University of New Hampshire to accept Chinese exam results

Students take an examination on an open-air playground at a high school in Yichuan, Shaanxi province 11 April 2015.Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Nearly 10 million people took the Gaokao exam in China last week

A US university will begin accepting the Chinese university entrance exam known as the Gaokao in an effort to attract more Chinese students.

The University of New Hampshire will be the first state university in the US to accept the standardised placement test.

China is the largest exporter of students to the US, with 377,000 currently enrolled in US universities, according to government data.

An estimated 10 million students took the nine-hour test in China last week.

The exam — which takes place over two days in June each year — is taken by nearly every Chinese pupil and plays a crucial role in determining a person’s career and future prospects.

A ‘life-defining’ test

Howard Zhang, BBC Chinese Service Editor

Gaokao literally means High Exam. It refers to the annual National Higher Education Entrance Exam in China, similar in format to SAT in the United States.

Millions of Chinese high school seniors who sit through this highly competitive multi-subject exams each year see it as a life-defining moment.

Graduates who make it into top universities often end up in top companies and with good careers. Those who fail to enter university are often condemned to a life with little prospects.

Almost 10 million students sat through this year’s Gaokao; One out of four won’t end up with a university place.

The Gaokao predates modern times, having its roots in imperial China.

The University of New Hampshire had 781 international undergraduate and graduate students on campus last fall, according to the Union Leader newspaper — double the figure from five years previous.

About half of those foreign students — 357 — came from China.

As part of the new initiative, the university has launched a recruiting website in Chinese and English.

«This initiative is part of UNH’s commitment to attracting more and stronger applicants from around the world,» said university spokeswoman Erika Mantz.

«This new programme will in no way limit access for New Hampshire students,» she added.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The students see huge public support during the Gaokao season — here some are being cheered on their way to sit the tests in Anhui

In addition to submitting their Gaokao results, students must also take an English test, participate in a video interview and send their high school transcripts before moving forward with the application process.

Students who are accepted will be able to begin classes in Durham this January, allowing them to start a semester early.

International enrolment — in which students are required to pay full priced tuition — helps universities bolster revenue.

The University of New Hampshire charges $45,000 (£34,000) per academic year for tuition and housing costs.

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Media captionChinese students explain why they came to the US — and how college life differs to home

Dozens of universities in Europe, Australia, and Canada already accept Gaokao results on applications.

The US university’s decision comes amid a federal crackdown on Chinese student visas.

The Trump administration announced in March that they are considering limiting the visas as part of a broad package of measures against China, which the US accuses of violating American intellectual-property laws.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44446881

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