In this episode of the ChinaPower Podcast, Professor William Kirby joins us to examine the changing dynamics in the US-China educational relationship. Professor Kirby explains that education has been one of the central parts of US-China relations since the 1870s and has internationalized education in the US. Professor Kirby describes the origins of China’s top universities, noting that many were created in partnership with the United States. He also argues that academic exchanges have benefitted American universities by attracting international talent. In addition, Professor Kirby says the United States needs to promote the learning of the Chinese language and study abroad in China to balance the number of Chinese students studying in America. Lastly, Professor Kirby recommends that the Biden administration should restart the Fulbright Program and re-open previously closed Chinese consulates, and highlights the importance of academic exchanges in maintaining connections with China.
Professor William Kirby is Spangler Family Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and T. M. Chang Professor of China Studies at Harvard University. He is a University Distinguished Service Professor. Professor Kirby serves as Chairman of the Harvard China Fund, the University’s academic venture fund for China, and Faculty Chair of the Harvard Center Shanghai, Harvard’s first University-wide center located outside the United States.