The 21st Century Scholar Blog is devoting the week of September 17th to Chinese higher education with guest blogger Professor Robert A. Rhoades, a scholar of higher education in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA. He kicks off the week with a self- introduction and his experience researching and teaching at Chinese universities.
Here’s his closing statement on the current higher education development in China:
The present stage of higher education development in China might be best described as “The Global Ambition Period,” in light of national efforts to build preeminent universities (mostly in terms of research capacity and internationalization), while at the same time expanding student enrollment. China’s leaders see their growing financial clout as not only an opportunity to play a greater role on the world’s economic stage, but to also use the nation’s resources to advance its cultural institutions—including most notably the nation’s top universities. Chinese leaders want universities such as Peking, Tsinghua, and Zhejiang to be mentioned in the same breath with Harvard, MIT, and Stanford. This is part of the nation’s growing ambition to be a world leader in multiple spheres. The push to build world-class universities is also recognition of the growing importance of research universities in an information and high-tech age.
We’ll be following Professor Rhoads through the rest of the week. Here’s a schedule of the topics for the week:
- Tuesday: “Campus Diversity Chinese Style” – Rhoads dispels the popular misconception that China is a relatively homogeneous society.
- Wednesday: “Student Life and Comradery in China” – Rhoads offers a couple of examples of cultural differences between student life in China and the United States.
- Thursday: “The Pressures of Faculty Life in China” – Rhoads discusses some of his research on how faculty life in China is changing.
- Friday: “The Quest to Develop World-Class Research Universities in China” – Robert explains two major Chinese national initiatives to strengthen the nation’s leading universities—Project 211 and Project 985.