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College entrance exams to see reform for fair access

By Li Hongyang | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-10-25 20:02

Teachers cheer on a student who is about to take the gaokao, or national college entrance exam, at Beijing Chenjinglun High School on Wednesday, the first day of the exam. JU HUANZONG/XINHUA

Starting from 2014, the reform of exam and enrollment systems in China has led to the building of a new model promoting fair access to education, according to a report made by the education minister on Saturday.

Minister Huai Jinpeng presented the report at the sixth session of the Standing Committee of the 14th National People's Congress convened from Oct 20 to 24 in Beijing.

He said that since the resumption of college entrance examinations, known as Gaokao, reform of the exam and enrollment system has been underway with the issuance of the Opinions on Deepening the Reform of the Exam and Enrollment System by the State Council in 2014.

The reform has improved the allocation of enrollment plans to promote fairer access to education, he said in the report.

The enrollment rate of colleges and universities in populous central and western regions and provinces has been increasing. Ongoing cooperation plans have supported enrollment in the areas, including making the national enrollment increment plan more favorable for these areas, the minister said.

The number of students from rural areas and areas formerly listed as impoverished admitted to prominent universities has increased. So far, key colleges and universities have recruited about 1.1 million students from these areas thanks to the special plan.

Despite the progress, the reform faces challenges, Huai added. Some provinces in central and western regions lack necessary financial support and infrastructure for reforms in college entrance examinations. Certain high schools face shortages in classrooms, teachers and other educational resources, he added.

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