Undergraduate programs in a few top universities in China are canceling their entrance exams for foreign students. Parents of domestic students feel angry; others believe that, as Beijing’s Confucius Institute program faces growing resistance overseas, this is a way to work around to the brainwashing of foreign kids.
In early May, Peking University posted on its website a “Notice on the Adjustment of the Undergraduate Entrance Examination Program for International Students in 2020.” It had an explanation that remote interviews, instead of written exams, would be used to admit students, citing concerns about the ongoing epidemic. A few top tier universities, including Tsinghua University, Renmin University of China, and Shanghai Jiaotong University, copied the practice.
Chinese netizens are angry. While Chinese kids have to take a tough college entrance examination, why is it so easy for foreign students to go to a good university? Ms. Zhu told Radio Free Asia (RFA), “As prestigious universities in China, they should give priority to Chinese kids. It is a shame for the Chinese Communist Party to do this.”
Shi Dajun, a Chinese education scholar, believes this policy has everything to do with the resistance that Confucius Institutes (CIs) have received in recent years. “Not only Tsinghua Peking University, but many schools are exempting admission exams for foreign students. After the CIs have been defeated abroad, this is a new direction.”
Mr. Cai, a retired professor from Lanzhou University, told RFA that it may be a strategic measure to attract foreign students, so that China’s totalitarian ideas can be planted in the minds of young Westerners. China provides students in Africa and countries along the “Belt and Road” an annual stipend of 300,000 yuan (US$42,000). “This is a way to bring up a whole pro-China generation and lay a good foundation for friendly relations with these countries. One can say that the state spares no expense in this regard, and is doing something we cannot see.”
Shi Daijun added, “Originally, Beijing wished to use the Confucius Institute to push the patriotic education abroad, as a way to brainwash foreigners. The brainwashing of Chinese people is now almost done. They feel it more urgent to brainwash foreign young people.”
According to the Ministry of Education, the budget for foreign students in China in 2019 was 3.92 billion yuan (US$ 0.55 billion), an increase of 18.1 percent over 2018.
Source: Radio Free Asia, May 11, 2020