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Why China’s Ivy League Universities Are Mad at Each Other

As high school graduates are applying for university, an online feud between China’s ivy league schools has gone viral. It turns out that China’s universities will go to extremes to enroll the best students of the country.

Manya Koetse

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As high school graduates are applying for university, an online feud between China’s ivy league schools has gone viral. It turns out that China’s universities will go to extremes to enroll the best students of the country.

Trending on   Sina Weibo this week is an online feud between China’s top universities Peking and Tsinghua University. It appears that China’s higher education institutions will go to extremes to get the top scorers of the national College Entrance Examinations in their school. Netizens wonder if it is okay for them to persuade students to register at their university through money (topic: “Should Colleges Buy Top Scorers of the College Entrance Examination?”).

In the past few days, Chinese high school graduates have been busy handling their applications for college, as the scores and results of the College Entrance Examination were released earlier this month. While the students are busy looking for the right university, the universities are also busy looking for the top students. Two Chinese universities have taken their fierce competition online. The Admission Office of Peking University in Sichuan and Tsinghua University blame each other on Weibo for buying the top scorers. Tsinghua University claimed on its Weibo account that Peking University (PKU) was buying students. PKU turned tables and pointed the finger at Tsinghua. The feud went viral on China’s social media.

Many netizens cannot believe that the top two universities in China would pay students to enroll because of their good grades. But the practice of recruiting top students is actually quite common in China, where most colleges and university have a ‘recruitment group’ that is specifically focused on getting the best students to join their institute. They are ready to fight off other universities to get more top scorers enrolled by offering them scholarships, better majors, or even give them bonuses.

Under the contemporary Chinese education system, the College Entrance Examination is the most common way to enter a college or university. The social status of an educational institute is related to the number of excellent examinees (top scorers) it recruits. That is why the majority of colleges in China will set up Admission Offices in every province, in order to get the best examinees from all over the country.

Recruitment is just one step within China’s higher education system. It reveals a problem that is at the core of the system; namely that in the present Chinese education system, it is all about the grades – not about the cultivation and motivation of students.

The problem is twofold. By solely focusing on grades, only top-scoring students will be praised as the best. And because universities get measured by the amount of top-scorers that attend them, only those will be listed as the best universities.

China’s Ministry of Education has openly criticized both universities for their conduct. The comments from both Tsinghua and Peking University have now been deleted from Weibo.

Sources:

http://edu.sina.com.cn/gaokao/2015-06-28/1342475443.shtml

http://edu.sina.com.cn/gaokao/2015-06-29/0743475446.shtml

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Local News

Children of Hubei Medical Workers to Receive 10 Extra Points on High School Enrolment Examination

Hubei officials announced a controversial measure to reward frontline medical workers.

Manya Koetse

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Image via xjdkctz.com.

First published

Hubei authorities announced new measures on Tuesday to encourage and support the work of Hubei’s front-line medical workers during the coronavirus crisis.

One of these measures, rewarding the children of medical staff an extra ten points in their zhongkao examination, became a somewhat controversial top trending topic on Chinese social media today.

The zhongkao is an important academic examination in China taken during the last year of junior high school, right before entering education institutions at the senior high school level. These enrollment examinations are held annually in June or July, depending on the region.

A good mark on the exam is of crucial importance for many students, as it will give them admission to their preferred senior high school, which then could have more profound effects on their education after high school and their further career.

According to the new policy, children of Hubei’s medical workers would be rewarded with ten extra points on top of their overall score for the exams if they take it. Since the exams are highly competitive, every extra point could mean a world of difference since it will mean leaving hundreds of other students behind you.

On Weibo, one announcement of the new measure published by Chinese news source The Paper received over 938.000 likes and more than 11.000 comments. Many Weibo users do not agree with the policy.

“It should be the medical workers themselves who are rewarded through promotion or a salary increase,” a top comment says: “It shouldn’t be their children who are rewarded.”

Although a majority of commenters say that medical workers should be given special rewards in these times of hardships, most also agree that rewarding their children in their exam results is not the way to go. “This only makes the exam system more unfair,” a recurring comment says.

With 610 million views at the time of writing, the hashtag “The kids of Hubei frontline medical staff will get extra 10 points on zhongkao score” (#湖北一线医务人员子女中考加10分#) is one of the most-dicussed topics on Weibo of the day.

For more COVID-19 related articles, please click here.

By Manya Koetse (@manyapan)
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China Local News

Sudden Ground Collapse at Metro Station in Xiamen

A sudden collapse occurred near Xiamen’s Lucuo station, just two weeks after a similar incident took place in Guangzhou.

Manya Koetse

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First published

In the evening of December 12, Xiamen’s Lvcuo (Lǚcuò 吕厝) metro station became a breaking news topic in Chinese media after a ground collapse incident occurred at a nearby intersection, followed by a major flood in the Xiamen subway.

Xiamen, Fujian Province, is one of China’s major coastal cities. According to Xiamen Metro News, the collapse happened at 21:52 local time.

At time of writing, rescue teams are still investigating the scene. It is unclear if people have been trapped or injured due to the collapse.

An apparent dashcam video shared by Sina News and People’s Daily on Weibo shows the moment right before the sudden collapse.

The video captures how the road is relatively busy at the time of collapsing, and at least one car can be seen crashing into the sinkhole.

Other footage shows that the Xiamen metro line is currently flooded (also see video in this tweet).

The scene of the collapse at 0:10 local time.

The metro station where this incident occurred is relatively new. Xiamen’s metro line was first opened in late December 2017.

Just two weeks ago, another major ground collapse accident occurred at the construction site of a metro line in Guangzhou. Three people remain missing after the incident.

On Thursday night local time, the Xiamen metro collapse was the number one trending topic on social media platform Weibo. Many netizens commenting on the incident express worries about the safety of roads and construction sites in China.

Update (Dec 13): According to the latest Chinese media reports, the drivers of two cars who were at the scene at the moment of the ground collapse have both been recused. One female pedestrian who also fell into the sinkhole is receiving medical treatment..

By Manya Koetse
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©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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