China has doubled its number of universities over the past 10 years and wants to produce 195 million college graduates by 2020.
Zhang Xiaoping’s mother dropped out of school after sixth grade. Her father, one of 10 children, never attended.
But Ms. Zhang, 20, is part of a new generation of Chinese taking advantage of a national effort to produce college graduates in numbers the world has never seen before.
A pony-tailed junior at a new university here in southern China, Ms. Zhang has a major in English. But her unofficial minor is American pop culture, which she absorbs by watching episodes of television shows like “The Vampire Diaries” and “America’s Next Top Model” on the Internet.
It is all part of her highly specific ambition: to work some day for a Chinese automaker and provide the cultural insights and English fluency the company needs to supply the next generation of fuel-efficient taxis that New York City plans to choose in 2021. “It is my dream,” she said, “and I will devote myself wholeheartedly to it.”
This is probably a misallocation of resources, like the US. Both seem to think if a little is good then a lot is better. That might be true, except what happens if the people can’t get appropriate jobs? This might be another nail in China’s coffin.
Imagine pouring everything you have into a college education. You study thousands and thousands of hours with the goal of getting into a good college. Then your family pours all of its resources into funding your college education. This is so you can help lift up the entire family. But then something unexpected happens after all of that. You can’t find a job.
Do you think the entire family is going to become very unhappy? Do you think they might blame the government? If they are already unhappy with the government, then this is one more thing to become unhappy about. It’s one more thing pushing the entire country toward revolution.