Home » higher education » Recent Articles:

Letter: Affirmative action in education fails majority

July 12, 2023 Articles, Letters
Letter to the FT (July 12, 2023) I was a bottom one-percenter, literally born on the streets of China to peasant parents, grew up in poverty in the west and arrested multiple times as a teenager -- I also attended Princeton University ("The moral bankruptcy of Ivy League America", Opinion, July 6). Although the US Supreme Court ruled to disallow race-based affirmative action, the history of similar policies -- notably proposition 209 in California, which banned race as a factor for college admissions -- and the present climate in higher education suggest that the Ivy League establishment will find other (non-race based) ways to continue to get their desired mix of students, in which Asians still end up being the biggest losers. Luce points to favouritism for white people due to that group receiving 65 per cent of athletic scholarships -- however, this number is roughly in line with their share of the overall US population. That this argument even surfaced shows the skewed view many have, perhaps in part because of the higher proportion of black people in major US sports. Nevertheless, Luce is on point that the affirmative action debate in its present form does nothing for the…

Quels pays proposent le meilleur enseignement supérieur ?

October 11, 2017 Articles, WEF
[caption id="attachment_3437" align="aligncenter" width="1008"] Image: REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares[/caption] 11 Oct 2017 Kai Chan Distinguished Fellow, INSEAD Innovation & Policy Initiative Les universités sont vitales si l’on veut mettre en valeur le capital humain. Ce sont des rouages essentiels dans l’économie mondiale du savoir. Si, autrefois, les études supérieures étaient réservées à une minorité, elles constituent aujourd’hui un pré requis pour entrer dans les classes moyennes, et plus encore pour appartenir à l’élite. La compétition entre les universités a donné lieu à la création de classements visant à déterminer les plus compétitives sur le plan international. Ces listes se fondent en général sur des indicateurs comme le nombre de publications de recherches, le prestige et la réussite des anciens étudiants. Bien que les diverses mesures produisent des classements différents, les meilleurs établissements universitaires sur le plan international sont souvent les mêmes d’un classement à l’autre. Le nombre d’établissements classés au niveau mondial d’un pays est donc invariablement utilisé pour évaluer la qualité de son enseignement supérieur. Cependant, cela ne prend pas en compte l’inégalité croissante au sein de l’enseignement supérieur. L’enjeu actuel : l'inégalité L’inégalité est l’un des plus grands enjeux de notre société. Mais le débat se focalise sur l’inégalité…

¿Qué países ofrecen a sus ciudadanos la mejor educación superior?

May 25, 2017 Articles, WEF
25 May 2017 Kai Chan Distinguished Fellow, INSEAD Innovation and Policy Initiative Los responsables políticos tendrán que asegurar que la educación terciaria de alta calidad sea accesible para todos, no solo para la élite. La educación superior inclusiva podría cerrar las divisiones sociales que separan a la sociedad Las universidades son vitales para el desarrollo del capital humano. Son piezas fundamentales de la economía mundial del conocimiento. Si bien alguna vez solo estuvo disponible para unos pocos, la educación superior ahora es casi un requisito para el ingreso a la clase media, y más aún a las filas de la élite. La competencia entre universidades ha dado origen a clasificaciones que intentan determinar cuáles son las más competitivas a nivel mundial. En general, estas listas se basan en métricas como la producción de investigación, el prestigio y los logros de los exalumnos. Aunque las distintas medidas producen clasificaciones diferentes, las principales universidades del mundo son muy similares en todas las evaluaciones. La cantidad de universidades reconocidas a nivel mundial de un país se utiliza siempre para medir la calidad de su educación superior. Sin embargo, esta perspectiva pasa por alto la creciente desigualdad de la educación superior. El desafío de…

Hear! Hear! to Higher Education

March 4, 2011 Articles, Letters
Letter to Trinity Alumni Magazine Winter 2011 It was nice to read about the new deans, Jonathan Steels and Kristen Moore, as well as about Brett Cumberbatch, who is working on outreach to at-risk youth in Toronto's northwest.  The efforts of people like them help enrich Trinity, and our communities. However, I often feel that the traditional programs set up to help Trinity students as well as at-risk youth in our communities miss large swathes of the population.  I myself was an at-risk youth (arrested twice as a young offender and dropped out of high school), as well as someone who had a lot of hardships transitioning to life at university (I was briefly homeless in my first year and eked out an existence by holding down multiple part-time jobs). The weak political voice of under-performing Asians juxtaposed with high-achieving Asians means that this community is often neglected or at best a low priority.  Kudos to those who work to help tear down the barriers that impede people from achieving their potential.  Higher education is without a doubt the single most powerful driver of social mobility. Kai L. Chan, '99 New York City Trinity Alumni Magazine Winter 2011 PDF of…

The graduate student’s long march

December 1, 2005 Articles, Princeton writings
Students of English literature might be acquainted with Alan Sillitoe's classic novel, "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner."  In that story, the protagonist, Smith, gains relief from his chaotic schedule in a well-heeled boarding school and time to muse about life in his daily runs.  As a runner myself — having competed in track and field, cross-country and marathons — I empathize with Smith. One of the simple pleasures of long-distance running is the seclusion that Sillitoe notes.  The solitude of running provides an opportunity to appreciate, inter alia, the beauty of the sun setting over rolling hills while hearing the sound of leaves crunching under one's feet.  However, sometimes the solitude is simply lonesome. This is why I sometimes think that Sillitoe was in fact writing about the doctoral adventure.  The Ph.D. is a very lonely pursuit, and it goes without saying that it is a long race, metaphorically speaking.  (The median time from matriculation to receiving a Ph.D. is 6.0 years.)  And the isolation of the Princeton graduate experience has given me an epiphany about life: It really is stranger than fiction. Though I don't run on the beach, I often imagine leaving tracks in the sand…




These are the world’s most powerful languages:

Research Documents (pdf)

Intelligence Capital IndexPower Language IndexImmigrating into the workforceCanada's Mosaic Ceiling

Presentations (pdf):