The Ministry of Education in the People's Republic of China has a program for presidents' of Chinese universities to visit institutions of higher education in the United States. The delegation has been to Yale and University of Michigan. This year they are visiting Rice University. President David Leebron...
"They want to have a discussion about university organization, how it fosters research, how one provides incentives, how one organizes the institutions, they are also looking forward. They want to learn about things like fundraising, enrollment management, competition for students. I think they see that the world of higher education in China is changing in significant ways."
Leebron says it's beneficial to Rice and the United States to be engaged in dialogue as education in China changes. While here the delegation will visit other Texas universities, including the University of Houston. President Jay Gogue says
"One of the issues that is very different in China is the universities are very aligned with their national government, so they put their resources of funds around very specific areas, so you hear questions about the humanities and other areas that perhaps are not as well developed."
Doctor Wei Yang is the President of Zhejiang University. He says higher education in China is feeling pressure as the economy expands. He says the number of students pursuing both graduate and undergraduate degrees has increased five fold since 1998. He says their goal is to meet this demand while improving quality.
"We try to now to raise the quality of higher education and to put this at the top of the agenda, the development of universities. Also, it is very important now is try to get more and more resources and also try to do reform of the university."
The delegation will also visit Texas A & M, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.