From access to quality: Migrant children's education in urban China

Jing Liu, W. James Jacob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


An increasing number of migrant children are involved in public education due largely to the policy for migrant children education outlined by the Government of China from the late 1990s. In this article, we describe the unique and often difficult situation rural migrant children face after they enter urban public schools. Drawing from the Theory of Inclusive Education and data collected at two public junior high schools in Beijing, we provide an in-depth analysis on migrant children's education from their own viewpoint and from the perspectives of their parents, teachers, and school administrators. Our survey results identify the need for further adjustments of the existing education system which can help improve migrant children's education in China. Findings also highlight the dilemmas regarding how to best meet the needs for teachers, migrant parents, and migrant children who attend public schools. In order to provide a quality education for migrant children, we conclude by arguing that there must be a three-pronged partnership to best accommodate the unique education needs of migrant children in urban China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-191
Number of pages15
JournalEducational Research for Policy and Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct


  • Access
  • China
  • Migrant children
  • Migrant parents
  • Public schools
  • Quality


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