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The Transition from Secondary Education to Higher Education: Case Studies from Asia and the Pacific


The demand for higher education in the Asia-Pacific region has risen substantially in recent decades due to many factors, including the rapid expansion of basic education, the need to respond to the challenges of economic development, globalization, as well as the proliferation of information and communication technology. Consequently, the number of secondary school graduates seeking places in higher education institutions has grown in tandem, creating a challenge for the screening and selection processes. Therefore, appropriate policies for university and college admissions are urgently needed to ensure an effective and smooth transition from secondary to higher education for the students, while maintaining the quality and equity of their education.

This publication, a collection of case study reports from Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR (China), India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, and the Philippines, provides an overview of key issues related to the transition from secondary to higher education, with a special focus on university and college admission policies and their impact on the provision of secondary education.

Conducted as part of the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Education Research Institutes Network (ERI-Net) 2013 research studies, the country reports showcased innovative and inspiring examples of admission policies and practices in diversified higher education environments. They also highlighted the escalation of shadow education and teaching for tests in response to the growing demand for admission into tertiary education institutions.

In view of the continuing development of the higher education systems, this publication is a useful source for policy makers and educators who want their university and college admission systems to be relevant, transparent, merit-based and equitable.


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The Transition from Secondary Education to Higher Education: Case Studies from Asia and the Pacific. Bangkok: UNESCO Bangkok, 2015, 130 p.

ISBN: 978-92-9223-510-9 (Print version)
ISBN: 978-92-9223-511-6 (Electronic version)