China’s Ethnic Minority Educational Preferential Policy at the Crossroads – A Case Study of the Bonus Score Policy: More, Less or Gone? (September 30, 2022)

The Consortium for Higher Education Research in Asia (CHERA) (Chair: Professor Gerard A. Postiglione), the Comparative Education Research Centre (CERC) and the Social Contexts and Policies of Education (SCAPE) host a series of forums for post-doc researchers and doctoral students in Asia who are studying in the field of higher education. The forums aim to identify common challenges in Asian higher education, build a vibrant and sustainable network, and strengthen the research collaboration among emerging scholars in higher education. The forums cover a broad range of issues in Asian higher education including higher education and science policy, teaching and learning, student experience, equity/access, quality assurance, internationalization, and privatization and finance. On-going researches (project or dissertations) and recently published works are all welcome to be presented and discussed. Both individual/co-presentations and panel discussion formats are welcome. The forums are conducted in English via an online platform.

Anyone who is interested in presenting their research, please contact the coordinators: Dr Jisun Jung ( and Dr Alice Te ( Please send the (tentative) title, abstract (150 words), and a bio (50 words).

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Co-organizers: SCAPE, CHERA, CERC

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China’s Ethnic Minority Educational Preferential Policy at the Crossroads – A Case Study of the Bonus Score Policy: More, Less or Gone?

Date: September 30, 2022 (Friday)(Hong Kong Time)

Time: 15:00-16:00

Chair: Dr Jisun Jung, The University of Hong Kong

Speaker: Ms Zhepin Zhuang, La Trobe University


The bonus score treatment is a long-held but controversial educational preferential policy for Chinese minority students in the yearly National University Entrance Examination. Being a core component of China’s ethnic preferential policy, the bonus score treatment has been undergoing a diminishing trend nationwide amid a deepening of the reforms. This article investigates a complete set of the policy documentation issued by China’s central government and various local governments. The findings indicate that the bonus score policy reform aims to more precisely target the regions and ethnic minorities with the most need. Meanwhile, drilling down to deeper levels of details, the article argues that the educational preferential policy has been shifted even though the State-Party never officially admits it. It is prudently but adamantly tightening the relatively liberal and preferential ethnic minority educational policy, aimed a trend of foster a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation under Xi Jinping’s era.


Zhepin Zhuang is a second-year Ph.D. candidate in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, La Trobe University. As a former lecturer at Wenzhou Polytechnic, she gained eight years of significant professional and teaching experience in the academic sphere. Currently, she is undertaking research focused on higher education for ethnic minorities in China.