China’s private education operators eye Greater Bay Area expansion, as economic hub attracts more talent and resources



a view of a city: Shenzhen, one of the nine Guangdong province cities that are part of the Greater Bay Area development zone. The number of private institutions stood at 191,500 last year, making up more than a third of all such institutions in China. Photo: Martin Chan


© SCMP
Shenzhen, one of the nine Guangdong province cities that are part of the Greater Bay Area development zone. The number of private institutions stood at 191,500 last year, making up more than a third of all such institutions in China. Photo: Martin Chan

Private school operators are rushing to expand in the Greater Bay Area, riding on an increasing demand for quality education as talent flows into the 11 cities in southern China’s Pearl River Delta that have been tapped by Beijing to become an integrated economic hub.

“As the Greater Bay Area economy grows, we foresee an ever stronger and more urgent demand for high-end education,” said Li Jiuchang, the chief operating officer and executive director of Hong Kong-listed Wisdom Education International Holdings. “If the region wants to attract talent, it has to be able to make their children stay, by offering great education services during the primary to high-school period.”

Wisdom Education is already the largest operator of private elementary, middle and high schools in the southern province of Guangdong. Nine of the 11 bay area cities are in the province. The company is planning to add more schools in each of the cities, as well as a foray into tertiary education.

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From kindergartens to colleges, private institutions have in recent years gained ground in China’s education system, which has long been dominated by public schools. The number of private institutions stood at 191,500 last year, making up more than a third of all such institutions in the country.

Unlike in the United Kingdom or the United States, the best schools in China – measured by students’ scores and resources – are traditionally government-funded. But the emergence of high-end private schools like the ones operated by Wisdom Education is drawing more parents willing to spend big bucks.

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Four of Wisdom Education’s 12 schools are located in bay area cities such as Dongguan, Huizhou and Foshan. The company has plans to build schools in Zhongshan, Jiangmen, Guangzhou and Zhaoqing in the coming years, and aims to cover all nine cities, Li said.

The demand for quality education is especially strong in bay area cities, which account for more than a tenth of China’s economy and have been attracting population inflows. Guangzhou and Shenzhen, for example, each added more than two million residents over the past five years.

There is also a shortage in the region, according to Hong Kong-listed China Education Group Holdings, which runs universities and vocational colleges in China, Australia and the UK. The gross enrolment ratio of tertiary education in Guangdong province, at 46 per cent last year, falls short of the national average of 52 per cent.

“This is a great market. The Guangdong education authorities have welcomed us setting up schools and expanding enrolment there, because they

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NASA celebrates Hubble-ween with grinning ‘Greater Pumpkins’ galaxies

The Hubble Space Telescope caught two galaxies in the act of colliding. Their orange color earned them the nickname “Greater Pumpkin.”


NASA, ESA, and W. Keel (University of Alabama)

The It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown animated Peanuts special might not be airing on broadcast TV this year, but you can look to the cosmos for your giant pumpkin Halloween fix. The Hubble Space Telescope spied a pair of galaxies that could pass as a space jack-o’-lantern. 

Hubble — a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency — snapped a spooky view of two galaxies colliding, and it reminded NASA of the Peanuts pumpkin, so it earned the nickname “Greater Pumpkin.” 

“‘Great’ is an understatement in this case because the galaxy pair spans 100,000 light-years,” NASA said in a statement on Thursday. “The ‘pumpkin’s’ glowing ‘eyes’ are the bright, star-filled cores of each galaxy that contain supermassive black holes.” NASA pointed out the smile-like formation of stars that curves underneath the pair. 

The orange-ish color comes from red stars. The galaxies, officially named NGC  2292 and NGC  2293, are still in the process of their slo-mo collision. The duo may end up forming a giant spiral galaxy. 

The galaxies are located in the Canis Major constellation at a distance of 120 million light-years away from us. 

While the Greater Pumpkin nickname is a good fit, fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas might notice a strong resemblance to another famous Halloween character: Jack Skellington.

See also: How to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for free online

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Hubble telescope gets Halloween-y with grinning ‘Greater Pumpkin’ galaxies

The Hubble Space Telescope caught two galaxies in the act of colliding. Their orange color earned them the nickname “Greater Pumpkin.”


NASA, ESA, and W. Keel (University of Alabama)

The It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown animated Peanuts special might not be on broadcast TV this year, but you can look to the cosmos for your giant pumpkin Halloween fix. The Hubble Space Telescope spied a pair of galaxies that could pass as a space jack-o’-lantern. 

Hubble — a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency — snapped a spooky view of two galaxies colliding, and it reminded NASA of the Peanuts pumpkin, so it earned the nickname “Greater Pumpkin.” 

“‘Great’ is an understatement in this case because the galaxy pair spans 100,000 light-years,” NASA said in a statement on Thursday. “The ‘pumpkin’s’ glowing ‘eyes’ are the bright, star-filled cores of each galaxy that contain supermassive black holes.” NASA pointed out the smile-like formation of stars that curves underneath the pair. 

The orange-ish color comes from red stars. The galaxies, officially named NGC  2292 and NGC  2293, are still in the process of their slo-mo collision. The duo may end up forming a giant spiral galaxy. 

The galaxies are located in the Canis Major constellation at a distance of 120 million light-years away from us. 

While the Greater Pumpkin nickname is a good fit, fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas might notice a strong resemblance to another famous Halloween character: Jack Skellington.

See also: How to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for free online

Source Article

Read more

Hubble gets Halloween-y with grinning ‘Greater Pumpkin’ galaxies

The Hubble Space Telescope caught two galaxies in the act of colliding. Their orange color earned them the nickname “Greater Pumpkin.”


NASA, ESA, and W. Keel (University of Alabama)

The It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown animated Peanuts special might not be on broadcast TV this year, but you can instead look to the cosmos for your giant pumpkin fix for Halloween. The Hubble Space Telescope spied a pair of galaxies that could pass as a space jack-o’-lantern. 

Hubble — a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency — snapped a spooky view of two galaxies colliding, and it reminded NASA of the Peanuts pumpkin, so it earned the nickname “Greater Pumpkin.” 

“‘Great’ is an understatement in this case because the galaxy pair spans 100,000 light-years,” NASA said in a statement on Thursday. “The ‘pumpkin’s’ glowing ‘eyes’ are the bright, star-filled cores of each galaxy that contain supermassive black holes.” NASA pointed out the smile-like formation of stars that curves underneath the pair. 

The orange-ish color comes from red stars. The galaxies, officially named NGC  2292 and NGC  2293, are still in the process of their slo-mo collision. The duo may end up forming a giant spiral galaxy. 

The galaxies are located in the Canis Major constellation at a distance of 120 million light-years away from us. 

While the Greater Pumpkin nickname is a good fit, fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas might notice a strong resemblance to another famous Halloween character: Jack Skellington.

See also: How to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for free online

Source Article

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Four Ways To Zoom Out For Bigger Vision And Greater Impact

Is your goal for the week to plow through your email and to-do list? While being goal-oriented is generally helpful, laser focus on a checklist can result in forgoing the larger impact of seeing and doing the right things.

Head of sales for a 7,000-person, manufacturing company, Larry’s legendary productivity earned him the nickname, “The Machine.” His daily yield of items outstripped the contributions of other team members. Yet one day, Larry’s CEO confronted him with a moment of reckoning. In his singular focus on getting things done, Larry had undermined multiple big-picture efforts. While many team members were struggling with the Covid-19 pandemic and transition to remote work, he pressured them to toughen up and double down, threatening “changes” if results didn’t follow. In his rush to close new prospects, he had short-changed a current customer. He missed a key market indicator while heads down on the daily deliverables.

Larry realized he needed to reset. During coaching sessions, we discussed the importance of periodically zooming out to gain perspective and create space for reflection. Larry needed a broader view of his impact on his team and the bigger trends and strategic shifts affecting the business. Several of his relationships with co-workers were on shaky ground because of his single-minded focus on delivering more tangible results. He would have to adjust his habitual pattern of immediate action to allow for sustained reflection.

The blank spaces in written communication are critical to understanding; similarly, the space created when we stop acting and start reflecting is essential to big picture comprehension. We have to create this space. It doesn’t automatically present itself. Any of the following four types of reflective activities can help you reclaim your perspective. Choose a mode (or two) of reflection best suited to your desired outcome.

1.      Learning. Reflect on a significant event that occurs each week using these questions: a) what was the situation; b) what was my role; c) what am I learning; and d) how will I apply my insights going forward? This pause in the action provides space to process a significant event and introspect for personal insights before the specifics recede in the rearview mirror. One of my clients has a leadership development program where I coach groups of six people for ten months. Utilizing this weekly format, participants experience new realizations, share the results of their reflections with peers, and benefit from replaying the action from additional vantage points. 

2.      Planning. Review each week’s entire activities and plan for the following week using these prompts: a) successes last week; b) failures last week; c) distractions last week; d) lessons learned; e) priorities for this week. This template keeps you accountable to your biggest priorities while highlighting smarter future objectives based on lessons learned.

3.      Habit changing. If you’ve repeatedly tried to break the same bad habit or adopt a healthy one, consider a fact-based approach instead of revisionist history. Use a Yes List to track

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Researchers reveal the historic range and diversity of corals in the Greater Bay area for the last 5,000 years

Was Hong Kong once a coral reef paradise?
Coral skeletons highlighting the habitat complexity created by Acropora (on the right) compared to the less-complex massive corals that now dominate Hong Kong. Credit: Jonathan Cybulski

Researchers from The University of Hong Kong’s School of Biological Sciences and The Swire Institute of Marine Science, have for the first time investigated the historical presence of coral communities in the Greater Bay Area, revealing a catastrophic range collapse and loss of diversity that occurred in the last several decades.


The research, published in the prestigious journal Science Advances, looks at fossil corals collected from over 11 sites around Hong Kong, and creates the first palaeoecological baseline for coral communities in the Greater Bay Area. Led by Ph.D. candidate and National Geographic Explorer Jonathan Cybulski, the team revealed what coral genera were present in the past well before major human impacts, and these include: Acropora, Montipora, Turbinaria, Psammacora, Pavona, Hydnophora, Porites, Platygyra, Goniopora and Faviids.

Every fossil tells a story

“The data we collect helps us to create a sort of fossil time machine,” said Cybulski. “As corals grow naturally, parts of them will break off and fall to seafloor becoming a part of the sediment. Over time, many different layers of these coral skeletons will stack on top of one another. With a bit of effort we can core through the sediments and collect the different layers and reveal what coral communities were like through time,” Cybulski explained. By using this method, the team was able to collect skeletons from over 5,000 years ago, which they determined thanks to radiocarbon dating by collaborator Dr. Yusuke Yokoyama of the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute at The University of Tokyo.

When the team compared their fossil data to a modern-day dataset collected by collaborators at Baptist University—Dr. Jian Wen QIU and Dr. James XIE, several striking conclusions were revealed. First, there has been about a 40% decrease in the number of different corals living in Southern Hong Kong waters. Second, the greatest loss was of the ecologically important yet highly-sensitive staghorn corals (Acropora), which now only lives in an area about 50% smaller than its historic range. Finally, the greatest impact and losses of corals occurred in waters that are closest to the Pearl River Estuary in the southwest and Tolo Harbor in the Northeast. Based on the data, the teams best guess for the timing of this coral community change is conservatively within the last century, but likely within the past few decades. The overall conclusion: poor water quality driven by increased development and lack of proper treatment is presently the regions greatest threat to the survival of corals.

Was Hong Kong once a coral reef paradise?
Cybulski collecting a “fossil time machine” or coral reef sediment core. Credit: Dr Kiho Kim

More hope for corals

“This trend we saw of a diversity decline and the loss of Acropora is consistent with other research in different areas of the world,” Cybulski continues: “It’s particularly bad news for this region, as Acropora represents the only type of coral that is complex,

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