Education, Education, Reform & Development

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With apologies to Tony Blair (from whose “Education, Education, Education” speech from which we have appropriated the post’s title), we want to pick out three pieces of relatively recent education news from China – especially relevant due to the onset of the “Black Month” of exams during which “nearly 10 million students will be battling for an estimated 6.6 million university places…” (Stress test RT lonniehodge China’s “Black Month” RT GuardianEdu …students suffer as university entrance exams…

1. Firstly, the top universities (RT @chinahearsay: Latest ranking of China’s top 50 universities

According to China Daily, and based on research from Renmin University:

“The top five [universities) retained the same positions from the previous year: Peking University, Tsinghua University, Fudan University, Renmin University of China and Zhejiang University, followed by University of Science and Technology of China, Nanjing University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Beijing Normal University and Nankai University…Two universities, Beijing Language and Culture University and China University of Geosciences, made the list for the first time, with Northeastern University and Northeast Normal University out.”

Note: US-China Today reports that Peking University also produces the most billionaires…

2. Secondly, the best business schools (RT @forbesasia: The best business schools in China, in terms of ROI. On

“Forbes China surveyed 45 business schools and their graduates in the years 2005 and 2009. The report tracked salary performance and return on investment for graduates of M.B.A. and Executive M.B.A. (EMBA) programs” (see the article for more details on the rankings, the lists below are not all listed in order of rank).

Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (Beijing); University’s Guanghua School of Management; Tsinghua University; Peking University’s Beijing International M.B.A. (or BiMBA); Renmin University; University of International Business and Economics; China Europe International Business School; Fudan University; Antai College at Jiao Tong University; Xiamen University.

Part-time M.B.A.:
Peking University’s Guanghua School BiMBA Shanghai’s Fudan University; Tsinghua University; Antai College at Shanghai Jiao Tong University; Sun Yat-sen University; Zhejiang University; Nankai University; Nanjing University; Xiamen University.

MBA (full-time):
China Europe International Business School; BiMBA; Tsinghua University; Peking University’s Guanghua School; Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business; Fudan University; Antai College at Jiao Tong University; Sun Yat-sen University; Xiamen University; Nankai University.

3. Thirdly, an important announcement about education reform – something that will have an impact on the future of China’s economy, as well as the capabilities of its workforce. (RT @NiuB: CPC Politburo approves education reform plan:

Xinhua reported that:

“The Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee [approved] the final version of the Medium and Long-term National Educational Reform and Development Plan (2010-2020)”. Key points include:

• Education is seen as “the fundamental cause for the revitalization of China and social progress in the future”.

• Government investment will increase “ with the ratio of education expenditure in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) to be 4 percent by 2012…In 2008, the ratio stood at 3.48 percent, compared with the average international level of 4.5 percent”.

• The reforms would also encourage private organizations and individuals to play a greater role in the education system, said the statement.

The China Education Blog has some context, and more detailed analysis, here.

All this fits well with the development of a “harmonious society”, rapid urbanisation, the move up the value chain, and “innovatisation” of the Chinese economy.

And change is clearly needed, as noted by CNNgo, in their report “What has gone wrong with the Chinese university system?”:

“…the spotlight is back on the Chinese university system as British career and education research company QS releases its report of Asian University Rankings. Hong Kong has a strong showing, with three of the top four spots…But China’s top two universities have fallen in the rankings compared to last year. Peking University (aka Beida) dropped two places to 12 and Tsinghua dropped one place to 16.”

“[Yang Yuliang, chancellor at Fudan University] told China Youth Daily in a recent interview that the major reasons that China does not have first-class universities is because its higher educational system does not give universities enough autonomy, and the schools’ lack ‘real’ academic, intellectual and moral spirit.”

Will the government pass the education test? Only time will tell.

(Updated 2/7/10)

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