Madam Liu Yan Dong, Vice Premier of China, is one of the most influential female political leader in China and in the world

China Vice Premier Endorsed QS work in Major speech Highlighting 5 Years Plan for Chinese Universities

 

On 8th January 2016, during an important speech in the State Council of China, highlighting China’s 13th Five-Year Plan on education(2016-2010) for nearly 3000 Chinese universities, Madam Liu Yandong quoted the latest QS World University Ranking results to demonstrated the international competitiveness of top Chinese universities have already been recognised globally. This makes QS the only world university ranking being endorsed by the top Chinese government leader.

A graduate of Tsinghua University, Liu’s career has long been associated with Hu JinTao, China’s President 2003-2013, who she has been working closely with in the Communist Youth League colleague. In 2013, she was appointed Vice Premier, second in rank, with responsibility to oversee the portfolios of health, education, and sports. Liu is the fifth-ever female Politburo member since the foundation of the PRC in 1949. Since the appointment, Madam Liu is not only the most powerful woman in the Chinese government, but also one of the most powerful in the world.

Based on the 13th Five-Year Plan of China on Education: China aims to build a group of top Chinese universities with world-class quality and reputation by 2020.

In order to achieve this ambitious goal, more than 110 “high-level” universities will be established across China in the next 5 years. Some 11 provincial regions have also come up with financial support measures, with the total amount raised close to 40 billion RMB. Shandong province said it would raise up to 5 billion RMB, while Hubei province pledged an annual investment of 1 to 2 billion RMB.

Key tasks requires to achieve those goals include focuses on student quality, innovation, international cooperation, teaching quality and so on.

The 13th Five-Year Plan of China also gives details on the students number they want to reach. For example, in 2015, the number of students receiving higher education, nine-year compulsory education, and preschool education reached 36.5 million, 140 million, and 42.7 million respectively. The Chinese government aim to increase those numbers to 38.5 million, 150 million, and 45 million by 2020. A special focus has been put on the recruitment of top international students outside China.

In the speech of Madam Liu, which is published by the official website of China’s State Council, she said: “The international reputation of China’s education has been growing from strength to strength. Some of the academic disciplines in China have already reached leading positions internationally. This has helped to gain invaluable experience for Chinese universities to developed themselves into top world-class universities with Chinese characteristics. The overall world university ranking of Chinese universities have been rising in recent years, with remarkable progress in academic papers published and international reputations. In 2015, there are 25 Chinese university in mainland China that has been included in the UK’s QS World University Ranking Top 500. ”

This major speech took place at a critical and important time for the Chinese education sector. Firstly, all the Chinese universities just finished its 12th Five Year Plan(2010-2015) and is about to start implement its next 5 year plan. Secondly, the Chinese government have not revealed details on how to allocate the next round of government funding to support all Chinese universities to implement their next 13th Five-Years Plan. Thirdly, the State Council of China aim to build more and more universities and majors which are rated as “world-class” by 2020. However, the Chinese government in the past has not made it clear which university rating systems they would adopt to evaluate the performance of Chinese Universities’ global standing. The Vice Premier’s speech quoting QS ranking to applaud the improvements of Chinese universities are strong recommendation for QS rankings to become one of the major benchmarks to guide China’s next around of education reform.

Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, said “I am completely overwhelmed by this fantastic news. China is one of the most difficult and complicated markets in the world. It is a tremendous privilege and surprise to get endorsement from China Vice Premier for our work 2 years after I joined QS. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in my amazing dream team in QSIU and QS, without your amazing support, unswerving trust, and invaluable advice since day one I joined, this would never have been possible. Next step, let us continue working closely together to help 3000 Chinese universities of 37 million students to reach their true potentially in the next 5 years!”

(Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, speaking at a University Presidents’ Forum in China recently on the future directions for universities presidents to collaborate efficiently across borders, with top universities presidents from the UK, USA, Mexico, Thailand, Belgium, Russia and Cambodia)

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QS Meet MR. BRIC Jim O’Neill

On 11th March 2015, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit met Jim O’Neill, ex Chairman Goldman Sachs Asset Management, father of the term “BRIC”. They enjoyed an interesting discussion on the QS BRICS University Ranking.
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About the Conference
This is the 3rd year of the annual China Business Conference, oragnised by the China-Britain Business Council. This year, it attracts 500 participants, most of leading business leaders who are working on the Chinese market. More than 40 topical speakers have been invited from McKinsey, Alibaba, Arup, UK and PRC Government, Oxford University, just to name a few. The event was supported by CBI, London & Partners, British Chambers of Commerce, Commercial Section of the Chinese Embassy, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, The UK Chinese Business Association.
CBBC conference

Key topics cover:
Education, Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Healthcare
Liveable Cities
The Chinese Consumer
China Outbound
Visiting Britain – The Experiential Economy
Advanced Manufacturing

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Jim O’Neill on the Chinese Economy
Jim O’Neill is previously the chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He is one of the world’s most famous economists, who is best known for coining the term BRIC, which stands for Brazil, Russia, India, and China—the four rapidly developing countries that have come to symbolise the shift in global economic power away from the developed G7 economies.

Jim gave a keynote speech titled “Growth & China: Quality vs Quantity”. He seems to be very optimistic about the Chinese economy.

He argued that the slightly slowed Chinese economy is not a bad thing that might have concerned some. Instead, he argue that the Chinese economy currently stands at 7% GDP growth annually is mainly because “the Chinese government want its economy to slow down”. “The Chinese government is pursuing quality as opposed to quantity of growth”.

The Chinese economy has already slowed down in the past decade. However,”China’s economic growth hasn’t slowed as much as I predicted for the whole decade – yet.” And “China is the only BRIC not to disappoint”.

“Economically, at 7% growth, China creates another India every 2 years, another UK every 1 year, and another South Africa every 3 months”.

Talking about the role of the Chinese economy in the world, he pointed out that “the world economy in past 20 years has not slowed down that much than expected was directly a result of the strength of the Chinese economy”.

In conclusion, he proposes that he is very looking forward to 2016 when China would be hosting the G20 and he is keen to talk to policies makers in China to assist the sustainable development of its economy and hence the global economy.

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Jim O’Neill and QS BRICS University Ranking
It was not the first time Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director of QS Intelligence Unit met Jim O’Neill. They met quite a few times before at various events. For example, 30th September 2014 Lecture with Gerard Lyons and Jim O’Neill, The New Economic and Political World Order: Challenges and Opportunities on 30th September 2014 at the 48 Group Club event.

Before his keynote speech at China-Britain Business Council China Business Conference, Jim O’Neill and Dr. Christina Yan Zhang had a discussion about the QS BRICS University Ranking.

Jim O’Neill was surprised that it was the Russian, rather than the Chinese government who sponsored the BRICS Universities Ranking! Obviously, Mr. BRICs believed that China was the one that performed best among the BRICS countries and ideally, they would be the one to sponsor a regional rankings like this.

Jim O’Neill was very pleased to read the QS BRICS University Rankings and happily took a photo holding the ranking supplyment with Dr. Christina Yan Zhang.
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(On 30th September 2014, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit met Jim O’Neill at a 48 Group Club event with Gerard Lyons spoke on The New Economic and Political World Order: Challenges and Opportunities)

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The philanthropic legacy of Sir Run Run Shaw(Part Three)

Local versus Global Endowment

Shaw’s  education endowment is managed through the Shaw Foundation Hong Kong Limited, the Sir Run Run Shaw Charitable Trust, and Shaw Prize Foundation Limited. It supports the local education of the Chinese in mainland China, and  through The Sir Run Run Shaw Scholarship Program for Graduate Studies, hundreds of Chinese and other Asian students have been supported to pursuit postgraduate study overseas in the US and UK, at universities including Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge and Oxford.

 

Possible Actions for national policy makers:

  • Could central government do more to encourage private sector to play a more active role in financing domestic students to study/work/volunteer overseas, especially in the world’s most dynamic economies? The British economy needs to collaborate more with overseas emerging markets, especially with the BRICS, the ASEAN nations, and Africa and Latin America. This means that they need more employees who understand more about local markets overseas. It makes sense for the UK (or other western nations) to support their domestic students to have overseas experience in exchange for a few years employment with those companies.

 

 

maya-home-black-web_r1_c1Humanity Without Borders

When education institutions think about endowment, alumni fundraising is often their first thought. After all, why should one contribute to the development of an educational institution if one has never been educated there and benefited from this life-changing opportunity?

However, we also know that the sciences are without borders. The Brazilian Government “Sciences Without Borders” scholarship scheme is intended to send 101,000 Brazilian to study STEM subjects and the creative industries at top universities around the world.

Recognising that science knows no frontiers, when he was at his 90s, Shaw established the Shaw Prize, to recognise outstanding achievements in Astronomy, Life Science and Medicine, and Mathematical Sciences. While astronomers regularly receive the Nobel Prize for physics, and there is a Nobel prize for physiology and medicine, there is none for maths. Since its foundation of 2004, 54 leading scientists from around the world have received this prestigious prize, and seven of them later won the Nobel Prize. The total prize amounts to HK$240 million (£19 million). Due to its growing influence and prestige, the Shaw Prize has been nicknamed the Nobel of the East.

 

Possible Actions for national policy makers:

  • When individual philanthropists consider to repaying society and educational institutions through education endowment, could they consider this principle of “Science Without Borders” and “Humanity without Borders?” They might set up a Nobel Prize or Shaw Prize- type award to support the advancement of human civilisation as a whole, rather than just the university or the country who cultivated them. What should national government and inter-governmental organisations do to encourage this approach? Tax relief already exists for most such donations in most nations.
  • One might object that most important disciplines are already covered by Nobel Prize and the Shaw Prize, and others such as the Kavli Prize. Well, there are six subject areas in the Nobel Prize and three overlapping areas of the Shaw Prize. The QS World University Ranking by Subject includess, 30 main disciplines which most top universities around the world offer. This leaves over 20 subjects that are waiting for the next Alfred Nobel or Sir Run Run Shaw to recognise.

 

Some of these subjects are hot topics for us all nowadays, including Environmental Science, Earth and Marine Science (the subject of the Vetlesen Prize), which helps to address global warming and pollution; and all the engineering and technology related subjects. We now appreciate that 3D printing, invented in 1984, only became global headline news in 2013, and other new subjects are emerging all the time. If a billionaire really wants to spare a few million dollars per year to help the world to become a better place collectively, finding the right discipline to award won’t be that difficult.

'GIVE' surrounded by British pound sterling symbols - Charity concept

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The philanthropic legacy of Sir Run Run Shaw (Part One)

Sir Run Run Shaw, the Hong Kong media mogul died on 7th Jan 2013 at the age of 106. In the  48 hours after the news about his death, there were more than 500 pieces of news in English on the subject, and 3,500 in Chinese. Most western media associated the legacy of Sir Shaw with his success in the entertainment industry, especially his work in introducing Kung Fu movies to the west. But instead of adopting this approach, most of the Chinese media featured detailed discussion of his philanthropic activities in the education sector.

 

According to the official statement from the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, Shaw has donated more than $ 4.75 billion HK dollars (370 million GBP) since 1985 to create more than 6013 education projects covering 31 provinces and cities throughout mainland China. This endowment, benefited tens of millions of students from primary school to university. If we also include the figure of his donation to the healthcare in mainland China, it is a staggering total of more than $ 10 billion HK Dollars (785 million GBP)

 

On 7th January 2013, a picture demonstrated the distribution of Sir Run Run Shaw Buildings around China become a media sensation in mainland China, it is said that a search for his name in Baidu map, the Chinese google, there are more than 30,000 education, hospital and research buildings in mainland China that are named after him. This picture was named by the Chinese netizens as the picture that “Touched the heart of China”. On day after his death, there are more than 2.5 million results of weibo discussion on “The Sir Run Run Shaw Buildings” in Sina Weibo, the Chinese twitter. A current trend is for people to take photos of the lecture halls, and libraries donated by and named after Shaw, where they have spent years studying. The idea is to show their respect to this philanthropist, who is widely considered as PRC’s greatest private contributor to the education sector ever.

 

What could the rest of the world learn from the role of Sir Run Run Shaw in his philanthropic activities in the education sector?

 

Figure 1:

A search for “Yifu”, the Chinese name of Sir Run Run Shaw in Baidu, there are more than 30,000 results. A picture that is considered “Touched the Heart of China”.

Sir Run Run Shaw Map


Public-private Collaboration

The Sir Run Run Shaw Foundation will only consider fundraising proposal recommended by a selected pool of experts employed by the Ministry of Education in the PRC. Also higher education institutions which submit proposal for endowment are required to commit to fundraise three times the funds donated by the foundation. So once a university submits a proposal to the foundation, it will already have official backup from the municipal or provincial governments who will be committing to finance the rest of the project to make the submission eligible, or alternatively, the institutions themselves will need to finance the rest.

 

For example, in 1986, Sir Shaw donated HK$110 million to 11 Chinese universities. Each of those 11 Chinese universities either gets another HK$30 million from its municipal or provincial government, or manages to finance the rest itself.

 

 

Possible Actions for national policy makers:

  1. A model, varying in detail from country to country,  could be developed between the public and the private sector to establish a joint partnership to finance the country’s education sector;
  2. Governments, and national organisations for the education sector, might consider a more open-minded and flexible approach to encourage private sector involvement in education endowment.

 

 

Life-Long-LearningLifelong, Comprehensive, Unbiased Endowment:

Universities are widely considered to be the phase of education with the biggest potential returns for individual venture capitalists, investors or entrepreneurs. The majority of fund receiving by the education sector goes to higher education, rather than to schools or further education.

 

However, further education has played a crucial role in the upgrading of some of society’s most deprived communities. For example, it is a central part of the European Commission’s life-long learning agenda.

 

In the case of Shaw, 80 per cent of his endowment went to schools, special schools and technical institutions, and only 20 per cent to universities.

 

 

Possible Actions for national policies makers:

  1. HEFCE published a report entitled Philanthropy to UK Universities (the Pearce Report) in 2012. It sets the target of £2 billion a year in charitable gifts to UK universities by 2022.  The relevant national bodies could undertake a similar review process to boost schools and further education. . The recommendations of these reviews could be amalgamated to form a coherent UK national strategy for philanthropic endowment in education. Other nations could adopt the same approach.

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Please click here to read Part 2 of this article.

 

 

 

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Chinese cities are among world’s best student cities

London, 20th November, 2013: The interesting thing about the 2nd QS Best Student Cities, for me, someone who was “Made in China” is that: Chinese cities are also named as two of the top 50 cities in the world for students.

 The results, released today, see Hong Kong is ranked 7th among all Chinese cities, and the second highest-ranked Asian city. Beijing is named as  Mainland China’s top-ranked city at 18th; while Shanghai ranks at 35th.

Read more

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HE News Brief 17.12.2012

  • US: Stanford redesigns humanities Ph.D
  • UK: universities in online launch
  • Gender gap: Why do women in science publish less than men?
  • China: Quick route to enhance international student number ?
  • Africa: Ranking of African Universities


Complaints about doctoral education in the humanities — it takes too long, it’s not leading to jobs, it’s disjointed — are rampant. So too are periodic calls for radical reform.
But Stanford University is encouraging its humanities departments to redesign humanities doctoral programs so that students could finish in five years (down from the current average of seven at the university and much longer elsewhere), and so that the programs prepare students for careers in and out of academe. While the university is not forcing departments to change, it last week gave all humanities departments a request for proposals that offered a trade: departments that give concrete plans to cut time to degree and change the curriculum will be eligible for extra support — in particular for year-round support for doctoral students (who currently aren’t assured of summer support throughout their time as grad students). The plans would need to be measurable, and the support would disappear if plans aren’t executed.

Full Story: Inside Highered


A partnership of UK universities is launching an online project, challenging US universities that have dominated this emerging market.They will aim to give the public access to higher education courses via computers, tablets or smartphones.The partnership will include the Open University, King’s College London, Bristol, Exeter, Warwick, East Anglia, Leeds, Lancaster, Southampton, Cardiff, Birmingham and St Andrews.Courses will be offered from next year.This could “revolutionise conventional models of formal education”, says Universities Minister David Willetts.The project will represent the biggest UK response to rapidly growing online universities – with these universities planning to offer courses through a shared online platform.

Full Story: BBC Education


Even as women have narrowed or closed gaps in earning Ph.D.s in many science disciplines, their numbers have remained relatively small at the senior faculty ranks. A range of theories have been offered to explain these lingering gaps. Some see continued sexism as the culprit. Others say that women may be opting out of the demands of winning tenure in the sciences — and still others say that women publish less than do men.A study published Wednesday in PLOS ONE confirms that women in a series of scientific disciplines publish less, on average, than do men. But the study went further, and looked for trends within the disciplines — and the authors argue that their findings suggest that women may be publishing less than men because departments are not providing them with the same resources.

Full Story: Inside Highered


A scheme to allow Hong Kong students to attend universities in mainland China without taking part in the competitive national entrance examination, the gaokao, is to be extended to more Chinese institutions despite criticisms that their degrees are not recognised for many jobs in Hong Kong’s public sector. Almost 1,000 Hong Kong students were able to attend any of 63 universities in mainland China this year under a scheme announced in August 2011 during a visit to Hong Kong by China’s Vice-premier Li Keqiang as part of his ‘basket of gifts’ to boost ties between Beijing and Hong Kong. The scheme will now be expanded to a total of 70 mainland institutions, after China’s Ministry of Education this week announced that seven prestigious universities – including Tsinghua, Remin, Nanjing, Zhejiang, Xi’an Jiaotong and Shanghai Jiaotong – would be allowed to recruit a proportion of their students independently of the gaokao.



While students from across the continent continue to move abroad to study at leading learning institutions in the U.S. and Europe, Africa boasts its own league of great universities. Presented below is Part I of Africa.com’s Top 10 Universities in Africa excluding South Africa. The Egyptian universities occupy the top 3 spots. Part II of the study will feature the Top 10 Universities in South Africa, a country that is home to enough academic heavyweights to populate its own list.

Full Story: Africa.com

 

HE News Brief 15.3.11

by Abby Chau

IN THIS EDITION

  • UNITED KINGDOM: British Council’s “Global Gauge” places Germany as the best country for international study
  • HONG KONG: Do rankings encourage  Asian universities to “westernize?”
  • INDIA: Ministerial support for foreign universities establishing campuses reiterated
  • NORTH AFRICA: Do student protests work after all?
  • DENMARK: Foreign students priced out of courses

Read more