Univer­si­ties barred from of­fer­ing ex­tra ben­e­fits to prospects

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHAO XINY­ING

zhaoxiny­ing@chi­nadaily. com.cn

Univer­si­ties are not al­lowed to lur­ing stu­dents with un­rea­son­able perks such as ex­ces­sive schol­ar­ships or place­ment prom­ises, the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion an­nounced on Wed­nes­day in a no­tice reg­u­lat­ing univer­sity re­cruit­ment.

Un i v e r s i t i e s should not at­tract stu­dents with im­proper ben­e­fits, in­clud­ing pread­mis­sion con­tracts, large schol­ar­ships or prom­ises that they can choose dif­fer­ent ma­jors af­ter en­roll­ment, the min­istry said.

The no­tice was re­leased af­ter two pres­ti­gious schools in Bei­jing — Ts­inghua Univer­sity and Pek­ing Univer­sity — crit­i­cized each other in an ef­fort to at­tract the top scor­ers on the gaokao, China’s na­tional col­lege en­trance exam.

In late June, re­cruit­ing teams at Ts­inghua and Pek­ing posted mi­cro blogs that ac­cused each other of “buy­ing” stu­dents and mak­ing prom­ises that couldn’t be ful­filled, such as trans­fer­ring stu­dents into more de­sir­able pro­grams af­ter en­roll­ment.

Both univer­si­ties de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tions in online re­sponses, claim­ing that they had strictly fol­lowed re­cruit­ment rules.

It is not the first time that univer­si­ties have bat­tled for the coun­try’s top stu­dents. Re­cruit­ment teams typ­i­cally phone top stu­dents be­fore scores are even re­leased, of­fer­ing them cam­pus tours and in­quir­ing about their pre­ferred pro­grams.

Re­cruit­ing teams at two univer­si­ties in Guang­dong province were re­ported to have be­sieged a highly sought stu­dent at the gaokao.

At a high school in Guangzhou, Guang­dong province, re­cruiters from Pek­ing and Ts­inghua univer­si­ties ap­proached Ye Tong, one of this year’s top 10 gaokao scor­ers. Re­cruiters asked to speak with Ye in an ef­fort to per­suade her to at­tend their univer­si­ties, Yangcheng Evening News­pa­per re­ported in June.

Qin Chun­hua, di­rec­tor of Pek­ing Univer­sity’s In­sti­tute of Ex­am­i­na­tion Re­search, said such in­ci­dents are a re­sult of China’s gaokao sys­tem.

“In China, where gaokao re­sults are the only cri­te­ria for univer­si­ties to re­cruit stu­dents, peo­ple usu­ally rate Chi­nese univer­si­ties on the ba­sis of their ad­mis­sion marks.

“The higher a univer­sity’s ad­mis­sion marks, the more high-scor­ing stu­dents a univer­sity re­cruits, the bet­ter the univer­sity will be in peo­ple’s eyes,” Qin said.

Qin’s re­marks were echoed by Xiong Bingqi, vice- pres­i­dent of the 21st Cen­tury Ed­u­ca­tion Re­search In­sti­tute.

“Ad­mis­sion

marks

and the num­ber of gaokao top scor­ers re­cruited have also be­come ma­jor fac­tors to judge the qual­ity and rep­u­ta­tion of a univer­sity in some of China’s univer­sity rank­ings,” Xiong said. “Un­der such cir­cum­stances, even pres­ti­gious univer­si­ties like Ts­inghua and Pek­ing have no choice but to chase af­ter gaokao top scor­ers.” Luo Wangshu con­trib­uted to this story.

LYU JIA / FOR CHINA DAILY

Zhang Yix­i­ang shows her en­roll­ment no­tice from Univer­sity of Elec­tronic Science and Tech­nol­ogy of China in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Tues­day. The no­tice was the first re­ceived in the province this year.

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