China Churning out Science/Technology College Grads

Reply Sun 17 Nov, 2002 08:31 pm
And we are not. American companies are very excited about the harvest of talented people they can pick off in the Far East, as presumably China is not alone in this trend. Meanwhile, US college graduates in high tech/hard science/math fields are not growing at all. Why? What is the wrong with this picture?
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Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2002 09:25 pm
Everything, repeat, Everything is made in China.

It's scary I tell ya!
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Reply Tue 10 Dec, 2002 06:04 am
We've got a similar problem here. The vast majority of students in Australia are studying commerce/economics. Most have been influenced by the obscene salaries earned by executives these days. And the few good scientists we do produce invariably end up doing great work somewhere else in the world.
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Reply Tue 10 Dec, 2002 08:00 am
The question, 'what ought schools/colleges/universities to be teaching?' isn't a simple one. Someone on the board of directors of a high tech firm will likely answer that question quite differently than, say, a family court judge or an artist or a policeman.

The business community, quite naturally, tends to perceive the community as a resource for both consumers and workers, and tends to think schools ought to be in the service of it's activities and goals. But if you brought together all the researchers working on cures for disease, they'd argue for quite different curricula.

I think that as newspapers and media are increasingly picked up by large conglomerates whose interest is really quite mercenary (you keep a paper because it is profitable, regardless of quality or its service to the community) there is a commensurate forwarding of the notion that educational institutions ought to technical schools, providing needed fodder for industry. Thus, we also get a lot of 'brain drain' articles.

But it seems to me that such is a pretty meager notion of education. If one thinks about the sort of person one wants as neighbors in the community, a much richer notion of optimum educational goals begins to appear - they ought to know, for one simple example, how hard won has been this voyage towards free speech and democracy. The Magna Carta story becomes rather more important than keyboard skills.
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