News / Asia

Chinese Education System Lags, Expert says

A Chinese student is greeted by a relative after attending the end of the annual college entrance examinations, in Beijing, China, Tuesday, June 8, 2010. Each year, about 10 million high school seniors across China take the A Chinese student is greeted by a relative after attending the end of the annual college entrance examinations, in Beijing, China, Tuesday, June 8, 2010. Each year, about 10 million high school seniors across China take the "gaokao" -- the exam that is th
x
A Chinese student is greeted by a relative after attending the end of the annual college entrance examinations, in Beijing, China, Tuesday, June 8, 2010. Each year, about 10 million high school seniors across China take the
A Chinese student is greeted by a relative after attending the end of the annual college entrance examinations, in Beijing, China, Tuesday, June 8, 2010. Each year, about 10 million high school seniors across China take the "gaokao" -- the exam that is th
Ira MellmanMatthew Hilburn
China sends more students to the United States to attend American colleges than any other country in the world.

The reason, according to Shaun Rein, author of the recently published book "The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends that Will Disrupt the World,” is that far too much of Chinese education is based on rote memorization and a lack of creativity.

“We really haven’t interviewed anyone who says that they like the current education system in China,” said Rein, who is also the founder and director of the Shanghai-based China Research Group. “Obviously China’s economy has been growing for the last 30 years, but one of their major constraints is its weak education system,” he said. “What you’ve seen in the past five to 10 years is a huge upsurge in mainland Chinese going to the U.S. to learn.”

Rein said many Chinese parents want their children to be more “well-rounded.”

“They like to learn more about critical thinking, a liberal arts education and, very importantly, they get exposed to things aside from just test taking. They learn about morality and how to be a better human,” he said.

But according to Rein, the pattern of Chinese students attending college in the U.S. may be changing, due to the sluggish U.S. economy and visa issues. He also said many Chinese want to study at a U.S. institution in their home country, and to cater to this demand, U.S. education institutions like Duke University, New York University and The Julliard School are setting up campuses in China.

Rein said those ventures are just in the beginning stages, but there are concerns about how much influence the Beijing government will have on the curriculum and how these institutions will ensure the integrity of the academic mission.

China is also making some initial steps to open up its own education system, Rein said, noting that Beijing University’s admissions have become less focused on test scores alone.

He said, however, there are concerns that a more subjective admissions system could lead to bribing admissions officers.

“Although [Chinese students and parents] dislike the emphasis on test taking and the pressure from the [tests], they still think it’s the fairest way of ensuring that the only people who get in are good enough to get in,” Rein said.

Rein said he thinks it will take China 10 to 20 years to achieve the kind of reform needed to put it in league with other industrialized nations.

“For China to really become the predominant economic and global superpower, it really has to reform its education system so the best people from around the world are attracted to China to study, rather than sending China’s top students abroad,” he said.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

ILO: Women Still Losing Out in Global Work Place

International Labor Organization says women are marginally better off now than they were 20 years ago More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More