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Resources allocation in Chinese universities:hierarchy, academic excellence or both?



Scholars are aware that the higher education sector in China is highly affected by its administrative system, but the questions of how and to what extent the Chinese administrative system impacts academic resources allocation have yet to be answered. By examining the empirical data from 2003 to 2010 of China’s National Excellent Doctoral Dissertations Award, this article finds that the hierarchical position of doctoral advisors who hold a university or college post will have an important influence on academic resources allocation, although these advisors are professors with high academic ability. This article also finds an interaction effect between advisors’ hierarchical position and students’ academic abilities in influencing the decisions on the award. Overall, the Chinese case digs rather deep into the increasing hierarchisation of academic life and science.