Impacts of Reduced Inequalities on Quality Education: Examining the Relationship between Regional Sustainability and Higher Education

Tingting Liu, Xiaoxian Zhu, Mengqiu Cao

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Abstract

Although the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) advocate, through SDG 4 and SDG 10, equitable quality education and the reduction of inequalities within and between countries, respectively, few studies have examined how inequalities in regional sustainability influence higher education. Therefore, this study aims to examine the relationship between regional sustainability and higher education in China using fixed-effects panel modelling. A systematic force framework showing how regional sustainability drives higher education was constructed from economic, social, and environmental perspectives, and the endogeneity in the process of how regional sustainability affects higher education was explored by introducing one-year lagged values as instrumental variables. Our results show that regional sustainability has a significant impact on higher educational attainment in China, with differing effects in the eastern, central, and western regions, respectively. In central China, economic sustainability plays a significant positive role in higher educational attainment; in the western region, economic and social sustainability have stronger positive effects, while environmental sustainability has significantly negative effects. In terms of policy implications, our findings can be used to support regional development policies to promote regional higher education.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14112
Number of pages15
JournalSustainability
Volume14
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the project “Research on the Organized Unversity Basic Academic Organization from the Perspective of Double First-rate” granted by the ect of Jiangsu Social science Application Research (22SWB-02), “The NSSFC” (21CSH015), and School Funding from the University of Westminster, “Research on the key problems of forming multi-level spatial pattern in Jiangsu province” granted by Social Science Project of Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education-Guiding Plan Project (2021SJA1013); the project “Research on social mobility and social integration of overseas returnees and domestic masters in the new era” granted by Basic scientific research business cost project—Social Science Funding (2022SK22).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.

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