Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 77 ›› Issue (12): 3180-3193.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202212015

• Regional Development • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Influencing factors and spatial equilibrium of China's vocational education resources distribution

ZENG Haomiao1,3(), ZHANG Xuemin1, REN Qilin2, WU Feng2()   

  1. 1. Center for Studies of Education and Psychology of Ethnic Minorities in Southwest China, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
    2. Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    3. Chongqing Industry Polytechnic College, Chongqing 401120, China
  • Received:2022-06-09 Revised:2022-11-18 Online:2022-12-25 Published:2022-12-29
  • Contact: WU Feng;
  • Supported by:
    National Social Science Fundation of China(20BSH056);Chongqing Education Commission Humanities and Social Science Key Planning Project(22SKGH558)


Clarifying the spatial distribution of middle and higher vocational education resources and their influencing factors is an important proposition for improving China's vocational education system and promoting the balanced development of regional vocational education. This study attempts to fill in the knowledge gap that the spatial distribution characteristics and influencing factors of vocational education resources at the county level is underexamined. We firstly generate a matched data set of multiple factors at the county level, including population, economy, middle and higher vocational education resources at China's county-level scale. Secondly, we analyze the spatial distribution characteristics of middle and higher vocational education resources in nearly two decades and then identify the quantitative relations with socio-economic development indicators. Thirdly, we examine the spatial equilibrium of vocational schools and the allocation of vocational education resources by industries. Finally, we put forward the corresponding policy options for China's vocational education resources allocation. The result show that the middle and higher vocational education resources at different spatial scales concentrate to the east of the Huhuanyong Line and scatter to the west of the line. In terms of the influencing factors, the number of people under the age of 15 has a significant positive role in promoting the number of middle vocational schools, and the numbers of secondary and tertiary industries has a positive impact on the number of higher vocational schools. The research results also present that the middle vocational education resources are widely distributed, and relatively unbalanced in the west. On the contrary, the higher vocational education resources are relatively unbalanced in the east, and the difference in higher vocational education resources is dominated by variations within cities. Accordingly, we suggest that the allocation of higher and middle vocational education resources should be optimized according to local and surrounding economic development, industry and labor demand. Specifically, the eastern region requires a more reasonable allocation of higher vocational education resources, and the western region should strengthen the construction of middle vocational education resources. Moreover, the connection and coordination of middle vocational education resources between the east and the west should be emphasized as well. In addition, by relying on the cities with premium higher vocational educational resources, the development of middle vocational schools in their surrounding counties can be promoted, especially for the schools setting up the related majors. These policy options put forward by this research can shed light on enhancing the social recognition of vocational schools, and eventually boost rural revitalization and new urbanization development in China.

Key words: vocational education resources, spatial pattern, influencing factors, equilibrium of vocational education, optimal allocation of resources