Education for Market Competition: Perceptions of Chinese and U.S. Undergraduates

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A study of Chinese and U.S. business students' perceptions of their education identified differences that have significant implications for China's efforts to move from a centrally planned to a socialist market economy. Five scales (creativity, usefulness, interaction, effort, and focus) showed significant differences between the young people in the two countries. U.S. students felt that their university education did more to value and foster creativity and innovation, was more useful, involved more interaction with their professors, required greater effort, and was more student-focused than their Chinese counterparts reported. These responses suggest that the American education system is consistent with the values of the U.S. market economy, while educational reform in China has far to go in changing its traditional educational system to support the government's economic policies for a socialist market economy.