Monday, 30 June 2014

The Journey of China - stretches from earth to heaven

Now to sum up the 55 interesting places to explore in China, here is the 7-minutes video clip about everything from ancients China, heritages and cultures, arts, its people, major attractions, modern cities, infrastructures power house and etc.


Next, I will share one of the famous and popular documentary about China people and their foods culture and heritage.

Stay connected.

Seek Education Even If It Takes You To China

Some say seek knowledge even if it takes you to China. Some say seek knowledge even if you have to travel to China. Others say seek education even if you have to go as far as China. If relate this Arabic proverb in present time in the context of globalisation and internationalisation of economics and education, then it reads like "Seek education in China, a window to the world".

Since the end of the Cultural Revolution (1966–76), the education system in China has been undergoing great reforms and geared toward economic modernisation. In Dec 1978, China opened its doors for economic reforms in light of globalisation phenomenon, worldwide competition, as well as efforts to realise the needs to transform its higher education to become top global education destination and hub.    

There is no turning back since then, China has set sights to capture bulk of the 4 millions international students worldwide and inching a step closer to catch up with United States and United Kingdom as a top study destination.  The US is still the world’s leading destination. In fact, it is expected to enrol a record number of students again this year. But America’s market share is falling (from about 28% of all internationally mobile students in 2001 to 19% in 2011). This is partly due to the increasing share of other English-speaking destinations, such as the UK, Australia, Canada and now China which also offered English medium degree courses like medicine, engineering, business, international law and etc. 

China has captured a big chunk of market share of international students. From "nowhere to be seen" in 2001, China has 7% of market share of 4 millions international students in 2011 at the expense of US due to its education reform policies to conduct tertiary education fully taught in English to cater for international students who prefer to study in English medium at the backdrop of Chinese medium degree courses.  

In 2012, China is home to 328,330 international students study in variety of disciplines at various universities across China. China now ranks 3rd after US and UK as the world's most-popular study destination.  Bulk of the international students came from Korea with 21%, US - 8%, Japan - 6% and Thailand and Vietnam have 5% each study in China. Clinical medicine is the most popular choice of degree program preferred by international students. Came in second is engineering and followed by international economics and trade and Chinese language.    

Top host destinations worldwide, 2011/12. Source: Project Atlas
One of the main reason of increase of international students in China is University World News reports that China’s top universities – most of which deliver significant programs in English – are seeing increasing numbers of overseas students from non-Asian countries in addition to the trend of where there has also been “a substantial increase” in the number of international students enrolled in degree programs delivered in Chinese due to expansion of Confucius institutions around the world with the aim to promote and encourage people to learn Mandarin.

China economics values also attracted many international students to study in China. The Chinese economy has clearly been a global powerhouse for some time, but it is now pegged – by the World Bank and other leading statistical agencies – to overtake the US as the world’s leading economy in near future. Many global fortune companies have set sights in China and Beijing is now home to 48 headquarters of companies on the Fortune's Global 500 list in 2013. 

China wants to go global,” notes a recent China Daily article. “What better way than to have foreigners pay for the privilege to do the job of spreading their culture and language for a fraction of the cost of running the Confucius Institutes around the world and generating goodwill in the bargain?…Chinese companies also want to go global. What better way than to find self-funding interns learning the ways of the Middle Kingdom and to employ them in their home countries?” This further added fuel and contributed the increase number of international students study in China.

Back to education values, many Chinese universities are featured in the QS World University Top 200 rankings – “a confirmation and acknowledgement of the quality of academic standards of both teaching and research. China higher education are internationally recognised. The clinical medical degree in China are 
listed in the World Health Organisation (WHO)'s "Directory of World Medical Schools". This listing means that graduates are eligible to attend national medical screening tests such as USMLE, PLAB, AMC, MCI, PMDC, HPCSA, SCHS, etc. 

China government had signed 59 mutual recognition of higher education agreement with 59 countries and this open up many windows of opportunities for students to seek employment after graduation or further study at postgraduate level in these countries. Chinese Universities also forged many academic collaborations and co-operations with many top rank and highly reputable western universities to enhance the quality of its academic and research.

China is also home to many great philosophers and their wisdom teachings such as Confucius, Laozi and The I-Ching. The legendary of these teachings were dated back to around 6th century BC. Its teaching values are now highly sought and practised in real life in many countries around the world in particular the Confucianism has branched out to many countries with 1,082 Confucius institutes spread to all the continents.  

Last but not least, seek education in China to enjoy the best of both worlds!

Below is the link of an article written by a Muslim girl from Indonesia won the 1st prize of essay competition on the subject of "Seek Knowledge, Even If You Have to Go to China for It"

Perhimpunan Pelajar Indonesia Tiongkok (Association of Indonesia Students in China)

Saturday, 28 June 2014

The Season of Graduation in China - "Female Master Holder Poses for Graduation Photos With Son"

A woman master holder‘s graduation photos go viral on Weibo, a twitter-like social media in China. According to her Weibo, she gave birth to a boy in her second year of postgraduate study and conceived a girl while busy with her dissertation for the master degree. Netizens praised her for good arrangement of life. (Photo source: Guangzhou Daily)

The Season of Graduation in China - "Reliable Alumnus and Happy Alumna"

China Institute of Industrial Relation alumni wearing T-shirts with Chinese characters meaning "reliability" and "happiness" pose for their creative graduation photos. As college graduation season comes, many graduates are busy talking unique photos to commemorate their college life in every corner of the campus. (Chinapic / Jin Ming)  

Friday, 27 June 2014

The Season of Graduation in China - "Youth Never Ends"

Some graduates in Sichuan University of Arts and Science take group photos themed "Youth never ends" to mark their graduation, June 17, 2014. They wore costumes of the Republic of China period and put on a variety of poses to commemorate the good times spent at the university. ( Yanming)

The Season of Graduation in China - "The Coolest Graduation Photos Ever"

4,500 students take graduation photo at Central China Normal University in Wuhan, central China’s Hubei province on June 5, 2014. This is the first time that all the graduates of the university have taken group photo together. The photo was taken with a hundred million pixel panoramic camera and a small aerial aircraft. It is also the graduate photo with the largest number of graduates among all Chinese universities. (Photo/Xinhua News Agency)

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China Spending Billions to Better Universities

SHANGHAI When Andrew Chi-chih Yao, a Princeton professor who is recognized as one of the United States's top computer scientists, was approached by Tsinghua University in Beijing last year to lead an advanced computer studies program, he did not hesitate.
Why would a leading scientist at one of America's top universities leave a prestigious program for a university that is little known outside of China? One reason is loyalty to the country where he was born, although he spent his academic career in the United States and was raised in Taiwan.

"Patriotism does have something to do with it, because I just cannot imagine going anywhere else, even if the conditions were equal," he said.

China wants to transform its top universities into the world's best within a decade, and is spending billions of dollars to woo big-name scholars like Yao and to build first-class research laboratories. The effort is China's latest bid to raise its profile as a great power.

China has already pulled off one of the most remarkable expansions of education in modern times, increasing the number of undergraduates and people who hold doctoral degrees five fold in 10 years.

"First-class universities increasingly reflect a nation's overall power," Wu Bangguo, China's second-ranking leader, said recently in a speech here marking the 100th anniversary of Fudan University, the country's first modern post-secondary institution.

China's model is simple: recruit top foreign-trained Chinese and overseas-born ethnic Chinese to well-equipped labs, surround them with the brightest students and give them tremendous leeway.

China is focusing on science and technology, areas that reflect the country's development needs, but also reflect the preferences of an authoritarian system that restricts free speech. The liberal arts often involve critical thinking about politics, economics and history. The government has placed relatively little emphasis on achieving world-class status in these subjects. Yet, many Chinese say – most often indirectly – that the limits on academic debate could hamper efforts to create world-class universities.

"Right now, I don't think any university in China has an atmosphere comparable to the older Western universities – Harvard or Oxford – in terms of freedom of expression," said Lin Jianhua, the executive vice president of Peking University. "We are trying to give the students a better environment, but in order to do these things we need time. Not 10 years, but maybe one or two generations."

Nonetheless, the new confidence about entering the world's educational elite is heard among politicians and university administrators, students and professors. Young Chinese visit the top campuses as if on a pilgrimage, posing for photographs before the arching stone gates they dream of entering as students.

"Maybe in 20 years, MIT will be studying Tsinghua's example," says Rao Zihe, director of the Institute of Biophysics at Tsinghua University, an institution that is renowned for its sciences and is regarded by many as China's finest university. "How long it will take to catch up can't be predicted, but in some respects we are already better than the Harvards today."
In only a generation, since 1978, China has roughly 20 percent of its college-age population in higher education, up from 1.4 percent. In engineering alone, it is producing 442,000 undergraduates a year, along with 48,000 graduates with master's degrees and 8,000 doctorates.

But only Peking University and a few other top Chinese institutions have been internationally recognized as superior. Since 1998, when Jiang Zemin, then China's leader, officially started the effort to transform Chinese universities, state financing for higher education has more than doubled, reaching $10.4 billion in 2003, the last year for which an official figure is available.

Xu Tian, a leading geneticist who was trained and still teaches at Yale, runs a laboratory at Fudan University that performs innovative work on the transposition of genes. On Aug. 12, his breakthrough research was featured on the cover of the prestigious journal, Cell, a first for a Chinese scientist.

Peking University drew on the talents of Tian Gang, a leading mathematician from MIT, in setting up an international research center for advanced mathematics, among other high-level research centers.

Officials at Peking University estimate that as much as 40 percent of its faculty was trained overseas, most often in the United States.

The president of Yale University, Richard Levin, interviewed in Shanghai, where he was the featured guest in late September at Fudan's centennial celebration, also had high praise for China's students.

"China has 20 percent of the world's population, and it is safe to say it has more than 20 percent of the world's best students," he said. "They have the raw talent."

Levin also noted how China's low labor costs simplified the effort to upgrade. He said he had been astounded by the new laboratories at Shanghai Jiaotong University, the city's second-most prestigious university, which he said could be built in China for $50 a square foot, or 0.09 square meters, compared with $500 a square foot at Yale.

Some critics say that the country is trying to achieve excellence in too many areas at once, and that the plans of about 30 universities selected for heavy state investment have far too little differentiation, wasting money on duplication and sacrificing excellence. Even Levin tempered his enthusiasm with a warning that the "top schools have expanded much too fast and are diluting quality."

In many cases, however, the toughest criticism comes from people who have worked in the system.

"It is important for different universities to have different qualities, just like a symphony," said Yang Fujia, a nuclear physicist and former president of Fudan University. "But all Chinese universities want to be comprehensive. Everybody wants to be the piano, having a medical school and lots of graduate students."

Yang, who now leads a small experimental university in Ningbo, founded with the help of the University of Nottingham, also criticized the lack of autonomy given to many Chinese researchers.
"At Princeton, one mathematician spent nine years without publishing a paper, and then solved a problem that had been around for 360 years," he added, a reference to Andrew Wiles and his solution to Fermat's Last Theorem in the early 1990s. "No one minded that because they appreciate the dedication to hard work there. We don't have that spirit yet in China."

Similarly, Ge Jianxiong, a distinguished historical geographer at Fudan, said Chinese culture often demands speedy results, which can undermine research. "In China, projects are always short-term, say three years," he said. "Then they want you to produce a book, a voluminous book. In real research, you've got to give people the freedom to produce good results, and not just the results they want."

Ge added that education suffers here because "it has always been regarded as a tool of politics."

Yao said he had expected to concentrate on creating a world-class Ph.D. program, but had found surprising weaknesses in undergraduate training and had decided to teach at that level.

"You can't just say I'll only do the cutting-edge stuff; that's not a workable solution," he said. "You've got to teach the basics really well first."

But the biggest weakness, many Chinese academics indicated, is the lack of academic freedom. Yang, the former president of Fudan, warned that if the right "atmosphere" was not cultivated, great thinkers from overseas might come to China for a year or two only to leave, frustrated.

Gong Ke, a vice president of Tsinghua University, said universities had "the duty to guarantee academic freedom."

"We have professors who teach here, foreigners, who teach very differently from the Chinese government's point of view," he added. "Some of them really criticize the economic policy of China."
Li Ao, a well-known Taiwanese writer, called for greater academic freedom and independence from the government in a September speech at Peking University. The next day, after reportedly coming under heavy official pressure, he delivered a far tamer version of the speech at Tsinghua University, where media coverage was tightly controlled.

The Chinese government also censors university online bulletin boards and discussion groups, and recently prevented students at Zhongshan University in Guangzhou from conversing freely with visiting elected officials from Hong Kong.

Students here are not encouraged to challenge authority or received wisdom. For some, this helps explain why China has never won a Nobel Prize in any category. What is needed most now, some of China's best scholars say, are bold, original thinkers.

The greatest thing China has done in the past 20 years is to lift more than 200 million people out of poverty, Xu said. "What China has not realized yet, though, if it truly wants to go to the next level, is to understand that numbers are not enough.

"We need a new revolution to get us away from a culture that prizes becoming government officials. We must learn to reward real innovation, independent thought and genuine scholarly work."

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Thursday, 26 June 2014

The Season of Graduation in China - "Take Graduation Photos To Mark Our Love"

A group of graduation photos taken by two college graduates from Shandong University of Political Science and Law have drawn much attention on the Internet. Tan Xianyin, a man from Hunan province, and his girlfriend Wang Yiyu, from Shandong province, take these photos to witness their four years' love. 

Two hearts beat as one.  Awesome!!!

My endless love!