CSRDA Discussion Paper Series

No. 39 Undergraduate Student Life in China: Based on the 2018 Web Survey
Shuai Wang
Shuai Wang The University of Tokyo
higher educationstudent lifefinancial aid
Goal 1: No PovertyGoal 4: Quality EducationGoal 10: Reduced Inequalities
Survey on College Students in a Regional University in China, 2018

As higher education continues to expand, there are concerns that equal opportunities in higher education are threatened by the heavy financial burdens of funding a college education for students who find it difficult to enter or continue university studies. Many countries continue to improve and enhance their financial aid policies. However, students sometimes need clarification on how to use financial aid. At the same time, it remains unclear to policymakers how students spend their university life, what kind of aspirations they have after graduation, and what factors influence each other. This paper focuses on these points and examines the actual situation of student life, studies and financial aid usage in China based on a web-based survey conducted at an average national university in 2018. The main findings from the simple tabulation of the data are as follows. First, many students attend college because of high educational expectations. Students in low-income brackets are highly concerned about the cost and availability of financial aid when deciding whether to attend university. Second, relatively study-centered university life is a characteristic of Chinese university students. In addition, the survey confirmed that disparities in household income groups made a difference in student income and expenditures and that financial aid programs are widely used. Third, many students wished to go on to graduate school, and there were differences in postgraduation career choices by grades and household income group.