Class of 2020 预测:2020中印毕业生人数将位居榜首

Vocabulary: trends 詞匯:趨勢潮流

Image copyright BBC World Service

According to a forecast from the OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) 40% of the world's young graduates will be from China and India by the year 2020.

This shows a far-reaching shift in the balance of graduate numbers from around the world. The rising Asian economies push ahead of the United States and Western Europe, which together are likely to account for little more than 25% of the graduates aged between 25 and 34. The UK, however, is bucking the trend, as it is projected to increase its share from 3% to 4% in 2020.

Analysts also see a trend in Asian economies which are beginning to veer in a new direction: rather than offering low-cost manufacturing they now want to compete for highly-skilled, high-income employment. This could bring about an expansion in the demand for professionals with a background in science and technology.

But the new kids on the block from the Asian economies might have a big challenge ahead. Although many businesses have jumped on the information technology bandwagon, the West still holds up its position of strength through cultural dominance by controlling various institutions. A team at the University of Oxford's Internet Institute has produced a set of maps showing the 'geography of the world's knowledge'. It evaluated levels of user-generated material in Google, academic activity and the geographical focus of Wikipedia articles.

Professor Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, from the Oxford Internet Institute, observed: "Each era has its own distinct geography. In the information age, it's not dependent on bases of knowledge. Instead of coal and steel it will be about universities and innovation."

He continued, "There are more students in China than ever before - but they still use Western mechanisms to publish results, they accept the filters. The big question will be whether the Chinese researchers can be as insightful as their Western counterparts - we don't know yet."