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Chen-Ning Yang: superior US education a myth

By Du Xiaofei (People's Daily Online)    17:37, May 12, 2017

Chen-Ning Yang in live broadcast with People's Daily

In a live broadcast on May 11 for the People’s Daily, Chen-Ning Yang, Nobel Prize-winner in Physics and member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), dismissed the idea of sending Chinese students to the U.S. for primary education. He also shared his own view about the path toward academic success.

Yang believes it’s a myth that the U.S. provides better primary education than China. At the age of 35, when he was still an American citizen, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics with Tsung-dao Lee for their work on parity nonconservation of weak interaction. But before he left for the U.S., Yang completed his undergraduate and graduate education in China at National Southwestern Associated University (temporarily formed by Tsinghua University, Peking University and Nankai University during WWII).

“Education in China laid a solid foundation for my later studies,” he said. “For any student who graduates with merit, it is better to obtain a bachelor’s degree in China and then leave for the U.S. This is more likely to lead to success.”

The U.S is only an ideal place for the very top middle-school students. As for the rest, they benefit more from the Chinese education system, Yang said.

“U.S. society is more tolerant, and the most talented aren’t bound by rules or discipline. However, the extreme of tolerance is disorder. In the U.S., some students use drugs, even sometimes as early as middle school. Chinese parents don’t anticipate the power of bad influences. Their children are vulnerable to becoming increasingly deviant until they finally pass the point of no return,” he explained.

At the end of the broadcast, 95-year-old Yang, who currently teaches in Tsinghua University, shared his joy in becoming a full member of CAS in May 2017.

“Even though I couldn’t pioneer the latest scientific research, I wish to pass on my experience as a physicist to younger generations,” Yang concluded. 

Chen-Ning Yang in live broadcast with People's Daily



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