Education

Education

Yale accused of discriminating against white and asian people
After two years of investigation, the US Department of Justice on Thursday accused Yale University of illegally discriminating against Asian-American and white undergraduate applicants through its admission policies. In a letter to Yale’s lawyers, the Justice Department threatened a civil lawsuit unless the Connecticut-based private university agreed not to use “race or national origin” in its upcoming 2020-21 undergraduate admissions cycle. It gave Yale until August 27 to comply. The accusation is the latest attack by the Trump administration on affirmative action policies designed to increase access to higher education for systematically marginalized groups, such as black applicants. “If
Chinese students want to study in America more than anywhere else
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Index features one important number about China to give you insight into the rising power. 43%: the proportion of Chinese students who considered the United States as their favorite place to study overseas in 2019. The appeal of the American education system remained strong last year despite escalating tensions between Beijing and Washington, fueled in part by a trade war. In 2019, 43% of 6,200 Chinese students surveyed by New Oriental, a language test preparation company, said they would like to study in the US, citing high-quality education as their main reason. But while the US was the top destination, the pull of American schools has diminished compar
China's toughest test just got harder
Last Tuesday was the most anticipated opening day of a new term for Yin Shirui, a high school student in Ganzhou, in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangxi. It came about two months later than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic. For final-year high school students in nine Chinese provinces, last week marked their return to campus after an extended winter holiday and weeks of online learning at home. “I don’t like learning on the internet at all. I stayed at home alone for most of the day, from morning until late in the afternoon,” Yin, 17, said. “I am not interested in what is taught in online class because the teachers there do not target me, or my class. They target the whole grad
What happens when schooling goes online: China’s experience 
The number of children not attending school has soared as governments seek to contain the coronavirus pandemic by keeping down crowds. Unesco estimates that 1.2 billion students – nearly three-quarters of the world’s student population – are being affected by national or local closures, school postponements or schools that continue under special circumstances. A large portion of those affected students live in China, where the Covid-19 disease caused by the virus was first reported.  When the general public became aware of the outbreak in January, schools in China were on winter break. As the crisis grew, China began to implement extreme measures to fight the coronavirus and have closed most
Travel bans and racism deter Chinese students from studying overseas
The coronavirus outbreak will likely lead to a drop in Chinese students and tourists abroad, as Chinese citizens face entry bans and xenophobic attacks globally.  The epidemic has infected more than 110,000 people and killed more than 3,800 globally, most of them in China. Italy, Iran, Japan and South Korea have also been hit hard by the virus.  Although the spread of the virus has slowed in China, analysts say the travel restrictions imposed on Chinese travelers will have continuing effect on the education and tourism sectors worldwide.  In the United States, a Boston-based Chinese student agent said applications had dropped significantly following the virus outbreak, exacerbating an existi
Nope, China isn’t celebrating its big win in test scores. Here’s why
Chinese teenagers ranked as the world’s best students according to results from a closely watched global survey announced on Tuesday. But unlike in the rest of the world, in China, the victory was met with a resounding shrug. The Programme for International Student Assessment is a standardized test for 15-year-old students around the world in reading, math and science. It’s administered every three years, with 79 countries participating. The Pisa, as the test is widely known, is regarded as one of the most important ways to directly compare different educational systems. China beat out education powerhouse Singapore and its results far outstripped the West.  However, for some Chinese educat
Chinese city vows to make school easier. The problem? Parents
After years of foot-dragging, one of China’s biggest cities finally made much-needed changes to its school curriculum: easier classes, fewer tests and no more after-school tutorial classes. The recent reforms made in some public elementary and middle schools in the eastern city of Nanjing are part of a long-standing national campaign. They’re meant to reduce the pressure cooker-like academic atmosphere for students as young as six years old. But the new educational philosophy is facing strong opposition from a surprising group of people: parents. They say the current system will disadvantage their children who will eventually have to compete against students from more traditional, competitiv
Chinese colleges want to fail more students (that’s a good thing)
A college in China has expelled 40 students for slacking off. That’s a rare move in a country where millions of students who start college every year are almost guaranteed to graduate, thanks to what analysts say is a lax culture that breeds lazy students. The expulsions underscore a renewed effort by Chinese universities to improve the quality of education amid a slowing economy and changing demands for the workforce. “To graduate from college is like a breezy walk in a park. That has to change,” Chen Baoshen, China’s education minister, said at a conference in 2018. “We have to make college courses more difficult, challenging and motivating.” In June this year, the Hebei Institute of Phys
‘War and Peace’ in 15 minutes? Speed reading classes ridiculed in China
Some of us came into the world prewired with speed reading ability.  Take Bill Gates. He reads fast. Really fast. At 150 pages per hour (750 words per minute), 15 books in a week and with a 90% retention rate, according to a Netflix documentary. An average eighth grader reads about 250 words per minute, an adult can do 350 words and the world speed reading champion can cram in 4,700 words a minute.   In China, thousands of parents are enrolling their kids in classes that claim to teach students, usually age 10 to 16, to read 400 pages, or about 100,000 characters, in five minutes.  That’s about four times faster than the world reading champ. When those courses, often called “quantum speed-r
How much pocket money should college students get?
A college freshman in China complaining online about her monthly allowance has stirred up a debate about how much pocket money students should get from parents. The student, who didn’t give her real name, said she had asked for 4,500 yuan ($632) a month from her mother, only to be told that she’d be getting only 2,000 yuan. The allowance is for personal spending, including restaurant meals. She said her mother pays separately for tuition and her dorm.  “Isn’t this the reality – that girls need more money, to buy skincare products and new clothes, than boys?” she said on a social media post. “I think other girls in my dormitory are rich because they use luxury items. I don’t understand why my