The Emphasis on Education in China

One of my students grew up and went to high school in Nanjing, population 8 million. Her acceptance to Tsinghua was such a big deal that when her acceptance letter reached the local post office they called to tell her.  The post office also alerted journalists. When the letter was delivered to her house, there were about 20 journalists on hand. One of them, from a TV station, asked her to say something to those who failed.

5 Replies to “The Emphasis on Education in China”

  1. When I was a lad (and far fewer of us went to university) the results of our Finals would be published in the papers. So if I told you the year, you could look me up in the Telegraph or Times and see whether I got a First, an Upper Second and so on. The contrast between this and the American custom of secrecy in such matters is striking.

    Things change: a few years ago one undergraduate at Cambridge objected to having his name and College shown on the results lists. He got his way.

  2. Don’t students who fail to reach Tsinghua, but still have high scores, get a slot in the next tier of universities?

    Seth: Yes. In that sense the reporter’s question is bizarre. But I suspect the reporter could argue that it is not so bizarre.

  3. Seth: Have you seen this piece that touches on the problems with living in China?

    Relevant quote: “The domestic Chinese lower education system does not educate. It is a test centre. The curriculum is designed to teach children how to pass them. In rural China, where we have lived for seven years, it is also an elevation system. Success in exams offers a passport to a better life in the big city. Schools do not produce well-rounded, sociable, self-reliant young people with inquiring minds. They produce winners and losers. Winners go on to college or university to take “business studies.” Losers go back to the farm or the local factory their parents were hoping they could escape.”

    Seth: Thanks. Yes, I read that article, but I’d forgotten that part.

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