When I visit China I am always impressed with the sheer number of people in the cities. Most of the cities we visit have populations that exceed 5 million people, with the largest topping 20 million. It is hard to imagine a vision that would foresee a system that could sufficiently educate most of the Chinese people.
Although the Chinese government is trying very hard to develop universities to meet the demands of the economy and population in China, it is still a daunting task. It is one of the reasons Chinese institutions look to international partners to help develop Chinese students. We promise students that they will “be known” at George Fox. I always wonder to what extent a person in China would wish to be known.
We were visiting Changsha and spending time looking at one of its oldest educational academies. The historic academy is one of Changsha’s finest institutions, Hunan Normal University. While we walked through the historic academy we came upon an interesting display. Much like our own “be known” display that we develop during orientation, Hunan University has created a display that provided a picture of each graduate (see picture).
Even in a culture that has more than a billion people, individual citizens have this desire to be known and recognized. At George Fox University, it is a slightly easier task to help each student to be known on our campus, but it was equally important to have that commitment affirmed at a major university in China.