Education Talking Points | 06/09/2017

In today’s talking points: China’s online education market continues to boom; 2017 Times Higher Education world university rankings: six Australian universities in top 100; Classic Chinese Literature is back on the table; Face-scans introduced to identify university students.

China’s online education market continues to boom

China’s online education industry is to continue its growth thanks to new technology and investment, with the market projected to expand 20 percent annually to a value of RMB 270 billion in 2019, up from RMB 156 billion in 2016. To capitalise on this growth, firms in the industry are targeting a new market instead of the existing one, according to marketing director of EEO (a developer of online classroom software), Zhang Dongdong. This is in line with a recent report by iResearch stating that new technology has given educators a broader student base, save on classroom costs and provide smarter services, and at the same time also helped those who face long commutes, with demand in third and fourth tier cities expected to be a significant area for growth.

Read more at: South China Morning Post


2017 Times Higher Education world university rankings: six Australian universities in top 100

The University of Melbourne was the highest ranked Australian university at 32, followed by the Australian National University at 48. The University of Sydney, the University of Queensland, Monash University and the University of NSW also made the top 100, however, each of these six universities dropped between one and seven places from last year’s rankings.

China had two entries in the top 30 for the first time, continuing the trend of rising Chinese universities. This could affect Australia’s education tourism industry with many Chinese students potentially choosing domestic universities in the future, according to Phil Baty, the editor of the rankings.

Read more at: Sydney Morning Herald


Classic Chinese Literature is back on the table

According to education authorities, ancient Chinese literature, language and science will now be integrated into students’ curriculum from Grade 1, for the first time such material has been introduced to new students since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. One notable professor of Chinese language and literature, and a researcher of ancient Chinese language at China University of Communication, Li Jie, applauded the change, saying that “First grade is among the earliest stages for children to learn and absorb knowledge, and students at that age have comparatively more active minds. Learning some ancient literature during this period will lay a firm foundation for them to gain further knowledge of the field”.

These developments echo the education ministry’s efforts to raise awareness of traditional culture consistently among primary and middle school students across China. After being trialled in some provinces last year the new set of textbooks published by People’s Education Press will be used nationally when the new semester starts in September.

Read more at: China Daily


Face-scans introduced to identify university students

With the start of the autumn semester, Beijing Normal University implemented the use of two face-scanning machines for student registration last Sunday. After scanning a student’s face for two seconds, a digital photo (which can be shared digitally or printed out) with the student’s name, student ID, and major is created.

The face identification technology will be used to control access to student dormitories this semester, meaning that “People who don’t live in the building will not be able to get in even if they have student cards”, noted Ma Liang, a doctoral student at the university. The card-less technology will serve a convenient solution to students prone to forgetting or misplacing their student cards, as they will be able to have their face scanned and then speak their names into the machine, or enter their student ID and password.

Read more at: China Daily