Gatekeeping the arts: national policy, student perception and the art and design entrance examination in China

Leng, Jian (2015) Gatekeeping the arts: national policy, student perception and the art and design entrance examination in China. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

2015_Leng Jian_680149l.pdf

Download (6MB)


With the development of higher education in China, the educational policy and strategy has been changed from ‘jingyingshi jiaoyu’ [elite education] to ‘dazhonghua jiaoyu’ [mass education] over the last decade. Since the end of twentieth century, there has been a significant phenomenon of the rapidly increased applicants for art and design undergraduate studies, which has been called ‘Art Study Fervour’ [yi kao re]. Envisaging the increasing number of applicants, the art examination, generally known as a preR sessional test of the National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) [gaokao], plays the role of a ‘filter’ to select the ‘appropriate’ students to start their art and design undergraduate studies.

The main aim of using the current art examination, from the perspective of art institutions, is to select the students by testing their technical ability. However, from the contemporary perspective, understanding student choice within the entry system should be equally of importance in the development of educational policy and practice in higher education participation. To critically review the use of art examination has been a cutting point for this study. It stimulates critical reflections on the appropriateness of preparatory and introductory approaches within the process of student choice, and more importantly, the implication of the problems derived from the educational system on students’ experience leading them to their future destination. Hence, it is important for both applicants and institutions to identify the factors that might influence student choice, including accessible sources of information for students to facilitate their choices of higher education. In particular, focusing on students’ motivation, their behaviours towards institution and subject choice become central in this research.

This research sets up an original perspective to investigate the entry system towards art and design higher education in China, and to critically re-examine student’s educational choice on institution and subject studies. The influential factors, in particular the current entry system and art examination, in shaping students’ motivation, have been revealed and analysed, in order to develop new understanding of student experience, institutional strategy and art education in China with its impacts in the social and cultural context.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
March 2015Completed
Subjects: CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-01 - creative arts and design > CAH25-01-02 - art
CAH22 - education and teaching > CAH22-01 - education and teaching > CAH22-01-01 - education
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham Institute of Creative Arts > Birmingham School of Art
Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Richard Birley
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2017 17:35
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 17:23

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


In this section...