Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/451

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UNIVERSITY EDUCATION IN CHINA

Among other irregular institutions is the Shansi University at Tai-yuen-fu, now under foreign control, but which will soon be turned over to the provincial government. This is doing effective work, as is the Tongshan Engineering College, of which S. S. Yung, a graduate of the University of California, is president. This school is under the control of the Board of Posts and Communications. Kan-Yang College at Shanghai, Nanking University at Nanking, and a host of others make up a list which it would take too long to enumerate, and as the relationships of many of them are somewhat vague it would in many cases be difficult to decide whether a given school were really a part of the regular system or not. Among these are five naval colleges already established, and six additional ones proposed, numerous medical schools, for training surgeons for the army and navy, training school for officials, and other special schools. In many of these, in order to secure students, the tuition, books, and board were not only free, but the students actually received a stipend of a few dollars per month. The instruction in many of the schools was at first of little account, and they were derisively cermed chih fan hsueh t'ang ("eat-food schools"). These also are now much improved in effectiveness, and the ability of Chinese physicians, notably Dr. Wu Lien-teh, formerly vice-director of one of these schools, was conclusively shown in the handling of the outbreak of the plague in northern China in the autumn of 1910.

From this brief review it will be seen that university work in China lies in the future rather than the present, as the most advanced work at present, that of the Pei-Yang University, is little better than of college grade, While this and all the other advanced secondary schools are largely technical in character. University work, in the ordinary sense of the word, is not yet being done, the demand for vocationally trained men being greatest. The difficulties of higher secondary educational work are numerous, among them the necessity of conducting it in some foreign language, usually English. This is not due, as might be at first supposed, to the necessity of employing foreign instructors, but is rather because, for a number of reasons which would require too lengthy explanation, it is not practicable to translate text-books of university grade into Chinese; to teach the students the foreign language being at once easier and better. This is one of the problems of the future; foreign instructors are expensive; the use of foreign language by native instructors will present many difficulties, while those encountered in the preparation of advanced text-books in the" Chinese language are almost insuperable. Another problem is the insurgent spirit of the student body in many institutions. Though a proverb similar to that regarding the teaching of one's grandmother to suck eggs is well known in China, its full force is not always appreciated by the students, though in extenuation of their oftentimes insubordinate conduct it must be ad-