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Project Background

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Since 1872, according to historical records, when the Qing government first sent students to the United States at public expense; from 1872 to 1978, the total number of China鈥檚 overseas students was only 140,000 thousand during the 106 years. While over the past 30 years of reform and opening-up, the total number of overseas students have reached 1.21 million and been distributed to more than 100 countries and regions. Up to the end of 2007, returning students reaching 320,000 thousand have played an important role on in education, science and technology, economy, national defense and social development. According to statistics, returning students have taken up a significant proportion in many important positions:

  • 77.61% of the principals and presidents of universities under the administration of the Ministry of Education have taken up 77.61%,
  • 80.49% of the academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering have taken up 80.49%,
  • 71.65% of the directors of national key laboratory and teaching and researching base have taken up 71.65%,
  • 94% of the Yangtze River Scholars have taken up 94%,
  • 72% of the chief scientists of the 863 (high-tech research and development) Program (high-tech research and development) has taken up 72%.聽聽

Fig. 1: Chinese students overseas witnesses a rapid increase聽 Source: National Bureau of Statistics of China
Fig. 2: Britain and the U.S. are the primary destinations for studying abroad. Source: UNESCO

However, the differences between Eastern and Western high school education systems make it difficult for outstanding Chinese students to be admitted to world-renowned universities. Even among the Chinese students studying overseas, their weak points are prevalent, such as poor foundation of learning the English language, weak academic background, lack of understanding of the Western education system and cultural differences, as well as poor self-study initiatives and self-management capacity, etc. In retrospect of the education systems of the said two countries (China and USA), we might as well find out that:

The advantages of china鈥檚 middle school system are:

  1. Firm knowledge background of the students
  2. Intensive training in scientific thinking, such as math, physics, etc.
  3. Sound logic thinking of the students

The strengths of the U. S. high school system are:

  1. A large number of introductory courses related to college education
  2. Personal development-based education
  3. Credit system and elective system
  4. imilar coverage of high school framework with China鈥檚, but more detailed description in America鈥檚 textbooks with the contents ten times that of China
  5. Attention paid to practical capacity and personality development

How to learn from each other鈥檚 strengths and to offset the weakness of the said two high school systems so as to achieve full comprehension is a core subject that the international educational community is showing great attention to and trying to explore.

Copyright:American Moon Smart International Education Foundation 漏 2009