• Education

    Introducing China’s Third Species (Female PhDs)

    Jokes about women PhDs are many in China. The most famous and ignominious is that earth has three species – men, women and women PhDs. A well-known writer of kungfu novels, Jin Yong, writes of women with bachelor’s degrees as Huang Rong (clever and beautiful), but by the time of reaching PhD level female characters become comparable to Meijueshitai – old nuns with kungfu skills whom are cruel, fierce and ugly. Amid such a challenging cultural backdrop, are Chinese women put off? Reportedly many. However, there are nonetheless many tens of thousands of women in China doing PhDs. 2012 2013* PhD Graduates 51,713 139,411 Female 19,250 49,180 PhD Entrants 68,370…

  • Education

    Studying in English in Hong Kong and Beijing: Three Differences

    Hong Kong and Beijing boast some of the best universities in Asia. Having studied at the University of Hong Kong and Peking University, here is my personal take on three differences between studying in English in Hong Kong and Beijing:  Firstly, in Hong Kong typically universities use English as the medium of instruction.  Chinese (Cantonese and, increasingly, Mandarin) is used as a supplement. So in theory, you are on the same playing field as your Chinese classmates. Very often this means you can choose courses in line with your interests and career plan. The situation is different in Beijing.  While Chinese universities continue to increase the number of English-language programs…