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The Chinese universities ahead of the Japanese

China continues its ascension of the academic prestige

Chinese universities outperformed their Japanese counterparts in number in an annual Asian academic ranking published Thursday, June 11th, 2015. According to the 2015 ranking of Asian universities set up by the British newspaper Times Higher Education, mainland China places in the top 100 three of its universities more than last year, rising from 18 to 21, while Japan lost one, not possessing more than 19 in the standings. For the first time the Middle Kingdom exceeds the Rising Sun one on the educational rankings.

Despite this encouraging progress for China, it is the prestigious university “Todai” from Tokyo that remains atop the podium of the best regional universities. Behind the two top candidates is South Korea which came third with thirteen universities the charts, followed by Taiwan, which registered eleven.

This result illustrates the rapid China’s rise, including in the educational sector, when some commentators in Japan are concerned about the propensity of Japanese students to turn in on themselves and to “deglobalize themselves” according to a term entered common Japanese language.

The winners of the Times Higher Education is based on thirteen criteria including the quality of teaching and research, as well as the reputation and the opening of establishments abroad.

Choosing Asia for studies?

For several years, the French universities have distinguished themselves from their European counterparts by their adaptation to the growing phenomenon of internationalization. Thus almost 90% of business school students and 70% of engineering students went abroad as part of their education, according to a Harris Interactive survey conducted in 2013.

Although open to the rest of the world, the expatriation of studies has accelerated in Asia since the early 2000s, which is explained by the strong growth in own “Asian Dragons” (the China largely dominating his cronies with a number of sailing around 10% annually).

The approach has often followed the same pattern: Home exchanges or students first, and then opening a local office, establishment of joint programs with a local university or a double degree or creation a campus for local students as well as French.

China is therefore the main destination for French investment properties in Asia. Over 10 000 students are “into exile” every year for their studies. The reverse is also true, the Chinese are 5 times more likely on average to come and study in French school, whether in France or even in China.
These different observations are part of a period, since the accession to power of President Xi Jinping in 2013; Chinese universities are the target of enhanced protection of Chinese Culture facing an “ideological infiltration” (in the words Party) coming from the West.

China remains a popular destination for young talent as entrepreneurs and such enthusiasm seems to confirm that each official rankings.

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DATE June 26, 2015
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