The “Gaokao,” China’s annual national college entrance exam, started on June 7 this year. Xinhua reported that over 9.39 million high school seniors participated in the three-day exam. The total number of Gaokao participants has been declining since 2008, but 2014 was the first year that saw an increase. The number increased by 270,000 from 2013. According to China Youth Daily, the Ministry of Education has worked with China’s National Development and Reform Commission to release the 2014 college admissions number. The number the 12th National People’s Congress approved for 2014 was 6.98 million. Of those 3.63 million are four year college students and 3.35 million are vocational school students. The local colleges are currently working on their 2014 admission plan based on directions from the Ministry of Education.
According to an article in Sina more and more high school students have chosen not to take the Gaokao and have instead applied to study aboard. The article said that the college admission process in China is highly competitive. The students get only one chance and their score from Gaokao determines their future. Moreover, colleges in China are often criticized for being bureaucratic, driven by economics, and having many cases of corruption both in the academic field and in the college admission process. The National Institute of Education Science released statistics on one million high school students who gave up the Gaokao in 2010. Of those, 201,100 or 21 percent did so because they chose to study abroad. That number is increasing by 100,000 each year. In Beijing and Shanghai, 20 to 25 percent of high school students choose to study overseas each year. The education community in China has a major concern that China is losing its elite students to overseas colleges. The article reported that many are calling for a reform of the college admission process in China.
China Youth Daily, June 7, 2014
Sina, June 9, 2014
Xinhua, June 7, 2014