China’s Education Gap

Sep 8, 2014 by

Helen Gao – BEIJING — EVERY September, the campuses of Peking and Tsinghua Universities, often called the Harvard and M.I.T. of China, brim with eager new students, the winners of China’s cutthroat education system. These young men and women possess the outlook of cosmopolitan youth worldwide: sporting designer clothes and wielding high-end smartphones, they share experiences of foreign travel and bond over common fondness for Western television shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Sherlock.”

They are destined for bright futures: In a few decades, they will fill high-powered positions in government and become executives in state banks and multinational companies. But their ever-expanding career possibilities belie the increasingly narrow slice of society they represent. The percentage of students at Peking University from rural origins, for example, has fallen to about 10 percent in the past decade, down from around 30 percent in the 1990s. An admissions officer at Tsinghua University told a reporter last year that the typical undergraduate was “someone who grew up in cities, whose parents are civil servants and teachers, go on family trips at least once a year, and have studied abroad in high school.”

via China’s Education Gap – NYTimes.com.

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