Change Agents

A generation comes to learn, and returns to build

February 24, 2014
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In Fall 2008, there were 42 students from China in Boston University’s freshman class. In 2013, there were 410. Nationwide, the number of Chinese students in American colleges and universities has increased almost sixfold in the last five years. Chinese students are coming because they believe an American education will give them advantages that a Chinese education will not. And they are coming now because China’s economic growth has enabled their parents to pay for what they believe is the best higher education available for their only children. The movement is not just educating young Chinese. It’s changing higher education across the United States, and it’s energizing Chinese business practices in ways that will ripple through economies around the world. In the following stories, Bostonia examines the phenomenon from three perspectives: accepted Chinese students at home, Chinese students making their way on the Charles River Campus, and alums who have returned to China.

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Change Agents

  • Sara Rimer

    Senior Contributing Editor

    Sara Rimer

    Sara Rimer A journalist for more than three decades, Sara Rimer worked at the Miami Herald, Washington Post and, for 26 years, the New York Times, where she was the New England bureau chief, and a national reporter covering education, aging, immigration, and other social justice issues. Her stories on the death penalty’s inequities were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and cited in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision outlawing the execution of people with intellectual disabilities. Her journalism honors include Columbia University’s Meyer Berger award for in-depth human interest reporting. She holds a BA degree in American Studies from the University of Michigan. Profile

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  • Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Rich Barlow

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

  • Art Jahnke

    Senior Contributing Editor

    Art Janke

    Art Jahnke began his career at the Real Paper, a Boston area alternative weekly. He has worked as a writer and editor at Boston Magazine, web editorial director at CXO Media, and executive editor in Marketing & Communications at Boston University, where his work was honored with many awards. Profile