Building Bridge AcrossCultures: Learning aboutChinas Higher EducationSystem and its Impact onAcademic Advising Yung-Hwa Anna Chow, M.A. Washington State University
Make a list of challenges/obstaclesyou have encountered while advising international students from China.
What we will cover today… Why is research important in advising? Share personal experience in a current research project Initial Data on Chinese Higher Education Why are students coming to the U.S? Suggestions for working with Chinese international students
Why is Research Important? Research is important because: Creates new knowledge that helps the advising community We need theories and data to help us understand issues related to advising Ultimately, we need research to show that academic advising is important
Data of International Students in the U.S.2010-2011 data for U.S. institutions--Total international student enrollment: 723,277Top places of origin: China, India, South Korea, Canada, TaiwanFrom China: 2009-2010: 127,628 students 2010-2011: 127,558 students
Research QuestionWhat can I, as an academic advisor,do to ease the transition of Chineseinternational students moving to theU.S. having to overcome language,cultural, and financial barriers, all thewhile, navigating their way throughcollege?
Research Design I want to know what the Chinese higher education system is like and how this information impacts advising? (Ethnography) Interviewed students in China Interviewed university officials at a Chinese institution
Data Collection Total At WSU: interviewed 4 academic advisors and interviews—23 4 students Students: 13 At Fudan: interviewed 5 university Advisors: 10 staff/faculty and 6 students In China: interviewed 1 student, 2 recent graduates, and 1 former Fudan instructor
Data Collection Fudan University 4 yr. university Ranked 3rd in China 26,000 students 28 schools/departments 70 undergrad. majors Partnership with MIT, Dublin Uni, and various businesses (Lucent Tech., Cisco) Goal: to be world-class
What I learned… Similarities to U.S. Higher Education System: Fudan College/first year program Format of classes University structure Same student issues
What I learned… Differences: College entrance Major Cohorts and mentoring Education philosophy
Gao Kao—the Chinese SAT “Looking at the Chinese education system, there are still a lot of inequalities. My friend from Henan, there were 1 million students who took the gao kao, he placed 19th and got into Fudan. So in Henan, only about 10% can test into college. In Shanghai there were 68,000 students who took the test, and 64,000 were able to test into college. The system is not fair at all. So you asked if most students will attend college, most students from developed cities, yes, but students from rural areas, most likely not. Everyone hopes to attend college, but most of them will not”— Fudan first year student
College Entrance Gao Kao—”It is like a stampede of thousands of soldiers and tens of thousands of horses across a single log bridge”http://www.nytimes.com/200 9/06/13/world/asia/13exam .html
College Major“Changing one’s major is a huge decision. You’reused to being with your cohort and your friendsand the classes. Unless you really hate your majorand you really love something else, no one reallychanges their major.”—Fudan 3rd year student
College Major Major Selection— mostly through Gao Kao score Change of Major— extremely difficult
Cohorts“So in China, we have this concept ofcohorts/class. And there is a class monitor/leader.For example, if I forget about an assignment, Ican ask the class monitor or my roommates.Everyone is together and learning and living ismore relaxed. I don’t have to be too independentbecause if I forget something, I have an easy wayto retrieving that information. “—Chineseinternational student at WSU
Education Philosophy“We see all 4 years as an opportunity for them tosucceed. We don’t dismiss them for onesemester or two of poor grades. We encouragethem to make adjustments and changes and willlook at their progress at the end of the 4 yearprocess, to see if they have the overall 2.0 (GPA).Some students might start off their first year withreally poor grades, but once they start takingcourses within their major, they perform quitewell. So their grades will even out at the end.” –Director of Fudan College
Education Philosophy Confucian influence Meritocracy Retention and repeats Grades and GPA
Make a list of problems/obstaclesyou might encounter if you went to study in China.
Coming to America student # 140000 U.S. # 1 host country 120000 100000 80000 Recruitment 60000 student # 40000 20000 0 2010 2009 2007 2008
Common Problems Lack of understanding of U.S. Higher Education System Cultural and language adjustment Transfer credits
What Advisors Can Do Face to face Make connection advising by asking about home country or Use oral and learning how to written greet in native explanations language Be patient Encourage courses Ask about that develop goals/expectations critical thinking to avoid skills misunderstanding
What Advisors Can Do Encourage dept. to come up with transfer agreements Find a student, graduate student, or faculty from home country to help with advising or answering questions Encourage participation of International Program events/activities
In Conclusion… The Chinese higher education system is very different from the U.S. models. As more international students study in the U.S. further research is necessary. It’s pertinent for advisors to learn about students’ unique backgrounds and make connections.
References and Resources International Institute of Education (Open Door data) www.iie.orgChronicle of Higher Education www.chronicle.comAbout the Use of Agents http://www.washcouncil.org/documents/pdf/WIEC2011_Fraud-in- China.pdfAbout plagiarism http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=4015 64
Questions???Building Bridge Across Cultures: Learning about Chinas Higher Education System and its Impact on Academic Advising Yung-Hwa Anna Chow firstname.lastname@example.org Washington State University