[photopress:MBA_ann_lee.jpg,full,alignright]Ann Lee is a visiting professor at Beijing University and an adjunct finance professor at Pace University. Before that, she was a partner at multibillion-dollar hedge fund firms. She was educated at the University of California-Berkeley, Princeton and Harvard.
She has been teaching in China and is therefore in an excellent postion to point out some of the flaws.The writer has lectured at Australian universites and can claim the same.
The problems are very different but in both case very real problems exist which can, with goodwill and some money, be solved.
Ann Lee writes that she had the good fortune to be invited to teach a graduate course at Beijing University this spring semester.
In doing this she found how imperfect and inflexible the educational systemcan be in China.
Most students in China spend their whole lives trying to get into the top schools since high Communist Party officials get handpicked mainly from the most elite students in those schools.
They get weeded out through a series of nationwide standardized tests that start as early as grade school. But the pressure only begins there.
[photopress:mba_chinese_examination.jpg,full,alignleft](Note this is historically true. For many, many centuries that is how China has chosen its, as it were, top management. There are worse methods based on heritage rather than intelligence.)
Ann Lee writes that it’s quite typical for high school students to start their school day at 7:30 a.m. and end it at 11 p.m.
Often, they need to pick a track or a major in which to specialize before they even enter college and frequently choose an area where they think they will have the greatest potential to enter a top school, even if it is not what they enjoy.
A student may pick accounting because he knows he has a good shot at getting into Beijing University or Tsinghua University with that major, but he really has a love for chemistry and may even be good at it.
Sadly, even after they manage to enter the top school, they do not change majors and often end up working in the field that they studied rather than taking the chance to try what they truly want to do, mostly due to pressure from parents. So by gaming the system to get into a brand-name school, students systematically deny themselves (and China) the opportunity to reach their highest potential.
This is a long and, I guess, a seriously critical article on the Chinese education system. Of course, the author is limited in her comparisons but some of her points strike the reader as being worthy of appraisal.