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August 12, 2013 5:00 PM

U.S.-style liberal arts colleges plant foothold in China

It was a risky business venture. In 2005, Chen Wei Ming – a Harvard-educated Chinese businessman – bought a cash-strapped technical college in Shanghai. Chen had a vision for the future of Chinese universities. He recognized that burgeoning cities such as Shanghai couldn’t sustain workers who’d gone to school on the “assembly line.” He envisioned a college where students could challenge their professors, think critically and pursue multiple, creative interests. So Xing Wei College was born. Classes are taught in English by American professors to a student body that totals just 25.

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