Education in China: Traditional Values and Modern Approaches

Rapid economic growth in China has been widely discussed over years. However over time, Chinese education system has experienced impressive progress as well. Over the past decades China has almost eliminated illiteracy among its 1.4bln citizens, developed a top level educational standards showing exceptional results in math and science and became a host of the second largest international student population in the world.

How does the education system work in China? What are the social-cultural elements impacting Chinese people’s beliefs and attitude towards education? In this talk, you will learn the reality of Chinese education, the famous ‘gaokao’ – university entrance exam in China and the recent changes in the Chinese education system. The talk also offers you a better understanding of the Chinese ways of learning and assessment from a historical perspective. It aims to shed light on the strengths and challenges of the Chinese education system. 

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Catherine Xiang (MEd, PhD) is an established author and applied linguist with rich experience in the higher education as well as high profile consultancy industry to businesses that wish to engage with China. She is Coordinator of East Asian Languages at LSE, Programme Director for BSc International Relations and Chinese; as well as UK Director for LSE Confucius Institute for Business London. Originally from Shanghai, she is skilled in intercultural communication, translation, foreign languages, lecturing, TV and public speaking. She is also an expert in e‑learning and innovation in language learning. Her recent publications include ‘Mastering Chinese – a Complete Textbook for Beginners’, ‘Audio‑visual Media in Language Education’ and the forthcoming ‘China Ready – Chinese for Tourism and Hospitality’. In addition to her roles at LSE, she is an executive member of the British Chinese Language Teaching Society, a school governor and chief examiner of Charted Institute of Linguists. She has recently launched her own YouTube channel “字espresso” teaching the relationship between Chinese characters and words.

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