Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

Doing it wrong 

A 10% cap would be reasonable. Alas China is no stranger to wasteful signaling spirals. Here’s hoping they put a stop to the education bubble madness. 

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23 responses to “Doing it wrong 

  1. Pingback: Doing it wrong  | @the_arv

  2. Pingback: Doing it wrong  | Reaction Times

  3. Rhetocrates July 8, 2017 at 16:37

    What in the world is this graph meant to show? What’s the difference between the bars and the line?

    • Johan Schmidt July 8, 2017 at 23:59

      My best guess is that if one is enrollment and the other is number of students, the gap represents drop-outs. That lends a pretty negative interpretation to the graph, though – if I’m right then dropouts seem to be spiking.

      • Rhetocrates July 9, 2017 at 05:13

        That’s the only sensible explanation to me. I was hoping someone had insider info, though.

        • j July 9, 2017 at 05:30

          The bars show absolute number of students per a population of 100,000. Basically, it is function of the population pyramid, if there are less people in the right age group, it cannot grow much.
          The line shows percentages, it is independent of absolute numbers. 40% going to the university is fantastic, China has a most over-educated population.

          • Dan_Kurt July 9, 2017 at 17:53

            re: ” 40% going to the university is fantastic” j

            Fantastic is the word for sure, j. Fantastic defined: 2. imaginative or fanciful; remote from reality.

            At most 6% of the Chinese youth ages 17 through 22 belong in a true college environment given the IQ curve not 40% as most there don’t have the brains to actually do college level work. It the same as in the USA with most students in college wasting their time as colleges have dumbed down the curriculum. It is a case of SKIM MILK masquerading as CREAM.

            Dan Kurt

          • Rhetocrates July 11, 2017 at 11:51

            This is a non-sensical answer. Number per unit population and percentage are the same metric, to a scalar multiplier.

            Yet the line and the tops of the bars clearly do not have the same slope.

            Thus my question.

    • Johan Schmidt July 9, 2017 at 21:48

      Actually I changed my mind. I think the bars are the fraction of the total population in university, whereas the line is the percentage of high-school graduates in that year who matriculate university.

  4. Giovanni Dannato July 8, 2017 at 16:52

    I seem to remember the Chinese had a semper augustus tulip craze over tang, an artificially flavored brand-name orange koolaid powder. Not promising. Such are autistic civilized peoples.

  5. Issac July 8, 2017 at 19:33

    The black-pill interpretation: They’re overproducing to feed western demand because affirmative action and social justice are preventing western talent from matriculating sufficient native talent.

  6. Baruch Kogan (@BaruchKogan) July 8, 2017 at 20:26

    Depends what they are learning.

    • iMe July 15, 2017 at 00:54

      I have noticed a number of Chinese women who say they are “university researchers” or “teachers”.

      Granted they don’t have tenure, but still.. they are involved with academic teaching. Doing PhDs.

      Not in the USA, but in China!

      Never expected to see this.

  7. Seth Largo July 9, 2017 at 18:50

    I wonder what would happen to the numbers if it included Chinese studying abroad. There are tens of the thousands of them in American colleges alone.

  8. Inquiring Mind July 9, 2017 at 20:15

    This is China, so this cannot be the fruits that you cannot screen job applicants with tests in place of degree credentials on account of discrimination?

  9. Duke of Qin July 10, 2017 at 18:08

    This was inevitable. Taiwan and South Korea suffer from the same problem which showed up more than a decade earlier. The problem is dampened somewhat by two factors. Educational credentials are not as mandatory as they are in the West which has huge numbers of blacks and other lumpen populations that you are not legally allowed to screen out via any other method. Pretty acceptable to hook your son/daughter or nephew/niece with a job regardless or their qualifications.

    Second factor is the lack of the student loan inflated government fueled tuition arms race. Higher education is still fairly cheap in China. Even the most prestigious school in China only charges about $1800 per semester for undergrads. Middling schools where the vast majority are graduating from cost significantly less. Even community colleges in the US now costs far more than that. A flagship state university and you are looking at close to $10000 a semester and a “good” school with a recognizable brand name for your kid and you are looking at $30000-40000 or more per semester. Basically wages in the US are about 5x that of China, but education costs are around 10-20x.

  10. chris July 12, 2017 at 14:35

    But is it like the US and other Western countries where the increase in enrolments and grads is in the non-useful fields like Humanities and Social Sciences as opposed to STEM?

  11. Candide III July 13, 2017 at 13:01

    Relevant link: China Daily tells office workers that they mustn’t complain about blue-collars having higher wages than them, because supply and demand (h/t Sumner via Cowen).

    • Howard J. Harrison July 13, 2017 at 14:38

      Outstanding. At last. The men who actually build things should earn more than those of us (including me) who push papers around for a living. How soon will that happen in the U.S.?

      Candide, the brief article you link is one of the most interesting things I have read this summer. Maybe the Robocalypse will soon make all that irrelevant, or maybe it won’t; but for now, that’s good news.

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