Depth of Field

11.20.17

Fake Girlfriends, Chengdu Rappers, and a Chow Chow Making Bank

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
Lonely dog owners in Beijing and a rented girlfriend in Fujian; the last Oroqen hunters in Heilongjiang and homegrown hip hop in Chengdu; young Chinese in an Indian tech hub and Hong Kong apartments only slightly larger than coffins—these are some...

Diplomat's China Speech Renews Australia University Debate

BBC
BBC
Australia's education minister has urged universities to maintain academic integrity after a diplomat renewed a discussion about possible Chinese influence on campuses...

In China, Scholars Are Being Punished amid Growing Squeeze on Public Expression

Anthony Kuhn
NPR
In late July, Beijing Normal University authorities fired Shi Jiepeng, an assistant professor, citing a number of offenses, including "expressing views outside the mainstream of society."...

Books

10.06.17

Little Soldiers

Lenora Chu
In the spirit of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Bringing up Bébé, and The Smartest Kids in the World, Little Soldiers is a hard-hitting exploration of China’s widely acclaimed yet insular education system—held up as a model of academic and behavioral excellence—that raises important questions for the future of American parenting and education.When students in Shanghai rose to the top of international rankings in 2009, Americans feared that they were being “out-educated” by the rising superpower. An American journalist of Chinese descent raising a young family in Shanghai, Lenora Chu noticed how well-behaved Chinese children were compared to her boisterous toddler. How did the Chinese create their academic super-achievers? Would their little boy benefit from Chinese school?Chu and her husband decided to enroll three-year-old Rainer in China’s state-run public school system. The results were positive—her son quickly settled down, became fluent in Mandarin, and enjoyed his friends—but she also began to notice troubling new behaviors. Wondering what was happening behind closed classroom doors, she embarked on an exploratory journey, interviewing Chinese parents, teachers, and education professors, and following students at all stages of their education.What she discovered is a military-like education system driven by high-stakes testing, with teachers posting rankings in public, using bribes to reward students who comply, and shaming to isolate those who do not. At the same time, she uncovered a years-long desire by government to alleviate its students’ crushing academic burden and make education friendlier for all. The more she learns, the more she wonders: Are Chinese children—and her son—paying too high a price for their obedience and the promise of future academic prowess? Is there a way to appropriate the excellence of the system but dispense with the bad? What, if anything, could Westerners learn from China’s education journey?Chu’s eye-opening investigation challenges our assumptions and asks us to consider the true value and purpose of education. —Stanford University Press{chop}

Sinica Podcast

08.01.17

Joan Kaufman on Foreign Nonprofits and Academia in China

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
Joan Kaufman is a fascinating figure: Her long and storied career in China started in the early 1980s, when she was what she calls a “cappuccino-and-croissant socialist from Berkeley.” Today, she is the director for academics at the Schwarzman...

Google Is Already Late to China’s AI Revolution

Wired
“Some of the major Chinese companies are some of the most sophisticated deep learning and data companies in the world.”

Should the Chinese Government Be in American Classrooms?

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
Since their beginning in 2005, Confucius Institutes (CIs) have been set up to teach Chinese language classes in more than 100 American colleges and universities, including large and substantial institutions like Rutgers University, the State...

Depth of Field

02.16.17

Riding into the New Year

Yan Cong, Ye Ming & more from Yuanjin Photo
As preparations for the Chinese New Year got underway, Liang Yingfei set up a roadside studio and asked migrants traveling home by motorbike to stop for a quick photograph. While in Cambodia for the Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops, Jia...

Zhou Youguang, Architect of a Bridge between Languages, Dies At 111

Colin Dwyer
NPR
Zhou Youguang, the inventor of a system to convert Chinese characters into words with the Roman alphabet, died Saturday at the age of 111.

More Chinese Are Sending Younger Children to Schools in U.S.

Miriam Jordan
Wall Street Journal
When Ken Yan’s parents were contemplating his future, they decided the best option for the 11-year-old was to send him 7,000 miles away from his home in China to Southern California. Ken didn’t speak English, and he would need to live with a host...

Migrant-School Students Face Difficulty Getting Into College, Study Finds

Chen Shaoyuan and Li Rongde
Less than 6% of students in Beijing schools for migrant children entered college. In local public schools, 60% did

Chinese Prosecutors Charge Thousands of School Bullies

Mimi Lau
South China Morning Post
Nationwide crackdown includes three-year jail sentence for 15-year-old who robbed his classmates

Students in China Were Made to Take Exams Outdoors in Toxic Smog

Kevin Lui
Time
Widely circulated photos of the students, sitting at desks while blanketed in choking pollution, starkly dramatize the Chinese "airpocalypse"...

Are China’s Schools Failing?

Adam Minter
Bloomberg
China's much-lauded education system remains riven by inequality, with far-reaching consequences for schools, students and, ultimately, the economy...

Facing a Transition of Power, China’s Xi is More Desperate Than Ever to Control Young Minds

Echo Huang
Quartz
With 2017 nearing, it’s likely China will expand its campaign to further instill the ideologies of the party in young minds

Lost Lives: The Battle of China’s Invisible Children to Recover Missed Years

Coco Liu and Shanshan Chen
Reuters
With the end of the One-Child Policy, unregistered younger siblings are trying to make up for lost time

In China, Eugenics Determines Who Plays in School Bands

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
“We’ve chosen your children according to their physical attributes,” the leader told a group of parents at a Beijing public elementary school.

Features

11.15.16

For Chinese Orphan with a Disability, Life in the U.S. Brought the Strength to Help a Friend Left Behind

Ming Canaday
According to my caretakers at the orphanage, Chunchun arrived a few years before I did, when she was a baby. They estimate that I was around three or four years old at the time of my arrival, howling and screaming at the top of my lungs. I had been...

China’s Dream of Smart Economy Must "Get Past Talent Gap”

Wendy Wu
South China Morning Post
A new study shows that 70 per cent of Chinese employers say the education offered by universities “has little value”

A New Generation Of Chinese Social Entrepreneurs Is Emerging In Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The dearth of Chinese NGOs in Africa should not come as a surprise given that the emergence of the non-profit sector in China is a relatively new phenomenon. Today, there are an estimated 500,000 registered NGOs in the P.R.C., most of which focus on...

Shanghai Seeks to Enforce Ban on Overseas Curricula at International Schools

Li Rongde
Move comes as officials voice fears over erosion of values that result from imported syllabuses

Born in the U.S., Raised in China: ’Satellite Babies’ Have a Hard Time Coming Home

Hansi Lo Wang
NPR
Studies show the arrangement can take a great emotional toll on both parents and children

Is China's Gaokao The World's Toughest School Exam?

Alec Ash
Guardian
Chinese children must endure years of stress and impossible expectations preparing for their final school exam

The ‘Patriotic Education’ of Chinese Students at Australian Universities

Alexander Joske and Philip Wen
Sydney Morning Herald
As larger numbers of Chinese students study abroad, greater efforts are being made to ensure they do not return with new-found opposition to the Communist Party

Recognizing Boarding Schools’ Psychic Toll in China

Didi Kirsten Tatlow
New York Times
The most deeply affected may be those born in the early decades after 1949, as the boarding system spread — those in their 50s and 60s who run the country today.

Why More Africans Are Learning Mandarin

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The South African government’s 2015 decision to start offering Mandarin Chinese classes as a foreign language option at schools nation-wide sparked an uproar that baffled people in other, often more affluent, societies around the world where the...

Excerpts

08.18.16

Why an Elite Chinese Student Decided Not to Join the Communist Party

Alec Ash
“Wish Lanterns” follows the lives of six Chinese born between 1985 and 1990 as they grow up, go to school, and pursue their aspirations. Millennials are a transformational generation in China, heralding key societal and cultural shifts, and they are...

Caixin Media

06.15.16

Middle Class Chinese Flock to International High Schools, Eyeing College Abroad

A decade earlier, less than 4 percent of graduates from a popular high school in Beijing, known for high quality teachers who groomed students for elite universities, left to study abroad each year.The majority chose to pursue their higher studies...

In China, Cheating on an Exam Will Get Students Detention—in Prison

Max Bearak
Washington Post
More than 9.4 million Chinese students attended this year's college entrance exams (Gaokao) in China, and cheating in Gaokao is now considered a criminal offense...

China Threatens Jail Time For College Entrance Exam Cheaters

Javier Hernandez
New York Times
Mixed feelings proceed the approval of a new law, punishing exam cheaters with up to seven years in prison....

Conversation

06.03.16

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Yidi Wu, Ding Feng & more
It’s graduation time, and Chinese graduates from American colleges are now pondering what to do next: return to China or stay in the U.S. We reached out to recent graduates to ask about their decision-making process and how they view their prospects...

Will China's Educational System Strangle Economic Growth?

Zhu Tian
Forbes
Despite the brain drain, China still managed to produce enough talents to make it the fastest growing nation in the past two decades.

China Wants to Become a ‘Soccer Superpower’ by 2050

Charlie Campbell
Time
It isn't just about sport. The strategy also has broad economic and political implications...

Caixin Media

04.01.16

China’s Rural Youngsters Drop Out of School at Alarming Rate

Like many other teenagers in his village in the mountains of the northwestern province of Shaanxi, Chen Youliang decided to quit school early so he could follow in the footsteps of his migrant worker parents and find a job in a big city.Chen, who...

Media

03.29.16

‘River Town’ the Movie

Jonathan Landreth from China Film Insider
Not since Iron and Silk premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1991 has a movie based on a memoir about teachers on the front lines of U.S.-China relations come to the big screen. Director Shirley Sun’s mostly-English-language film adaptation of...

China Focus: Campaigners Call For Education on Sexual Abuse

Xinhua
Lessons on how to avoid sexual abuse are absent from the national curriculum, and Sun wants to change this.

Media

02.11.16

Chinese Students Are Flooding U.S. Christian High Schools

It is no secret that Chinese students are pouring into the United States; over 300,000 of them attended U.S. colleges and universities in 2015 alone, and Chinese are filling up spots in U.S. secondary schools in search of a better education and an...

Manchu, Former Empire's Language, Hangs On at China's Edge

New York Times
Descendants of the settlers struggle to keep a nearly vanished tongue alive

Chinese Student Protesting Books’ Stance on Homosexuality Meets With Officials

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Gay activists in China brought their demands for public acceptance to a court.

China’s College Counselors Told to Join the Party — the Communist Party

Hannah Beech
Time
China’s Education Ministry has deemed universities an “ideological frontline”.

Media

11.18.15

Chinese Students in America: 300,000 and Counting

Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian
In 1981, when Erhfei Liu entered Brandeis University as an undergraduate, he was only the second student from mainland China in the school’s history. “I was a rare animal from Red China,” Liu said in a September 1 interview with Foreign Policy, “an...

How China Wants to Rate Its Citizens

JIAYANG FAN
New Yorker
In certain respects, a national credit system of some kind is long overdue in China.

China Is Losing Interest in Learning English

Huileng Tan
CNBC
China is losing interest in learning English, sending its proficiency in the global language of business falling ten places in a worldwide ranking.

Teaching the Common Core in China

DAVID METZ
New York Times
It was to be my first parents meeting at Zhoushan’s most elite high school.

Media

10.23.15

The Eagle, the Dragon, and the ‘Excellent Sheep’

Former Yale University English professor William Deresiewicz’s book, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life, created a firestorm in the United States when it was released in August 2014. “The...

Chinese Schools 'Robbing Young of Individuality'

Hannah Richardson
BBC
China's education system is robbing its young people of the chance to become unique individuals...

China Turns to Online Courses, and Mao, for Soft-Power Mission

JAVIER C. HERNÁNDEZ
New York Times
“It was like watching propaganda.”

Respect Your Elders: Confucian Kindergartens Catch On in China

Jeremy Page
WSJ: China Real Time Report
The Party is now introducing traditional culture classes in state-run kindergartens and other levels of schooling.

Sinica Podcast

09.10.15

China’s Millennials

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
This week on Sinica, Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn record from San Francisco, where they interview Eric Fish, a long-time China resident, writer at Asia Society, and author of the recent book China’s Millennials: The Want Generation. The hosts talk...

China’s Confucius Institutes and the Soft War

David Volodzko
Diplomat
The first Confucius Institute opened its door in November 2004 in Seoul, South Korea. Hanban, or the Chinese National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.

Media

06.26.15

A Chinese Feminist, Made in America

Nancy Tang
In August 2010, two weeks after turning 18, I traveled about 6,700 miles from Beijing, China to attend Amherst, a liberal-arts college in Massachusetts in the northeastern United States. I packed a copy of Harvard economist N. Gregory Mankiw’s...

Caixin Media

06.09.15

China’s Cabinet Unveils Plan to Improve Rural Schools

The State Council has released a plan for improving the quality of education in rural areas over the next five years—a move the cabinet says is aimed at improving the quality of teaching at primary and secondary schools in the country’s less-...

Media

06.02.15

Chinese Netizens to Fiorina: You’re Right, We Don’t Innovate

David Wertime
Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and a declared Republican candidate for U.S. president, evidently has strong opinions about the capacities of Chinese people. “Yeah, the Chinese can take a test,” Fiorina told an Iowa-based video blog...

Why Chinese Students Find it Hard to Make Friends on US Campuses

Ray Kwong
Hong Kong Economic Journal
Chinese students complain that American students are misinformed, prejudiced and offensive on Chinese current events.

Henan Delegates Protest Inequality in University Admissions

Chris Buckley
New York Times
Henan people say big cities are given preferential consideration for education funds and places in universities.

Chinese Studies at the University of Botswana

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
It’s long been said that while China may have an Africa policy, Africans do not have a China policy. In particular, too many Africans do not understand the language, culture, and politics of their new number one trading partner. The University of...

China Tells Schools to Suppress Western Ideas, With One Big Exception

Dan Levin
New York Times
Some teachers and students reject the idea that foreign pedagogy and textbooks pose a threat to the government.

Inside a Chinese Test-Prep Factory

Brook Larmer
New York Times
One minute later, at precisely 11:45, the stillness was shattered. Thousands of teenagers swarmed out of the towering front gate of Maotanchang High School. Many of them wore identical black-and-white Windbreakers emblazoned with the slogan, in...

Infographics

12.15.14

Is Studying Abroad Worth the Cost?

from Sohu
The number of Chinese students who choose to study abroad has increased by more than 1,000% since 2000. Yet education costs abroad also continue to rise. This infographic looks at reasons why Chinese students are choosing an education overseas.