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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Norena Badway

First Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Second Committee Member

Delores McNair

Third Committee Member

Jie Lu


Higher education is considered significant in economic development of a country. In light of Bronfenbrenner's bio-ecological system model, this study is designed to study the factors that might influence higher education aspiration for the students living in Bazhou Prefecture, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of China. The results of this study find that the senior high school students living in this region have extraordinarily high aspiration, even when taking into account their Confucian culture. Not only do 95% of the participants aspire to college education after high school, but also 62% of them plan to attend graduate schools in addition to college education. The majority of the participants consider it important to obtain a foreign graduate degree from universities in America or Canada. The results report parents' expectations are the predominant influences on education aspiration along with factors such as parental education level, age, GPA, and family financial support. It is also notable that influential factors in previous studies like SES, peer advice, relatives, school advice, are not supported by the results from this study. Factors like favorite subject, least-liked subject, living location, and location of the available college are explored in this study for the first time in relation to education aspiration, and are found to not be important. The findings of this study add knowledge to understanding higher education aspiration in the context of China. The researcher highly recommends that China continue to expand its higher education access, especially in poorer or remote areas, to balance government control and market force, and to extend counseling to high schools. It implicates that US higher education institutions should take an active part in the process of China's higher education development for mutual benefit.





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