A short thread discussing Chinese universities in light of US admissions news. 1) For all the varieties of corruption and scheming, Chinese are probably the closest thing in China you will find to absolute merit based (I'll get in to the inequities later). It is basically 1/n
one high stakes test. Period. There are some bonus points you can get but they are pretty limited and being cracked down on. What you score on the test determines what choice of schools you have. 2) I can honestly say I believe any corruption or gaming of the system is pretty 2/n
limited. Students and administrators might complain about someone or province cheating, but most everyone took pride that the gaokao and admission was based on merit with no corruption and I never saw or heard anything about this that indicated otherwise to me 3/n
3) Part of the reason competition is so fierce is because this is one of the few times in China everyone feels like they are on the same playing field. I know first hand stories of villages placing their hopes on individual students who rented suits for an interviews for MBA 4/n
4) Where you go to school is then based entirely on your score. You basically get handed list of schools where you can go with your score. Then your major gets decided for you. Chinese students don't pick their major but they can choose to double major. Just about the only 5/n
choice is that one university may admit you as a math major while one may accept you as a French major. If you want to be a math major you go to the first university. Primary point: everything is basically slotted. 5) Chinese universities engage in similar affirmative action 6/n
selection based upon majors. For instance, engineering majors may choose male students with higher scores while lower scores for female students if they want a more balanced student population. Some Chinese universities want to balance and some don't but it absolutel 7/n
happens to meet specific enrollment objectives. 6) Wealthy students and students from wealthier cities have the same advantages complained about in the US. It is not uncommon for high school or under graduate students to take a year off and study for the entrance exam 8/n
From better and more regular tutors the same benefits from coming from a wealthy family are seen in China. Should also note, Beijing kids get into Beijing universities at much much higher rates than the rest of the country. 7) There is a reason so many Chinese students 9/n
want to study abroad because in many many ways, the system is really messed up. The entrance exam is basically memorization. To take extreme example, I knew someone doing cross border M&A for white shoe US law firm with NY/DC/CA bar admission and they were taking Chinese bar 10/n
They told me something about 5th century legal writings of some Emperor. I was like what? They were like that's all Chinese credentialling, you just memorize it whether you understand it or it serves any purpose. 8) However, I can say without hesitation, I do believe there 11/n
is very little corruption in the system because actually the system takes great pride here in not being corrupt and parents are hawkeyed for signs of cheating or corruption. 9) I would note only that when I here US SJW talk about things like tearing down the system etc it 12/n
makes no sense. The wealthy in any country are going to invest in their kids more on average. You have blatant discrimination in homogeneous country like China over the desired enrollment population in specific majors. I agree on things like we want to open up opportunity 13/n
and increase mobility to under privileged but the problems you are talking about aren't unique to the US and just saying burn it down etc just really make no sense whatsoever. Done.
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