America used to be a tough place where people knew — with regard to the big world — competition was the name of the game.
Is that still the case?
Regardless, in some areas, China's doing really well.
In fact — per a new report — we're being bigly bested.
This month, Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology embedded the results succinctly in its title: “China is Fast Outpacing U.S. STEM PhD Growth.”
Since the mid-2000s, CSET notes, China's “consistently produced more STEM doctorates than the United States.”
And the gap's likely to widen over the next five years.
By 2025, the organization projects, there'll be more than 77,000 Chinese-produced STEM PhD graduates per year.
The United States is set to serve up 40,000.
Of course, China has a much larger population. But consider the fact that, of students attending American colleges and universities in 2019/20, 372,000 of them were native Chinese.
Furthermore, more than quantity counts:
Our findings…suggest the quality of doctoral education in China has risen in recent years, and that much of China's current PhD growth comes from high-quality universities. Approximately 45% of Chinese PhDs graduate from Double First Class (A) universities–the country's most elite educational institutions (see Appendix D)–and about 80 percent of graduates come from universities administered by the central government.
“While it is possible that the growing supply of STEM PhDs in China exceeds current labor market demand,” CSET concedes, “the quality and quantity of a country's doctoral graduates is an important indicator of its future competitiveness, and China's capacity to produce skilled PhD-level STEM experts appears to be growing rapidly.”
In terms of fields, the study focused on seven domestically: mathematics, statistics, computer science, life sciences, geosciences, physical sciences, and engineering.
And in China, four: engineering, agriculture, medicine, and science.
While the Red Dragon invests in the future via STEM, some may allege American education has other priorities:
In March, the growing divide between America's and China's performance was touched on by Bill Maher.
Bill Maher Absolutely Eviscerates America's Wokeism: We're Pathetic, and China is 'Eating Our Lunch' https://t.co/tLvyojOVMg
— RedState (@RedState) March 14, 2021
Here's how he put it:
“You know who doesn't care that there's a stereotype of a Chinese man in a Dr. Seuss book? China. All 1.4 billion of them could give a Crouching Tiger flying [flip]…because they're not a silly people. … In two generations, China has built 500 entire cities from scratch, moved the majority of their huge population from poverty to the middle class, and mostly cornered the market in 5G and pharmaceuticals. Oh, and they bought Africa. …
“They made robots that check a kid's temperature and got their a-es back in school. Most of our kids are still pretending to take Zoom classes while they watch TikTok and their brain cells slowly commit ritual suicide. …
“There's a progressive trend now to sacrifice merit for equity. … [I]n New York, Mayor de Blasio announced merit would no longer decide who gets into the schools for advanced learners, but rather a lottery system.”
“You think China's doing that?” Bill posed. “Letting political correctness get in the way of nurturing their best and brightest? … [T]hey are eating our lunch.”
Our lines appear to have become destructively blurred.
‘Til not long ago, for example, school remained a wholly separate entity from politics. Now a university's teaching activism (see: Florida University Launches a Degree Program to Train ‘Social Justice' Activists).
Critics of the last year and a half might suggest the field of medicine's been penetrated by politics, too.
It's certainly absorbed cultural concerns:
— WebMD (@WebMD) July 31, 2021
“American made” is still certainly a thing; but if we're not careful, the nation that began by declaring its independence and once prided itself on being competitive will be owned by China — in more ways than one.
And to a much greater degree than has already occurred.
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