Global Academics: What is the Higher Education system like in China?
What is it like to be a Global Academic? Watch our video with Nigel Healey to find out about what the Higher Education system is like in China.Transcript
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About this video
Nigel Healey is Professor, Pro-Vice Chancellor (International) and Head of the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University and an adjunct professor at Sichuan University. He has served as pro-vice-chancellor and dean at the College of Business and Economics at the University of Canterbury (2004–11) in New Zealand and dean of Manchester Metropolitan University Business School in the UK (2000–04).
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My name is Nigel Healey. I am a professor and pro-vice chancellor international at Nottingham Trent University. The higher education system in China is huge. Well over two and a half thousand universities and colleges. It is extremely hierarchical, everything is ranked in China. It is different in the sense that the top tier universities are funded directly by the Ministry of Education, you then have the second tier funded by the provinces.
Many of which are bigger than countries in Europe. And then you have the third tier funded by the municipalities and cities. It is extremely competitive to get in. There is a national entrance exam called Gao Kao. It is a highly selective system. There has been huge investment, it has grown probably three-fold in the period since 2000. Participation rate is now around 30% in China, that is a tripling over a 15 year period.
It is almost incomprehensible to understand the rate of growth of that sector. The Chinese government has an initiative to promote joint programmes and joint institutions. So I think there are something in the order of 2000 joint programmes that are offered by Chinese and British universities. My university, Nottingham Trent, we have quite a number now of dual degree programmes where the students spend time in both institutions.
There are around about 2000 of those, there are a much smaller number of joint educational offerings, or educational institutions. The University of Nottingham Ningbo is one, with the Wenley Education Group. So the University of Nottingham has a campus in Ningbo. The University of Liverpool has a joint venture with Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. That is a new university that is jointly owned and operated by those two.
Some of the American universities have also entered into partnerships. So they are a much smaller number but that is an area. I think what the Chinese government is trying to do is by promoting these partnerships it is trying to encourage the flow of technology and knowledge to its institutions. Particularly pedagogies. I think my favourite thing about travelling and experiencing other cultures is that it just…
I mean I describe it to my students as ontological shock. It kind of changes your perception of reality because everything is done slightly differently in ways that you don’t fully understand. And it really challenges you to make sense of the world you are working in. Things are superficially similar, but then below the surface there are often significant differences in terms of the relations between students and faculty and so on.
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