The Thousand Talents Program: Lessons From China About Faculty Recruitment and Retention

The Conference Board of Canada, 18 pages, March 7, 2016
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China’s engagement in global markets means educational standards are critical to its students and economy. This briefing studies how recruitment and retention of world-class professors in Chinese universities have urged competitiveness in human resource development.

Document Highlights

Higher education in China had been geared to a low-skilled economy, which has resulted in insufficient education and skills development for China’s new economy. With China’s increasing engagement in global markets, higher educational standards are critical to Chinese universities, which have taken decisive action to improve their standing.

In 2008, China’s government established the Thousand Talents Program to recruit from the global pool of university talent. This influx of foreign talent aligned with the skills needs of the country’s economy and were perceived to bring prestige to Chinese universities. Centralization of recruitment through the Thousand Talents Program demonstrates some of the advantages and disadvantages of a centralized education system like China’s and how vigorous recruitment can improve competitiveness.

While each political system has its advantages, Canada’s lack of a central body to develop higher education policy and administer a national recruitment strategy is a weakness, leaving room for more active federal involvement.

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