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William Kirby: Chinese higher education will take leading role in the future

2019-01-24

The 19th century was the era of European higher education, while American higher education dominated in the 20th century. Then, who will take the leading role in the university field in the 21st century? On January 18th, William Kirby, Professor of Chinese research at Harvard University and Chairman of the Harvard China Fund, delivered a lecture at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China (RDCY), noting that China would become a front runner in the future.



He said that in the top 100 of QS World University Rankings in 2019, 33 American universities ranked among the list, maintaining a leading position in the field of higher education. However, the development of higher education in the United States is actually based on the experience of European higher education. The University of Berlin in Germany represented the highest level of higher education in the world in the 19th century, but the leading position did not last.  American colleges and universities has risen in the 20th century. Now public universities in the United States have already faced a serious crisis, he said.


Professor William Kirby noted that the development of higher education is often in sync with the rise of the country. With the rapid development of China and the increasing investment in education, the development of Chinese universities has also embarked on the "fast track". In the 2019 World University Rankings, 11 universities in China ranked among the top 100, and Tsinghua University and Peking University entered the top 30 list. 


Professor William Kirby fully affirmed the achievements of Chinese universities and noted that China's higher education will dominate in the 21st century. He mentioned that American universities are constantly exploring the Chinese market and establishing sub-campuses in China, such as Kunshan-Duke University, Ningbo-Nottingham University, and Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. It demonstrates that Chinese universities are strengthening cooperation with foreign universities to promote the development of education.


Sun Xiaomeng, Dean of School of Asian and African Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University


Feng Yue, Research Fellow of Political Science at CASS


Helen Han, CGTN Commentator ans Senior Fellow of RDCY


In the discussion session, Sun Xiaomeng, Dean of School of Asian and African Studies at Beijing Foreign Studies University, Feng Yue, Research Fellow of Political Science at CASS, and Helen Han, CGTN Commentator ans Senior Fellow of RDCY, conducted in-depth discussions on topics such as differences between Chinese and Western education, the development of Chinese universities, competition and cooperation among talents training among countries.


At the end of the lecture, Professor William Kirby also gave a patient and meticulous response to the questions from the audience. The lecture ended in a friendly atmosphere.

Key Words: US   China   University     

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