Education Talking Points 04-08-2016


In today’s Talking Points: Stanford University study finds Chinese school system produces students with among the strongest critical thinking skills in the world; Record number of Australian students studying in Chinese universities;  report finds Chinas higher education ‘big bang’ may increase educational inequality; Meituan & Dazhongdianping to establish new Internet Plus University (IPU) to enable the government’s “Internet Plus” strategy.

Study finds Chinese primary and secondary students excel at critical thinking

A new study by researchers at Stanford University has found that, contrary to popular belief, the Chinese school system produces students with among the strongest critical thinking skills in the world, corroborating earlier studies that Chinese high school students perform higher on international exams in maths, science and reading. The study examined the critical thinking of 2700 freshmen in Chinese computer science and engineering programs across 11 mainland universities, including the ability to identify assumptions, test hypotheses and draw relationships between variables and found the students performed at levels two to three years ahead of their US and Russian peers.  However the study found this advantage is lost at the tertiary level as students recorded virtually no improvement after two years of university.  The study suggested this is due to poor quality teaching at universities as research attracts greater rewards, and lack of motivation in students as graduation is virtually assured unlike at secondary level where the pressure and demands of the gaokao have been widely reported.

Source: The New York Times.


Record number of Australian students studying in Chinese universities

China’s Ministry of Education has reported up to 5000 Australian students studying at Chinese universities, an increase of 37 percent since last year and 87 percent up on 2011.  Li Haito, Associate Dean of the MBA Program at Beijing’s Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business speculated that more entrepreneurial foreign professionals are being attracted to China by the growth and international competitiveness of Chinese companies as the country moves towards a more service-oriented, technology focused economy and are  pursuing local post-graduate degrees to give them a foot in the door of the local employment market.  This number however is still well short of the estimated 90,000 Chinese students studying in Australia where they make up 29.4% of all international students.

Source: SMH.


New report warns expansion of higher education system in China may intensify educational inequality

A new report published by the Centre for Global Higher Education, an international partnership of universities funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) finds that since the rapid expansion of China’s higher education “big bang”, the family’s educational resource or cultural capital has had greater importance both in determining a child’s participation in higher education and their success in securing graduate employment. These findings support recent research in Europe, North America and East Asia which found students employment and social mobility were negatively impacted by the growth of higher education.

Source: Times Higher Education


Meituan & Dazhongdianping to build China’s first E-commerce training university

Chinese online-to-offline giant Meituan & Dazhongdianping has announced plans to establish the new Internet Plus University (IPU) to develop the business models, technology and skills to enable the government’s “Internet Plus” strategy to drive economic growth through better integration of Internet technologies with manufacturing and business.  China’s e-commerce sector has been valued at 2.24 trillion yuan in the first half of 2016, a year on year growth of 28.2%.

Source: Xinhua