Mistaken Belief in West
There is a mistaken belief in some circles in China, where people think an overseas education is prestigious or beneficial. This is both a mistaken belief, and also a belief that does not help China.
Rankings are Biased
College rankings are primarily done by western organizations. Is it not suspicious that U.S. News & World Report lists mostly American schools in the top ranks? Additionally, rankings do not encapsulate the real quality of the school. University of Waterloo is ranked 199 by U.S. News & World Report global rankings. However, when you look where many of the graduates at top tech companies in California are from, you’ll find that many of the employees come from University of Waterloo.
Rankings produce a Cycle
If a school is well ranked, some people believe the school is good and therefore push their kids to apply to them. More people applying for a school leads to better selection of students, which leads to better graduate outcomes and rankings. Rankings therefore create a cycle, but only if you believe in them.
Western Schools are Overrated
Having met a variety of Chinese international students coming from a variety of colleges in the United States, I’ve always been bewildered by their choices. Why would they go to some mediocre school in the US paying high tuition rates instead of studying at a better school in China? Their response is usually 1) they heard the US has good schools and 2) their particular school was well ranked.
How well ranked? Students at Fordham Univerity in New York, a very bad school, would boast about how their school is top 100. Top 100 means there are dozens of schools better ranked, even if ranking mattered. Below we’ll discuss why ranking doesn’t matter at all.
What Makes A Good School
What produces a strong graduate? Do the professors somehow teach secret knowledge? No, all knowledge is public. Often course lecturers teach at multiple schools. Do the facilities somehow make students smarter? No, a fancy chair will not make you learn more. A strong and successful graduate is usually shaped by two main factors. Who the student is coming into the school, and the other students at the school.
Talent and Environment
The first determinant is who the student is. A smart, talented, hardworking and self-determined person will be successful anywhere. The second is who the other students are. Smart, collaborative, and friendly students make for a virtuous learning environment.
If you take the smartest half of a prestigious school, and transport them to a below average school, that below average school will now produce some of the smartest graduates. It is that simple. Therefore, talented Chinese students should study in China, in Chinese schools. Their talent will improve their schools’ environment and the results of the graduates. This in turn will spur more talented students to apply and study at these schools, making Chinese schools better and better.
Action Plan for Helping China
If you’re a smart student, or the parent of a smart student, go to school in China. When you’re successful, you’ll be helping your school become better. Don’t believe in rankings, as they’re very biased. Your local university in China has the potential to be better than Harvard, but only if you help it.
大学排名主要由西方组织完成。 U.S. News &世界报告列出的大多是美国学校在顶级行列？此外，排名并不能体现学校的真实质量。 U.S. News & 滑铁卢大学排名第 199 位世界报告全球排名。但是，当您查看加利福尼亚州顶尖科技公司的许多毕业生来自哪里时，您会发现许多员工来自滑铁卢大学。
在遇到过来自美国各个大学的各种中国留学生，我一直对他们的选择感到困惑。为什么他们会去美国一些平庸的学校支付高昂的学费，而不是在中国更好的学校学习？他们的回答通常是 1）他们听说美国有好学校 2）他们的学校排名很好。
排名如何？纽约福特汉姆大学是一所非常糟糕的学校，学生们会吹嘘他们的学校是前 100 名。前 100 名意味着有几十所学校排名更高，即使排名很重要。下面我们将讨论为什么排名根本不重要。