25 July 2017
China is beginning to establish a significant international presence in the educational world. An article in the Canadian Globe and Mail by Nathan Vanderklippe reports that primary schools in the United Kingdom are planning to import mathematics textbooks from China. This follows as series of remarkably high scores by Chinese students in the literacy, science and mathematics tests conducted by PISA and TIMSS.
Chinese universities are also making a mark in the various global university rankings. They currently constitute four out of the top 100 universities in the QS World University Rankings, two in the Times Higher Education (THE) world rankings, two in the Shanghai global rankings (ARWU), and three in the Moscow-based Round University Rankings. In addition, these rankings include several Taiwanese and Hong Kong universities.
China is now capitalizing on its international reputation by establishing university branches or programmes overseas. Recently, Xiamen University established a branch near Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, where there are already several US, Australian and British institutions. Smaller campuses have been established by Soochow University in Laos and Tongji University in Italy. Meanwhile Peking University is planning to start a branch of the HSBC Business School in Oxford.
Another sign of China’s growing soft power is the Global Innovation Exchange a partnership between Tsinghua University and the University of Washington supported by Microsoft.