From East to West – the student flow!


Yes, the economic activity is shifting from West to East. But the student flow is moving from East to West. (so as the tuition)

Tonight we were having dinner among relatives and one told me such fact. Among her colleagues, none of their children goes to a Chinese university. They sent the children to study in the US, Canada, UK, Japan, but just not China.Later at home I read this news – Chinese make up 29% of foreign college students in U.S. That means every one out of three international students comes from China.

Why would so many parents spend so much money sending their children for an overseas college education? If education is a product, what makes the imported education so appealing and the domestic product (Chinese university education) less favourable?

The unique value propositions of getting a US/UK education include (1) having a more international perspective (2) having an English environment for 3-4 years (3) opportunity to develop non academic skills such as leadership, community involvement, physical development etc. (4) grow more capacity for critical thinking and analysis.

The downside of such experience entails (1) being away from China (which is transforming rapidly) for 3/4 years (2) not having a close group of Chinese university classmates who are going to be your friends and allies in the future (3) it is very expensive

Somehow I am still holding my belief that education does not occur only in campus. It is individual’s own active choice which defines his/her learning path and very possibly life path.


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