The 2014 China Education Symposium annual conference was held at the Harvard Graduate School of Education on May 2. This year’s theme is “Can China Lead? Education and Leadership in the Globalized World.”
In the opening ceremony, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd welcomed the audience with a speech addressing education, globalization and leadership.
Rudd served as Australia’s 26th prime minister from 2007 to 2010. He was named a senior fellow of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard this year and is fluent in Mandarin.
Rudd pointed out the importance of studying language, which is helpful in understanding the globalization. While more Chinese students learn English, there are fewer people overseas who know how to speak Chinese.
“To understand your culture, we need to understand some of your language,” Rudd said.William Kirby, professor of China studies and business administration at Harvard, spoke on China’s education. He said China has education inequalities causing children in cities to have more opportunities than those in rural areas. As one of the authors of “Can China Lead? Reaching the Limits of Power and Growth,” Kirby believes education is important in China’s development.
“People who will lead China are the graduates like you,” Kirby said.
The China Education Symposium is a student organization at Harvard. It has more than 500 members made up by scholars, policy makers, business leaders and others who are interested in improving China’s education.
The two-day conference included keynote speeches by scholars from both the United States and China, and panel discussions about topics such as international higher education and innovation.
This post is also available in: Chinese