The Global View Towards Education


There have been constant disagreements about which is more important to emphasize in school: creative thinking or basic academic skills and discipline. The four key findings about educational preferences from a 2016 Pew Research Center survey of 19 countries demonstrate the following:

  1. Publics in advanced economies prefer creative education over those in emerging economies; with half or more in six of the 14 countries surveyed putting greater emphasis on creativity and independent thinking as opposed to basic academic skills and discipline.
  2. In most advanced economies, there are significant educational preferences. Those of the political left tend to have greater preferences for institutions that impart creativity skills and encourage independent thinking; while those on the right tend to value academic skills and discipline.
  3. Younger generations in most advanced economies are the most supportive of education that emphasize on creativity and independent thinking.
  4. On the contrary, the Chinese public stands out from others surveyed stating that they prefer teaching both sets of skills. It may be attributed to their educational system’s reliance on standardised testing (gaokao). However, the younger, wealthier and better educated Chinese have a greater tendency to prioritize imagination and creativity in the classroom.

Source: WE Forum

Editor’s Opinion:

As we enter a new innovation era, students today are constantly encouraged to develop skills that allow them to have the capacity to disrupt, tackle profound challenges and make new discoveries. However, does this mean that we should forgo academic skills and discipline in education?

Academic skills are essential especially for college students. Skills such as critical thinking, decision making and conflict resolution are fundamental for students to succeed in life. These skills allow students to better identify challenges and solutions within the society, and make decisions that help to encourage quality output and effective teamwork at work.

Therefore, as tertiary institutions, particularly those in Russia and Central Asia aim to achieve university excellence, what do you think are some of the best methods to do so?

The opinion expressed above is that of the editor and not necessarily that of QS Asia.

Join us at the upcoming QS WORLDWIDE 2018 from  22-23 May 2018 in Moscow, Russia as we explore the topic on “In Search of University Excellence: Perspectives from Russia and Central Asia”.