Hong Kong's Examination System Seeks Mainland Approval

Of the hundred top-scoring students in China’s high school graduation exam, or ‘gaokao’, this year, 17 chose to attend the University of Hong Kong. But Hong Kong’s new university entrance exam is not yet recognised on the mainland. From the South China Morning Post:

“The DSE is a new system, so more understanding with the mainland is needed,” he said. “We are looking into the possibilities of expediting the acceptance of the DSE as entry requirement.”

Under the current system, local students have to take the National College Entrance Examination to study at mainland universities. Exams on Chinese, English and mathematics are compulsory, while candidates can also take subjects related to programmes they apply for ….

“Results of the first DSE will be released on July 20, [but] the mainland will have released its joint exam results and finished the admission process by then. We will discuss with the mainland universities to see if they can allow a special case for Hong Kong students.”

Ministry figures show that in August last year there were 10,979 Hong Kong students enrolled in tertiary education on the mainland – almost double the 5,500 that were found by a survey conducted by Hong Kong’s Census and Statistics Department for the University Grants Committee.

Meanwhile, Caixin describes the plight of 500 students who dropped out of a Beijing university after two years, having discovered that they would not receive the qualifications for which they had signed up. The students had been admitted with lower than usual gaokao scores in exchange for higher fees.

While expensive, many students chose to accept the bargain on account of the school’s reputation. But the prestige of admission into an elite school was soon replaced by an unending series of problems and frustrations.

First was unequal treatment. Many students complained that while their tuition fees were far higher than regularly admitted students, they were treated as “second-class citizens.” They were housed in a far-away suburb of Beijing, could not enter the school library, and their school meal cards were even subject to a 20 percent service charge.

In 2009, more serious problems surfaced. CUFE’s School of Economics began to arrange for students to register for online courses at other schools that correlated with their own majors.

After some questioning, many students learned that CUFE would not be able to issue any diplomas to them. They would only be able to obtain online education diplomas.

August 8, 2011 11:53 PM
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