In 2010 I wrote an Asia Pacific Memo that argued that “hypereducation” was the way of the future. In this Memo, I was primarily referring to contemporary education in South Korea as a hypereducation system, but also predicting that China was heading in this direction.
What do I mean by hypereducation?
Here are some aspects that define hypereducation:
- private investment that approaches or surpasses public investment in education even when this public investment is substantial
- a strong, collectively-agreed upon belief in the importance of education/educational credentials for intergenerational social mobility
- a highly institutionalized supplementary education sector that goes beyond immediate and short-term concerns with remedial efforts or exam preparation
- a broad lack of trust in conventional schools (including private schools) that flies in the face of empirical evidence that suggests a high level of achievement
What societies have entered this era of hypereducation? In East Asia: South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. If you agree with my Asia Pacific Memo argument, then China is not far behind? Elsewhere? The island of Manhattan, clearly. I still know too little about non-Asian cases like Brazil, Egypt, Greece, Portugal and Turkey to be able to judge whether hypereducation is also developing in these countries.