[photopress:MBA_uni_students.jpg,full,alignright]According to recent findings from the Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) a major transformation of higher education in China has the potential to impact the global economy and global education structure.
CIGI’s newest policy brief, Higher Educational Transformation in China and its Global Implications, presents an overview of Chinese policies in the education sector and finds that the most recent transformation is focused on major commitments to tertiary education.
This strategy differs from those of other low-wage economies, which invest heavily in primary and secondary education, and has implications for global trade in both ideas and idea-derived products.
The authors point to recent statistics showing the number of undergraduate and graduate students in China has increased by about 30% per year since 1999. Earlier studies estimate that by 2010 there will be substantially more PhD engineers and scientists in China than in the United States and within two years 90% of all PhD physical scientists and engineers in the world will be Asians living in Asia, most of whom will be Chinese.
CIGI Distinguished Fellow John Whalley said, ‘Potential implications for the global education system and global economy are major. If China succeeds by maintaining high growth or initiating new growth by using educational transformation, other countries may follow with higher educational competition between countries as a possible outcome.’
Chinese education transformation is a result of strategy driven by decisions made at the high policy levels in China and not by analysis of the demand side of labour markets. In China’s case, these latest efforts seem to be motivated by a desire to maintain high growth by using educational transformation as the primary mechanism for skill upgrading and raising total productivity.