CHINA Podcast: Story in the Story (10/17/2018 Wed.)


Podcast: Story in the Story (10/17/2018 Wed.)

People's Daily app

02:24, October 17, 2018


From the People’s Daily app.

This is Story in the Story.  

China's college entrance exam, the gaokao, was taken by more than 9.75 million students this year.

Today, an increasing number of Western universities are recognizing the results of China's national gaokao as just one assessment criteria to select students from China.

"The gaokao exam will take the place of the SAT or ACT, however, admissions standards have not changed and remain high," Erika Mantz, the executive director of UNH's media relations, told China Daily.

"Only students who meet the university's expectations and demonstrate a readiness for university-level work will be accepted."
It was announced the University of New Hampshire was the first public university in America to recognize gaokao scores. The school now joins private institutions like New York University and the University of San Francisco, who has accepted 33 Chinese students based on their gaokao scores since the program was established in 2015.

One admissions officer at NYU said gaokao assesses "a different readiness." And because the exam doesn’t need English proficiency skills, Western universities still require additional evidence of English proficiency.

"This new program is designed to attract outstanding Chinese high school graduates who are considering a US university after having taken the gaokao exam," said Mantz, adding that the university has streamlined the process so that applications from Chinese students who have taken the gaokao and do not get the results until late June, can be reviewed and processed more quickly.

For students considering overseas study after the gaokao, applying for US colleges with gaokao scores allows them to bypass spending a year studying US standardized testing which saves them time and money.

Today’s Story in the Story will look at how US universities are beginning to accept China’s gaokao scores as a part of their admissions process. It will also look at how the move will impact the enrollment process for Chinese nationals, who make up the largest foreign student demographic in the US.


Parents and family members await students outside the entrance to an examination site in Haian, Jiangsu province, during the annual national college entrance exams on Thursday. (Photo: China Daily)

There are more than a million international students in the US, with Chinese students making up about a third of the overall number.

Now, one American university is making the enrollment process a bit easier. And it is the first of its kind in the country to do so.

The University of New Hampshire (UNH) casts itself as the “Just Right” school – it is not too big and not too small – but one thing the university is still striving for is a more multicultural campus.

“We wanted to find a way that would give us a unique pipeline to students that not every other American and international university was utilizing,” said enrollment VP Victoria Dutcher.

UNH will accept gaokao scores, China’s university entrance exam, and UNH is the first flagship state school in the US to make that move.

Fangzhou Xu, a junior at UNH, said he has helped expose his American classmates to Chinese culture. 

“They care about my culture, my habits,” Xu said, adding “sometimes we have differences and that is interesting.”

It was announced that Adelphi, a private school in New York, and the University of Louisiana (LSU) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana would begin accepting China’s national college entrance exam.

Both universities also offer scholarships to Chinese students based on their gaokao scores and range from $5,000 to $15,000. 


A candidate for this year's national college entrance exam, the gaokao, is cheered up by teachers and parents before entering an exam site in Beijing on June 7, 2018. (Photo: China Daily)

Shawn O'Riley, dean of the College of Professional and Continuing Studies at Adelphi, said accepting gaokao scores for admission is something the university worked hard to implement.

As he explained, removing even small barriers from the admissions process will help the university recruit top students from China and give those students access to a program designed specifically with them in mind.

"Chinese students at the university have achieved better grades than their US counterparts, and that's why we prefer students from China," he said. "We have around 300 Chinese students and plan to significantly increase the number."

Todd Ellwein, managing director of LSU's global program, said students who achieve high gaokao scores are not only the best students in China, but also in the world.

The gaokao is a good way of selecting talent, Ellwein explained, and a high gaokao score is proof of good basic knowledge, perseverance, patience and a strong ability to deal with high pressure and compete with others.

"The Chinese students who come to LSU are extremely well prepared for university. They are very talented students,” Ellwein said.

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Lance Crayon, Raymond Mendoza, and Da Hang. Music by: Text from Global Times and China Daily)

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