Paul French

Ambitions are high among the rising Chinese middle class and most of the parents put a lot of pressure on their only child to perform at school. Just getting an undergrad degree is for most not done, tells China veteran Paul French in the Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal:

Three-quarters of middle-class Chinese parents expect their child to earn a postgraduate degree, while only 32% said they would be happy if their child stopped at the undergraduate level, according to a report on the lifestyles of China’s so-called “little emperors” by Mintel, a global market research provider…

Compared to their Western peers, Chinese kids in middle-class families face more pressure in school, the report says. “There simply aren’t enough places at enough good universities for all the Little Emperors capable of attending and passing the required exams,” said Paul French, Chief China Market Strategist at Mintel. “Therefore, the pressure on children is immense as academic success is both the path to a good future and also not available to all.”

Most middle-class parents grew up during the Cultural Revolution, when many of the country’s universities closed down or stopped accepting students, which might also explain the obsession with higher education. “They want this for their kids,” said Mr. French.

More in the Wall Street Journal

Paul French is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

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