For nearly four decades, China has invested in roads, railways, and other infrastructure. But the most important of these investments was education. The United States has done none of this and is even regressing.
John Richard Schrock is Professor of Biology Emeritus at Emporia State University in Kansas. He is currently in China. While China is growing its universities, the U.S. is retreating from its historic commitment to make higher education accessible to all qualified students.
China’s University Expansion
In 1992, I looked down from a window in an old high-rise classroom building at East China Normal University in Shanghai. It was noon and rivers of students were streaming into the “canteen” with their water thermoses in one hand and eating utensils in the other. Food would be a limited selection of rice or noodles with vegetables. These were the elite of China’s academic elite, the very top students who scored A+ on the Chinese high school graduation exam. They had earned the privilege to attend university free.
But facilities were old and worn. They would hurry to their classes in unpainted classrooms because…
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