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Cambridge says accepting Chinese gaokao scores isn't new
Cambridge University said on Monday that acknowledging Chinese students’ gaokao (College Entrance Exam in China) scores is nothing new. However, gaokao scores are not the only aspect assessed, as a students’ overall performance is also weighed.
(Photo: screenshot of the application page of Cambridge University)
The response was triggered by a heated online discussion as Cambridge reportedly became the sixth UK university to recognize gaokao scores.
Cambridge University in 2014 (File photo: VCG)
Zhishifenzi, an influential we-media dedicated to spreading scientific knowledge, revealed that Cambridge’s acceptance of gaokao scores dates back to at least five years ago. It was clearly stated in Cambridge’s enrollment brochure for Chinese students in 2015.
(Photo: screenshot of Zhishifenzi’s Weibo)
More Western universities have been accepting gaokao scores, too. According to the Economist, Australia took the lead in 2012, with nearly 30 universities, including seven members of the prestigious “Group of Eight”, introducing gaokao scores into the evaluation system.
Some universities in Canada, Italy, the United States and other countries also welcome gaokao scores. Last year, the University of New Hampshire became the first public US university to accept gaokao scores, keeping pace with many private American colleges like New York University.
(Photo: Cambridge University's flickr)
Many Western universities are becoming increasingly dependent on revenue from international students. Previously, for Chinese students, applying for undergraduate programs abroad usually meant giving up the gaokao which requires years of undistracted preparation. The possibility of being rejected and losing the chance to receive a domestic education at the same time made students and their parents think twice. However, as more universities worldwide accept gaokao scores, Chinese students can be more flexible in choosing their dream school, and foreign universities may be given more priority.
Often described as “thousands of soldiers and tens of thousands of horses across a single-log bridge”, the gaokao has some merits that are gradually being acknowledged by overseas schools. It provides relatively fair opportunities for students from all walks of life and backgrounds, especially those from impoverished areas, to get into colleges solely based on their scores.
Most importantly, the gaokao can be helpful in evaluating applicants because it also assesses other characteristics of students besides academic performance, including self-discipline and psychological quality to work under immense pressure. 9.75 million students registered for the gaokao last year. Those who stood out with such fierce competition are believed to be competitive in universities as well.
Students who finished their first subject of the College Entrance Exam leave the campus on June 7, 2017 (Photo: VCG)
Despite the acceptance of gaokao scores by more schools, studying abroad still requires painstaking effort, especially as language and social practices remain a weakness for Chinese students.
The Chinese government is promoting the internationalization of education. Research on cut scores released by China's Ministry of Education to link China's Standards of English Language Ability (CSE) to IELTS and Aptis earlier this year serves as pioneering work.
And that's People's Daily Tonight. Thanks for joining us.
(Produced by He Jieqiong; text from People's Daily app)