China-US Education Prospects, Where Is the Current Road to Studying Abroad?

On January 26, Tang Ning Reception Hall hosted a discussion on "China-US Education Prospects, Where Is the Current Road to Studying Abroad." The event was simultaneously webcasted on multiple platforms, and nearly one million viewers participated online.

“Reception Hall with Tang Ning” is one of the most popular internet interactive broadcast shows in China with a very large audience base across the nation. Mr. Tang Ning is the founder and CEO of CreditEase Group and the host of “Reception Hall with Tang Ning Show.” 

On January 26, Josh Cheng, Executive Director of Stanford Center at Peking University, was invited to make an appearance in the show with two other guests: Professor Xiao Zhixing, and Mr. Jingsheng Huang, who retired last June from the post of Managing Director of Harvard (Shanghai) Center. The issue focused on the discussion, once again, was an extremely hot topic in China nowadays…. “Pursuing studies in America.”  It was estimated by CreditEase staff, and the January 26 show attracted close to a million viewers.

In the discussion, Mr Cheng strongly advises Chinese parents that if the family had the means and capabilities, sending kids to study in America is a decision that “goes without saying.”  Cheng alluded, based on his personal experience, that education in the US had completely changed his mindset, opened up brand new horizons, and equipped with a new set of perspectives and angles that had been guiding his career life. Stanford's education has profoundly changed his life and his family life for many generations to come.

Strategically, Cheng advised, Chinese parents ought to urge their youngsters to come to North America to explore and discover new fields, a new society, new ways of thinking, and more importantly, to discover themselves. Parents should not urge and expect their youngsters to come to America by living in a very closed Chinese speaking cluster and isolated from American society at large and forget about the mission of coming to American is not only taking some courses and get some degrees but to experience a discovery process that explores humanity, society, technologies, universe and themselves.

Professor Xiao Zhixing, who taught at China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), has worked with many entrepreneurs in China for a long time. Those entrepreneurs are more likely to send their kids abroad earlier; thus, their children lacked a sense of purpose and motivation. He pointed out that entrepreneurs should pay more attention to their children's cultural identity, self-identity, and sense of belonging and cultivate their creativity and leadership.

Mr. Huang commented on whether to go abroad at present: at a strategic level, education is a marathon, the same as life. It is unwise to be bound by age. Studying abroad is something that any age group can do, and it can be a lifelong plan. At the tactic level, for Chinese students who are currently facing the choice of studying abroad, they can make full use of the gap year to enrich themselves and improve their abilities in all aspects. Parents need to broaden their horizons and understand their children's wishes. Studying in Britain and the United States is not the only choice.

Watch the discussion here.