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Chinese set course for foreign universities(中国留学热背后)  

2012-06-05 10:49:05|  分类: 海外看大陆 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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     时间:2012年04月09日     作者:英国《金融时报》席佳琳


       杜金秀(音译)年仅16岁,但她非常清楚自己想要什么——在中国国内高中毕业后,去国外读大学。Du Jinxiu is only 16, but she knows exactly what she wants – to go to university overseas after she finishes secondary school in China.

     “我打算去美国沃顿商学院(Wharton Business School)读精算。”杜金秀是石家庄市42中国际班的一名学生,该班共有30名学生,都打算毕业后出国读大学。“I am going to study actuarial science at Wharton Business School,” says the girl, one of 30 in a special class created by Shijiazhuang’s No 42 Middle School, for those who want to study abroad.

      她的同学焦博文(音译)的梦想是去洛杉矶读电影学院,而李颖(音译)则打算去英国学习,因为她喜欢《傲慢与偏见》(Pride and Prejudice)这本书。Jiao Bowen, one of her classmates, has his sights set on film school in Los Angeles, while Li Ying is determined to study in the UK because she loves Pride and Prejudice.

     中国共产党正准备将领导权交到一些成长自文化大革命时代的人手中。在文革时代,高等教育被妖魔化,与西方的交流完全被切断。但如今,就在党内高层就是否继续改革道路争论不休之际,中国的年轻人正“用脚投票”,去西方接受教育的人数急速上升,而当他们学成回国后,他们的价值观很可能会出现根本的改变。The Communist party is preparing to hand its leadership reins to a group of men who grew up during the Cultural Revolution, when higher education was demonised and exchanges with the west were cut. But now, just as the top echelons of the party battle over whether to continue down a path of reform, China’s youth are voting with their feet and getting western educations in rapidly rising numbers, possibly setting the stage for a fundamental shift in values as they return home.

     过去两年来,共有62万中国人出国留学,这个数字超过了自1978年中国改革开放以来出国留学总人数的四分之一。Over the past two years, 620,000 Chinese have gone abroad to study, which is more than a quarter of the total number who have studied overseas since the start of China’s reform policies in 1978.

     中国传统上只有最优秀的人才有机会出国留学,他们往往选择在中国顶尖大学读本科,然后出国继续深造。美国研究生院理事会(Council of Graduate Schools)上周二公布的最新数据显示,2012年申请美国研究生院的中国学生数量较去年增长了18%。China’s overseas student body has traditionally been dominated by only the very best, who have chosen to study as undergraduates at China’s top universities before doing postgraduate studies abroad. The latest data from the Council of Graduate Schools, released on Tuesday, showed an 18 per cent increase in those applying to US graduate schools in 2012 compared to last year.

     但出国读本科的人数增长得更为迅速。根据美国国际教育协会(Institute of International Education)的数据,去年中国赴美读本科的人数激增了43%。But the number of undergraduates heading abroad is rising far more rapidly. Those going to the US soared 43 per cent last year, according to the Institute of International Education.

    美国大学注册及录取协会(AACRAO)助理执行董事杰弗里?彼德鲁奇(Jeffry Petrucci)表示:“二三十年前,大部分来美国留学的中国学生——即使不是全部的话——都是学术精英,但现在范围扩大了很多。”“Most, if not all, of the Chinese students who came here a few decades ago were the academic elite, but it has now broadened a lot,” says Jeffry Petrucci, an associate executive director at the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

     中国的独生子女政策让许多家庭得以将双方老人的积蓄用在孙辈身上。同时,只有极少数成绩非常优秀的学生能延续传统的成功道路,考入清华大学(Tsinghua University)这样的中国顶尖学府。清华大学相当于中国的麻省理工学院(MIT)。现在,许多家庭都负担得起出国留学,这也让留学成为越来越受欢迎的B计划。China’s one-child policy has left many families with the savings of two pairs of grandparents to spend on their grandchildren. Meanwhile, only very few do well enough to follow the historical path into China’s top schools such as Tsinghua University, Beijing’s equivalent to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Overseas education, now more affordable for many, is an increasingly preferred Plan B.

      高等教育咨询机构Grok China主要合伙人金?莫里森(Kim Morrison)表示:“在他们看来,西方是通往成功生活的第二佳途径。”

“The west is the second-best path to successful life by their metrics,” says Kim Morrison, principal partner at Grok China, a higher education consultancy.

     石家庄就是一个例子。这座市区人口260万、位于北京以南的工业城市既不是国际大都市,也不是特别富裕的城市或学术中心。但42中现在将自己作为到海外读大学的“跳板”来推销。Shijiazhuang is a case in point. The industrial city of 2.6m south of Beijing is neither cosmopolitan nor an exceptionally wealthy or academic centre. But No 42 Middle School is now marketing itself as a springboard to a college education abroad.

    “去年,我们的600名毕业生中有10%赴海外留学,”该校校长李亚卿说。“Last year, 10 per cent of our graduating class of 600 went abroad to study,” says Li Yaqing, the school’s principal.

      杜金秀的父亲杜力如(音译)说,他最初对女儿一心想上沃顿是强烈反对的。“我们觉得对于中国女孩来说,美国不是一个合适的地方,更不要说她一个人去了。但后来,时代在变化,看上去她的决定是很明智的。”Du Liru, the father of Jinxiu, says he was initially vehemently opposed to his daughter’s Wharton aspirations. “We thought America is not a place for a Chinese girl to go, let alone by herself. But then, times have changed, and it looks like she is quite smart.”

      对许多中国学生来说,适应西方的新生活十分困难。他们习惯了强调死记硬背的教育体制,常常很难参与课堂讨论,也很少与西方的同龄人交往。For many Chinese students, adapting to a new life in the west is difficult. Used to a school system which emphasises rote learning, they often struggle to participate in class discussions, and don’t socialise with their western peers.

    “我觉得这和民族背景有关,”华盛顿大学(University of Washington)数学专业大一学生于子文(音译)说。“在交谈中,美国人可能提到一些我所不了解和不感兴趣的美国历史,所以我宁愿和中国朋友一起玩。”“I think it’s a race thing,” says Yu Ziwen, a first-year mathematics student at the University of Washington. “In a conversation, Americans might use references to American history [that] I don’t know about and I’m not interested in, so I would rather hang out with Chinese friends.”

     由诺丁汉大学(Nottingham University)、伯明翰大学(Birmingham University)和清华大学(Tsinghua University)对毕业自英国大学的中国校友进行的一项调查发现,中国学生在大学中很少交到西方朋友,一部分原因是,当他们的欧洲同学公开谈论性或邀请他们去夜总会玩时,他们会感到不自在。不过,他们大多数会感到,在海外的几年生活让他们发生了永久性的改变。A survey of Chinese alumni from UK universities conducted by Nottingham, Birmingham and Tsinghua universities found that Chinese students rarely find western friends at university, partly because they feel uncomfortable when their European classmates openly talk about sex or invite them to go clubbing. And yet, most of them feel that their few years abroad change their lives forever.

     “中国人生活在一种单一文化的环境里,海外留学先是帮助他们认识到这一点,然后帮助他们与来自其他文化背景的人们找到共同点,”上述调查报告的撰写人之一Qing Gu表示。她的研究发现,许多中国年轻人在留学回国之后,会以更具批判性的眼光看待自己的国家。“Chinese live in a monocultural context, and studying abroad helps them first understand that and then discover commonalities with people from other cultures,” says Qing Gu, one of the authors of the alumni study. Her research has shown that many young Chinese become more critical of their own country after returning from university overseas.

     对曾在爱丁堡留学、现在在北京教英语的Zheng-Yang Shuting来说,这无疑是事实。“人们越多到海外去亲自看一看——就像我一样,中国与外部世界的关系就会变得越正常。” For Zheng-Yang Shuting, who studied at Edinburgh and now teaches English in Beijing, that is certainly true. “The more people go abroad and take a look themselves like I did, the more China’s relations with the outside world will normalise.”

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