The BBC’s Andreas Schleicher wrote – a week ago – that China would be building “the equivalent of almost one university a week” due to the rising population. Recently, we reported that China and India were left out of the World Economic Forum’s research that detailed which country produced the most skilled engineering graduates.
The BBC report revealed a clearer picture than the World Economic Forum, saying that 25 to 34-year-old graduates would rise in China by “300% in 2030”. The report further stated that in 2013, 40% of Chinese graduates completed their studies in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) subject. This, they claim, is more than twice the amount of US graduates that were graduating with STEM degrees.
Furthermore, the BBC claimed that in the year 2030, China and India “could account for more than 60% of the STEM graduates,” whereas the US would hold only 8% and Europe will hold 4%.
Chinese universities aren’t excluding the rest of the world either. According to CapitalFM in Kenya, the country is sending 60 students to China in 2016 to “study railway trained engineering for four years”. So, if a country strikes a deal to allow exchange programs for African countries like Kenya, it’s probable that they would take other countries’ students as well.
However, there are widely published doubts that the degrees earned in China would be useful elsewhere in the world. The World Economic Forum was not clear on whether or not they considered the quality of degrees from India or China and that is why they left them out of their report, or whether or not the data was truly unavailable from the countries themselves.
So there is still some confusion as to who supplies the best qualifications in engineering in the world. Although, there are online solutions that are starting to show promise in the industry.
A student from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tresor Wa Kahilu, who works as a junior engineer at a mining company named Anvil Mining is broadening his knowledge of engineering online. He studied an Advanced Diploma of Industrial Automation at an online tertiary solution, the Engineering Insitute of Technology. He says studying online is more practical for him because he can continue working in the industry and then study at the end of the day. It took him 18 months and by the end of it received his diploma and now has more behind his name.
“Engineering is evolving,” Wa Kahilu said. “People who do extra work get promoted. I want to push forward and get my masters so that I can have more opportunities in the engineering industry. Through studying online I became more confident and became better at approaching problems in engineering.”
Wa Kahilu said he sees that doing a bit more expansion on your studies whilst working gets employers attentions and leads to promotions, and stands behind online studies as an avenue that might be fruitful for engineering students in the future.