Chinese Whispers

The sacrifices and rewards of a Chinese-style education

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In this episode

Cindy Yu

Tiger mums and dads are infamous in the West, but in China the pressure is ramped up several times higher. From kindergarten to university, exams form the structure of a disciplined and competitive educational environment. It yields result - with even the poorest students in Shanghai scoring higher on maths and reading than the richest in the UK (according to PISA). But does the system value the right things, and what sacrifices are demanded? I speak to journalist Lenora Chu, author of Little Soldiers, about her research and experience as a mother in the system.

Read my take on the university entrance exams (gaokao) here.