The founding of Harvard University in 1636 marks the beginning of higher education system in the United States. The United States higher education has since evolved rapidly and become one of the strongest systems in the world today as we know it. In order to get a clear picture of the system and its differences with that of China, our crew embarked on a year-long journey to visit top universities in the United States including Harvard University, Yale University and Columbia University. Besides meeting face-to-face with presidents, deans, administrators, education elites and graduates of different universities, the programme also invites current Chinese students to reveal their lives studying abroad.
Episode 1 Mad Students, Mad Professors
Many parents aim to send their children to Ivy League schools, but the biggest question asked today is how to be outstanding when excellent academic results alone is not enough. Amy Chua, author of “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother”, is known for her strict parenting skills. In this episode, let Amy and her two daughters tell you what they think about getting into Harvard University. Besides, Zhang Zhihao from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism visits Bronx in New York to demonstrate his daily university life.
Episode 2 Free Spirits
Many universities in the United States are known to promote general education, lifelong learning and development of learning freedom and initiative. They also show great tolerance to different cultures and views. In this episode, follow Zuo Tong, a History major undergraduate from Yale University to her campus and listen what she has to say about general education. Meanwhile, He Tianyuan from NYU Tisch School of the Arts explains how she experienced the academic freedom and tolerance in the United States.
Episode 3 China Issues
Chinese students in the United States are expected to face not only the discrepancies in language and culture, but also a different set of educational patterns. Whether it’s the strict control of academic integrity, or the high requirements towards doctoral students, Shen Liying and Wang Nu among other Chinese students in this episode express the challenges faced in universities. Moreover, Alan Haburchak from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism compares university students of both countries based on his teaching experience in China.
Episode 4 Road of Innovation
The Media Lab in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a research laboratory devoted to numerous innovative researches and inventions for the past 30 years. Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of the Media Lab shares the creativity behind the lab as well as the connection between wild research ideas and mainstream reality. In addition, the episode summarizes the evolution of higher education in the internet age, as well as the changes of educational mode led by technology innovation through looking into popular online education platforms and universities.
Episode 5 Leaving the Ivory Tower
Silicon Valley in California is a hub for world class high-tech development and an origin for many founders of global technology enterprises. It is also a paradise for graduates of Computer Science, Engineering and other majors to start up their businesses. Under the guidance of investor Li Qiang, this episode visits Silicon Valley to discover the traces of big enterprises and explore its current tech startups situation. What’s more, Cao Xuwen from Stanford University talks about how his university has helped him in becoming a serial entrepreneur.