Similarities and Differences in American and Chinese University Education

By Julia A. Martin.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In the globalized world China and the United States increasingly exchange university students and collaborate in other ways. The United States hosts 23% of Chinese students who study abroad, sister universities abound, research labs are shared, and collaboration increases. This paper hopes to offer insight into basic similarities and differences between American and Chinese institutes of higher education. The university as an institution, culture, and teaching and learning styles will be compared and contrasted. The large increase in the numbers of Chinese graduates and the debate over Chinese science and engineering students outstripping American students will begin the discussion. Next, the very different university funding structure and the similar, yet different, method of faculty evaluation and educational quality will be addressed. Hofstede's cultural dimensions will be used to compare both U.S. and Chinese societies and generational cohorts will be used to explore how historical events shape beliefs and values. Last, the growing similarity in learning styles, the difficulty of changing teaching styles, and the disconnect between curriculum and workforce skills are addressed. These topics have been chosen to foster a greater understanding behind the growing number of connections between American and Chinese institutes of higher education.

Keywords: Higher Education, University Education, Universities & Colleges, American Students, Chinese Students, China, United States, Socio-Cultural Factors, Cross-Cultural Differences, Learning Styles, Teaching Methods, University Funding, Performance Evaluation, Culture

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp.51-62. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 606.792KB).

Prof. Julia A. Martin

Assistant Professor of Library Administration, University Libraries, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA

Julia A. Martin has twelve years of experience as a reference librarian, with six of those years acting as a business specialist in a university library. She has been researching, teaching, building collections, and providing reference services at the University of Toledo Libraries for the past four years. She is also very active in the Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) of the American Library Association and OhioLINK’s Business Interest Group. In addition to her experience as a librarian, Ms. Martin spent two and a half years teaching management, marketing, communications, and economics at the Sino Canadian Education Center, Soochow University, in China.


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