College Admissions Questioned After Bribery Case

After being arrested in 2013 for alleged involvement in an embezzlement scandal, former Renmin University head of admissions Cai Rongsheng confessed to accepting over 23 million yuan in bribes between 2005 and 2013 during his trial on December 3. The New York Times’ Michael Forsythe reports on how Cai’s confession raises questions around the integrity of China’s college admissions process:

But in a country where cash and connections rule, one bastion of meritocracy, it was thought, remained: admission to a university. It was no myth that a high score on China’s famously difficult national college entrance examination guaranteed a spot at a top university and a ticket to the middle class, and maybe beyond. Admission did not depend on the thickness of a father’s wallet, but rather on the content of a student’s mind.

A confession to bribery on Thursday by Cai Rongsheng, the former admissions director for Renmin University, has called into question the integrity of that process. […]

[…] David Moser, who has been teaching in Beijing universities for two decades and is the academic director at a Chinese-language program at Capital Normal University, said the that had seeped into the admissions system may stem from what many saw as necessary changes to how students won entry to universities.