Kathryn Mohrman

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Published on October 16, 2007

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EDUCATIONAL EXCHANGES: WHAT CHINA SHOULD NOT ADOPT FROM U.S. HIGHER EDUCATION:  EDUCATIONAL EXCHANGES: WHAT CHINA SHOULD NOT ADOPT FROM U.S. HIGHER EDUCATION Kathryn Mohrman Hopkins-Nanjing Center Johns Hopkins University Higher Education Borders/Bridges Activity Network University of Hong Kong 13 March 2007 My background :  My background College president and dean at Colorado College, Brown University, and University of Maryland Taught at Sichuan University College of Foreign Languages Fall 2000 Fulbright Scholar at Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2002-2003 Research on current reforms in Chinese higher education Hopkins-Nanjing Center:  Hopkins-Nanjing Center Since 1986, graduate-level one-year certificate in partnership with Nanjing University Two-year MA in International Studies International economics International politics International and comparative law Half Chinese, half international (mostly American) students Students take classes in their target language Living-learning environment What NOT to adopt from American universities:  What NOT to adopt from American universities 1. Uni-dimensional definition of quality 2. Publication over other forms of scholarship 3. Theoretical rather than applied research 4. Bigger is better 5. Financial aid for institutions, not for students China is looking at US model:  China is looking at US model Hundreds of thousands of Chinese graduate students have earned degrees from American universities Returnees are assuming leadership positions Many of the reforms are clearly patterned after policies and practices in U.S. higher education 1. Uni-dimensional definition of quality:  1. Uni-dimensional definition of quality PRC and US comparison:  PRC and US comparison 32% Postgrad and regular HEI 22% Vocational and other 7% Branch colleges 13% Adult univ 26% Private 35% 4 yr public and not for profit 18% 2 yr public & nfp 6% Non-degree public and nfp 37% For profit Research=prestige in U.S.:  Research=prestige in U.S. “Best” professors conduct research Teach fewer courses Focus on PhD students Often distain undergraduates Recognition beyond home campus Potential for mobility Quality easily measured Everyone wants to be a research university:  Everyone wants to be a research university Research universities should do research But other kinds of institutions are also emphasizing research, often at the expense of their missions “We will be Top 10” “We will be a world-class university” Defining world-class universities:  Defining world-class universities Altbach—”Costs and Benefits of World Class Universities” Excellence in research Top quality professors Favorable working conditions Job security/good salary and benefits Adequate facilities Adequate funding Academic freedom Atmosphere of intellectual excitement Faculty self-governance Slide14:  Shanghai Jiaotong (China 2005) 10 % Quality of education (alumni winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals) 40% Quality of faculty 20% Staff winning Nobel and Fields 20% Highly cited researchers 40% Research output 20% Articles in Nature and Science 20% Articles in citation indices 10% Size (above factors compared to numbers of academic staff) Slide15:  Times Higher Education Supplement (UK 2005) 40% Peer review 10% Employer opinion 20% Citations in high-impact journals 20% Faculty-student ratio 5% International faculty percentage 5% International student percentage Slide16:  Maclean’s (Canada 2005) 23% Quality of students HS grades, retention, out of province, national awards 18% Quality of instruction Small classes, first-year classes taught by profs 17% Quality of faculty Profs with PhDs, awards, and research grants 12% Finances 12% Library 19% Reputation Slide17:  US News and World Report (US 2006) 25% Peer review 20% Retention First-year retention and graduation rates 20% Faculty resources Small classes, faculty pay, profs with PhD, full-time faculty, student/faculty ratio 15% Student selectivity Test scores, HS rank in class, acceptance rate 10% Finances 5% Graduation rate compared to prediction 5% Alumni giving rate Slide18:  Melbourne Institute (Australia 2005) 40% Quality/international standing of faculty Publications, citations, grants, honors received 16% Quality of graduate programs Degree completion, student opinion 14% Quality of undergraduate programs Retention, student opinion, S/F ratio, graduate school enrollment 11% Quality of undergraduate students Test scores 11% Finances 8% Peer review Slide19:  Guardian University Guide (UK 2005) 15% Teacher score Qualifications, faculty PhDs, teaching/research split 20% Student quality—test scores 10% Spending per student 20% Student/faculty ratio 10% Value added Actual achievement compared with prediction 17% Student destinations—jobs, grad school 8% Inclusiveness Ethnic minorities, disabled, mature students Slide20:  Usher and Savino, A World of Difference: A Global Survey of University League Tables (Educational Policy Institute, Canadian Education Report Series, 2006) The Educational Process Beginning characteristics Learning inputs—staff Learning inputs—resources Learning outputs Final outcomes Research Reputation Comparisons:  Comparisons 2. Publication over other forms of scholarship:  2. Publication over other forms of scholarship Importance of publications:  Importance of publications Rankings count books and articles Reputation may also depend on scholarly publications Visibility in the academic world Good teaching, community service only visible locally The reward system:  The reward system In many American universities, the greatest rewards (promotion, research, financial support, etc.) are given for research and publication Teaching awards exist but… Community service expected but often not rewarded Tensions:  Tensions Smaller universities with different missions are increasingly expecting research and publications Faculty in these schools teach 6-7 courses a year (in many US research universities, 1-3 per year) Yet demands for publications increasing to levels similar to research universities New definition of scholarship:  New definition of scholarship Boyer, Scholarship Reconsidered Scholarship of discovery—quest for knowledge for its own sake Scholarship of integration—making informed connections across the disciplines Scholarship of application—bridging the gap between the academy and worlds outside Scholarship of teaching—transmitting, transforming and extending knowledge 3. Theoretical rather than applied research:  3. Theoretical rather than applied research Academic priorities:  Academic priorities Theoretical work highly valued Major prizes for theoretical discoveries (Nobel, Fields, etc) Examples—physics over engineering, linguistics rather than better ways to teach foreign language China more pragmatic:  China more pragmatic 4. Bigger is better:  4. Bigger is better Largest American colleges and universities:  Largest American colleges and universities 1. Univ of Phoenix online (for-profit) 115,794 2. Miami Dade (FL) 57,026 3. Ohio State 50,995 4. Minnesota 50,954 5.Arizona State 49,171 6. Florida 47,993 7. Michigan State 44,836 8. Texas A&M 44,435 9. Central Florida 42,465 10. City College of San Francisco 42,438 2004 enrollments from Chronicle of Higher Education Top U.S. universities are not the biggest institutions:  Top U.S. universities are not the biggest institutions 1. Harvard 19,779 2. (Cambridge, UK) 3. Stanford 19,042 4. UC Berkeley 32,803# 5. MIT 10,320# 6. Caltech 2,169 7. Columbia 24,417 8. Princeton 6,685# 9. Chicago 13,501 10. (Oxford, UK) 2006 rankings from Shanghai Jiaotong Univ study 11. Yale 11,390 12. Cornell 20,400 13. UC San Diego 24,663# 14. UCLA 35,625 15. Penn 23,704 16. Wisconsin 40,455# 17. Washington (Seattle) 39,199# 18. UC San Francisco 2,868 19. (Tokyo, Japan) 20. Johns Hopkins 18,235 2005 enrollments unless marked # (2004) 5. Financial aid for institutions, not for students:  5. Financial aid for institutions, not for students American financial aid:  American financial aid US has very large system of financial aid for students * Government grants and loans * Private donors * University funding Over last 50 years, scholarships usually given on the basis of need to help poor students afford college Market-driven system for admissions:  Market-driven system for admissions Students apply directly to as many colleges as they wish Individual universities admit the students they want No government involvement in the process Financial aid as a market force:  Financial aid as a market force Students apply directly to government programs for need-based aid Many middle-class families feel squeezed Therefore some states and some universities now offer merit-based aid (middle and upper class students tend to do better) Students from poor families are getting a smaller percentage of the total financial aid pool Market competition:  Market competition Universities want high quality students Students are worried about costs But no impact at the margin Doesn’t increase the total number of students going to college No benefit to the nation as a whole While China is not awarding financial aid in this way today, it might well do so in the future Conclusion:  Conclusion What NOT to adopt from American universities:  What NOT to adopt from American universities 1. Uni-dimensional definition of quality 2. Publication over other forms of scholarship 3. Theoretical rather than applied research 4. Bigger is better 5. Financial aid for institutions, not for students Resources:  Resources Philip Altbach, “The Costs and Benefits of World-Class Universities,” Academe, 2004. “Academic Ranking of World Universities 2006,” Shanghai Jiaotong University, http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/rank/2006/ Ernest Boyer, Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professorship (Princeton, 1997) “Guide to Canadian Universities,” Macleans, November 2005. Kathryn Mohrman, “Higher Education Reform in Mainland Chinese Universities: An American’s Perspective,” July 2003 http://www.sais-jhu.edu/Nanjing/downloads/Higher_Ed_ in_China.pdf Resources (continued):  Resources (continued) “America’s Best Colleges 2007,” U.S. News and World Report, 18 August 2006. Alex Usher and Massimo Savino, A World of Difference: A Global Survey of University League Tables, Educational Policy Institute, January 2006. Ross Williams and Nina Van Dyke, “Melbourne Institute Index of the International Standing of Australian Universities 2005” November 2005. “World University Rankings,” Times Higher Education Supplement, October 28, 2005. For further discussion:  For further discussion Kathryn Mohrman Executive Director Hopkins-Nanjing Center Johns Hopkins University 1619 Massachusetts Ave NW Washington, DC 20036 USA kmohrman@jhu.edu

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