Ενδιαφέρον άρθρο για τα κινεζικά πανεπιστήμια στο Science:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/319/5860/148

Μερικά αποσπάσματα:

When Rao Zihe became president of Nankai University in May 2006, he hatched a plan to restore glory to a faltering institution. To shake up the system, Rao set out to hire new deans for 15 of the 21 colleges.

Rao aimed for up-and-comers, mostly assistant and associate professors from toptier institutions, including Yale University, Cornell University, and the University of Oxford.

Nearly a quarter of college-age youth now receive tertiary education, surpassing the country’s goal of 15% by 2010.

The central government appoints national university presidents, approves curricula, decides evaluation criteria, and sets admission standards through the Ministry of Education’s entrance exam, a matriculation requirement for all national universities.

As early as 1995, the education ministry launched a plan to prepare 100 universities for the 21st century. Project 211 put $2.3 billion on the table, mainly for infrastructure and curriculum development.

Universities have tried to balance their books by increasing tuition, which rose 25-fold over 2 decades to an average of $625 per year in 2005, according to the 2006 Blue Book on Education in China. In comparison, average per capita income in rural China was $376 that year.

So universities resorted to setting up affiliated «independent» colleges that cater to students who fail to pass the entrance exams for public universities but are able to pay higher tuition. About 300 such colleges are enrolling students.

At most Chinese universities, senior faculty members entered their university as undergrads and joined the faculty while working on Ph.D. degrees. Such inbreeding, Rao and others say, results in outmoded courses, antiquated teaching methods, and a lack of fresh ideas for research. When Rao arrived at Nankai, the university’s life sciences courses focused on traditional disciplines such as entomology and botany and ignored emerging fields; curricula and teaching methods were little changed from the half-century-old Soviet-style model;

The need to infuse new blood into universities was recognized in the 1990s, when the government set up incentive programs to tap the expertise of expatriate Chinese. Many programs offered lucrative incentives for overseas scholars to return. The programs have had mixed results: Some of these «sea turtles»–as the returnees are nicknamed in Chinese–were looking for easy moonlighting gigs. Indeed, some star part-timers offer their host institutions little more than high-profile names that are good for public relations

(σας θυμίζει τίποτα αυτό το τελευταίο; )

More and more highly qualified Chinese-born academics are forsaking overseas posts to devote all their energies to bui lding China’s education system.

Immunologist Yin Zhinan, who gave up a tenure-track position at Yale University to become dean of Nankai’s College of Life Sciences, says that he would have worried about being ineffectual if he were one of only a few coming back.

The Chinese government hopes to tackle the dearth of qualified faculty members by redoubling efforts to send graduate students overseas.

Advertisements