Chinese universities to guarantee admission equality

Chinese universities to guarantee admission equality
Admission staff members sort out admission letters at Renmin University of China on Tuesday. The university has introduced a series of measures to boost public supervision of the enrollment process.

Top Chinese universities are taking new steps to improve transparency and equality during the admission period.

Renmin University of China has launched a series of new initiatives to welcome supervision from outside the university, such as opening a publicity platform on the university's recruitment website and renewing and tightening undergraduate student recruitment policies.

The school has particularly increased transparency in this year's independent recruitment, during which students enroll on the basis of a comprehensive assessment that includes sports achievement and artistic talent as well as performance on standard college entrance exams, said university spokesman Wang Hongwei. It is doing this by publicizing these students' exam scores and the preferential policies to which they are entitled, Wang said.

He also said that new students enrolled under the independent recruitment system will face re-examination within three months of the new semester's start in September.

Li Xiangqian, director of the university's admission office, said that 10 to 15 per cent of freshmen will be re-examined randomly in the new semester, in an effort to guarantee recruitment transparency and fairness.

Other than offering preferential treatment to promising athletes and artists, key universities also have tilted their policies toward students from low-income rural families, a move encouraged by the central government to help address education inequality.

Universities to guarantee admission equality

Renmin University of China has started a programme called "Fulfill Your Dream", offering 90 places to students from rural areas in 2014. Fifty such places were offered last year.

Tsinghua University, another prestigious Chinese university, also launched similar initiatives to boost transparency during the recruitment session.

In the independent recruitment process, Tsinghua designed a special plan to select more students from rural and low-income families.

By doing so, the university tried to reduce the education gap between cities and rural areas, encourage social mobility and balance the use of the nation's education resources.

"Tsinghua sent an admission team including professors and discipline inspectors to rural areas, talking to teachers, students, family members and neighbours to select prospective students in a comprehensive way," said Yu Han, director of the admission office at Tsinghua.

To tackle corruption in the college admission process, the Ministry of Education in 2005 launched "Recruitment Under Sunshine", a plan to increase transparency in recruitment.

However, nearly a decade after the plan's release, questions still remain about universities' equality in recruitment.

"We opened our recruitment session for two days, inviting media, parents and prospective students to observe our admission process, aiming to unveil the mystery of university admission," said Wang Peng, director of the Admission and Career Guidance Office of Renmin University, adding that the university, beginning this year, also has used discipline inspectors to monitor the admission process.

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