, is needed.*
causing a massive increase in education fees, which becomes a problem in China due to its
Commented [NAR2]: SVA
negative impacts such as financial problems for poorer families and illegal profiting from Implicate*
school fees. Yang (2006) reports about unaffordability in education fees due to the increasing
Commented [NAR3]: Topic sentence?
cost of studies which has affected poorer families financially and further worsens as the The commodification of education in China is due to
resulting financial hardship has blocked the access to schools for these individuals (Chen and improving quality and resources for education because such
Yang, 2010). This clearly shows how the increase in education fees has become a crucial improvements implicate a rise in education fees.*
problem financially and causes educational inequality for the poorer individuals. Another Commented [NAR4]: Worsens what?
impact caused by the escalating cost of studies is increased acts of illegal profiting from the Worsens the problem*
school fees. Schools are taking advantage of educations marketability to collect extra school
fees despite the collection being an illegal act (Chen and Yang, 2010). In the Compulsory
Education Law of the People's Republic of China, Chapter III: Schools, Article 25, it clearly
states that schools shall not collect any fees in violation of State regulations, nor shall they
seek profits by selling commodities, services, etc. to students or doing so in disguised form
("Compulsory Education Law of the People's Republic of China", 2017). This act is unethical
and exploits education fees for illegal profit, which causes unaffordability in education and
makes education less accessible for the poorer individuals.

Based on the negative impacts, it is crucial that the problem of escalating education fees is
resolved as the impacts may cause social ramifications. For instance, discrepancy in
educational inequality will widen the economic gap between social classes and urban-rural
districts (Yang, 2006, pp. 61). Solutions, such as providing scholarships and reforming
educational funding, are undertaken to counter this issue; however, these solutions did not
resolve the problem fully.

One of the implemented solutions is by providing scholarships. The China Scholarship Council
released scholarships in 2012 (China Scholarship Council, 2017). The availability of these
scholarships depends on its criteria requirements and place of study. The scholarships could
offer to pay for the students registration fee, tuition fee and even buy Comprehensive
Medical Insurance (China Scholarship Council, 2017) which helps to reduce the fees for poorer

Nurul Afiqah Binte Rashid_A0160361R_C01_Problem Solution Essay_Final Draft

individuals and make education more affordable; thus promoting educational equality for the
less fortunate. Since scholarship makes education more 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 scholarships and these scholarship are not Commented [NAR5]: Scholarships*
readily available for schools in every province.

Other than that, reforming educational funding is another solution that was implemented.
Litao (2010) explains that reforming educational funding is a movement in redistribution of
responsibilities in managing the investments for education under the local governments. This
reform helps to reduce the schools investment as the costs are covered by the local Commented [NAR6]: Schools
government. Moreover, the reform increases educational output with less investment (Litao,
2010, pp. 59). From this solution, education fees should be more affordable for poorer
individuals as the costs are covered by the government. However, some studies from the
Educational Statistics Yearbook of China has shown the opposite. Ministry of Education
Peoples Republic of China (2014) reported that the regional gap in per student budgetary
educational expenditure did not narrow the expenditure in junior secondary schools due to
drastic income gaps between provinces. Based on the study, results show that the education
fees are still unaffordable for poorer individuals and this reform did not eradicate the problem Commented [NAR7]: has

Providing scholarships and reforming educational funding have helped to reduce the problem
in the escalating cost of education, only to a small extent. Therefore, a better solution is Commented [NAR8]: repetitive content
needed and setting up a financial assistance scheme is proposed. This scheme should be Commented [NAR9]: More evaluation of suggested
implemented and fully supported by the Chinese government. It should also be available for solutions.
poorer students, based on social class, in every province. Other than that, it would help to Mention about how the implemented solutions was not
narrowed to poorer individuals while this solution did so it
reduce the massive cost of education for these individuals and provide equal opportunities really helped those who were unprivileged.
for all to be educated, by subsidising 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 since the government covers the cost of education,
institutions cannot profit from incrementing the fees. Commented [NAR10]: Mention about some limitations
Local governments might not be able to cover the costs so
All in all, commodification of education has altered education fees to increase in China and it parents could cover the costs by working for the school to
make up for the fees or students could contribute to the
has become a crucial problem due to its negative impacts. Solutions, such as reforming school.
education funding and providing scholarships, were implemented but were ineffective in
countering the problem in the escalating costs of education. Therefore, a better solution is
needed and a financial assistance scheme, provided by the government, seems to be the best Commented [NAR11]: Thesis can be more concise and be
way to eradicate the problem wholesomely as it helps to achieve equality for most students combined into one sentence on a macro level.
to be educated despite the increasing education fees. If this problem is not resolved, the
discrepancy in educational inequality may worsen overtime and cause Chinas social
economic gap to widen; thus, modifying Chinas social mobility. 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). Commented [NAR12]: Previous concluding statement is
also possible.

Nurul Afiqah Binte Rashid_A0160361R_C01_Problem Solution Essay_Final Draft


Chen & Yang. (2010). Access to compulsory education by rural migrants' children in urban

China: A case study from nine cities. Journal of Education for International

Development 4:3. Retrieved from

China Education Center. (2017). Overview of Education in China.

Retrieved 27 March 2017, from

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

in China. Retrieved from

Compulsory Education Law of the People's Republic of China. (2017). Database of Laws and

Regulations. Retrieved from

Litao. (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

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

Nurul Afiqah Binte Rashid_A0160361R_C01_Problem Solution Essay_Final 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 Peoples

Republic of China. Retrieved from


Yang. (2006). JOURNAL FR ENTWICKLUNGSPOLITIK vol. XXII 4. The Commodification of

Education and Its Effects on Developing Countries: A Focus on China, pp 52-69.

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