While the American educational system receives a great deal of
scorn, its colleges and universities are the choice of consumers
around the world, particularly Chinese consumers.
[caption id="attachment_73307" align="alignright" width="300"
caption="West College, Princeton University, New Jersey"]
Times Education ranking
, 14 of the world's top universities were in the U.S., including
four of the top five. China, with the world's second largest
), did not have a single college or university making it into the
That raises an interesting conundrum for Chinese consumers and
others around the world. There are frequent reports showing
American third graders or eighth graders do not perform
as well as their global counterparts. But why you would base a
value judgement on how well an eight or thirteen-year
old performs, as opposed to research universities that turn
out scientists, doctors, lawyers and business leaders is a question
that does easily yield a logical answer.
Responding to that query however, are the best and brightest of
China, flocking to American colleges and universities in record
numbers. Xi Mingze, the daughter of Xi Jinping, the First Secretary
of the Central Secretriat of the Communisty Party, goes to Harvard
University, as does Bo Guagua, the son of former Chinese
mayor, governor, and finance minister Bo Xilai.
Chinese students have been attending American tertiary education
institutions in record numbers. Former Secretary of Education
William Bennet recently stated that,
"When I engaged Chinese parents about their children, they would
often say, "My son (or daughter) is going to Princeton (or fill in
the elite American university)." I would respond, 'Great! What year
is your son or daughter right now?" And they would say, "Three
Last year the number of Chinese students attending American
colleges increased by 43%. This is a tremendous weakness for
Chinese consumers: it would be difficult to find an American high
school senior aspiring to attend college in the People's
Chinese students leaving for college in American are most likely
the most accomplished and affluent. As they want to leave China for
a reason, there are probably even more reasons they will not want
to go back after graduating from American universities. China's
loss is America's gain.
For China to be a global leader it needs a superior education
system -- meaning college, not kindergarten. By leaving for college
in the United States, Chinese consumers of higher education are
voting with their feet.