Since 1999, there has been a rapid expansion in enrollment in Chinese higher education. By 2003, its gross enrollment had risen to 17 percent of the age-cohort (which typically refers to the age group from 18 to 22 in China and 18 to 21 in Japan), indicating that Chinese higher education had entered the phase of mass higher education, according to Martin Trow's definition. Mass higher education in China was achieved nearly 40 years later than in Japan, but it is still worth conducting a comparative study. This chapter is concerned with similarities and differences in massification of higher education between China and Japan and focuses on the character, tendency, and policy choice of massification of these two systems of higher education in a comparative perspective. First, by reviewing rationales and policies for massification of higher education in the two countries, it is pointed out that although both countries share similarities, massification of higher education in Japan was greatly influenced by industrial demand, while in China it was heavily affected by a rapid increase in more graduates from senior higher schools and by unemployment. Second, how mass higher education was achieved in the two countries is examined. Third, based on quantitative analyses, this chapter illustrates the two types of massification of higher education arising from differences in the history and traditions of higher education institutions, political influences, social backgrounds, and international contexts. Finally, the chapter considers the progress of massification of Chinese higher education and puts forward some recommendations at the policy level for the further development of higher education in China in light of the Japanese experiences.

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