The New Elite

Tsinghua_Emblem.jpg

The president of Yale believes that soon Chinese universities will be the world’s top schools. From the Guardian comes news that:

China’s top universities could soon rival Oxford, Cambridge and the Ivy League, the president of Yale University has warned.

Richard Levin… said Chinese institutions would rank in the world’s top 10 universities in 25 years’ time, squeezing out some of the west’s elite campuses.

But the Chinese government now spends billions of yuan – at least 1.5% of its gross domestic product – on higher education with the aim of propelling its best institutions, such as the universities of Tsinghua and Peking, into the top slots, Levin said.

“Top,” “elite,” and “ranked” are ambiguous and debatable words, as the College Guide has demonstrated. Top according to whom? But Levin means that in the near future Chinese universities will compete with American colleges for the highest achieving international students.

This is happening because China decided to devote its resources and efforts to support higher education.

Meanwhile, some in the United States are apparently worried forgiving student loans (not actually supporting the universities directly, as the People’s Republic of China does) will constitute the dreaded welfare.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer