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Inside China Ed – January Edition, 2013 (003)
China’s push for more college graduates (195 million by the end of the decade) has recently sparked a debate over whether or not the educational system can actually produce homegrown innovative thinkers and workers.
Some experts tout the positive effects of educated workers on China and the world, but it’s easy to be skeptical, especially since the education system faces numerous challenges. such as limited numbers of qualified instructors, outdated education methods, and the government’s ability to lure back the talent who have gone to study abroad – and stayed there.
A new study has also found that the One-Child policy may have produced a generation of pessimistic, risk-averse little emperors – which is bad for the economy. As stories from China testify, with so many college graduates, sometimes jobs go begging while graduates wait for better offers, and other times a degree can barely get you a job sweeping the streets.
In a nation that has traditionally seen education as the surest route to success, only top-tier schools remain globally competitive, while the education system as a whole is not. Thus it’s unsurprising to see international education opportunities proliferating within China itself. From satellite campuses to international private high schools, China’s booming middle class remains hungry for quality education (the ultimate luxury purchase), both abroad and closer to home.
In the last 12 years, enrollment in international-style private high schools have grown 25 times, with the market increasingly occupied by middle-class Chinese families rather than expatriates. These schools provide win-win solutions for Chinese parents, as they don’t carry the financial and emotional costs of sending an only child abroad. For hefty fees, however, just how good are they?
And for college students already studying abroad, new summer schools – taught by Western instructors in China – help students complete their degrees faster and more easily. But the same issues that dog the reputation of Chinese students – plagiarism, false credentials, and cheating – affect the experience of these schools and instructors. Few find it easy to work with an academic system with such different standards and expectations from the West.
LINKS (in order of appearance)
– Next Made-in-China Boom: College Graduates – Keith Bradsher’s NYTimes series, Education Revolution, looks at the promises and challenges that China faces as it tries to educate its citizens more broadly.
– The Effects of China’s Push for Education – NYTimes Room for Debate
– Good For China, And the Rest of the World – NYTImes Room for Debate
– Luring Back the Chinese Who Study Abroad – NYTimes Room for Debate
– Study: China’s Pessimistic Little Emperors Pose Economic Risk – Study finds that China’s one-child policy produced less trusting, less trustworthy and less competitive children compared to the generation born before the policy was introduced
– Chinese Graduates Say No Thanks to Factory Jobs – “There is a structural mismatch – on the one hand, the factories cannot find skilled labor, and, on the other hand, the universities produce students who do not want the jobs available.”
– College Graduates Compete for Jobs Sweeping Streets – “Of the 7,186 applicants who paid the application fee, 2,954, or 41 percent, were college graduates. Twenty-five applicants held a master’s degree.”
– The Most Valuable Luxury Demographic You Haven’t Heard About – “Sending a child abroad to study is considered the ultimate luxury purchase.”
– An Oxford in Changzhou? International Schools Spread Across China – “The website for a private school in Changzhou…features…all the trappings of the British school system designed to appeal to wealthy Chinese parents.”
– High School “International Class”: High Fees & Worrisome Quality – A translation of a September 2012 article on international classes in Chinese high schools. Original translation by Elliott Bernstein at EdNewsChina
– Campus Collaboration – Foreign universities find working in China harder than expected.
Education News China – Translations of study-abroad and education-related Chinese news articles, sourced from the Chinese internet. A new project by Elliott Bernstein, a long-time resident of China.
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