While American universities are busy protesting in support of Hamas and expanding DEI initiatives, Chinese research universities are rapidly overtaking them. M.J. Koch reports in The New York Sun:
As the global standing of American universities grows precarious, Chinese universities are edging to take the lead. Public investment in higher education is one indicator of who might win this contest. “No place is putting more resources into higher education today than China,” Mr. Kirby says. “If the Americans decline, the Chinese have a very significant opportunity.”
Just as American universities adopted the research-intensive German model of higher education in the 19th century, Chinese institutions are taking inspiration from world-class American and European institutions. Peking University is ahead of every Ivy League school except Harvard, with Tsinghua University following closely behind, according to a 2023 annual ranking by a British company that analyzes higher education institutions, Quacquarelli Symonds.
In the United States, meanwhile, 32 states are spending less on public colleges and universities since 2008, with an average decline of nearly $1,500 a student. Mr. Kirby anticipates detrimental effects on private universities, which compete for the same students, faculty, and administrators as public ones. Students will need to pay and borrow more. Once a foolproof step toward security, going to college is now more of a gamble for financial success.
“American universities have been, without question, the leaders of this second half of the 20th century and the first part of this century,” Mr. Kirby says. Yet, speaking from the campus of the nation’s oldest university, the professor remarks, “nothing lasts forever.”
Read more here.
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