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Mathematics can help more talents to stand out

China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-18 07:31


The emphasis on mathematics in the enrollment policies of some universities in China has got some people worried.

Special enrollment brochures released by the universities echo a national plan to strengthen fundamental sciences. The enrollment policies of Northwestern Polytechnical University and National University of Defense Technology mention that outstanding performance in mathematics alone is sufficient for special consideration.

A careful reading of the brochures, however, makes it clear that having a high score in mathematics does not necessarily mean direct admission. In addition to a high score in mathematics in the National College Entrance Examination, or gaokao, candidates' total scores must also fall within a certain range, and they must also pass subsequent written tests, interviews, physical tests, and other stages.

Although having a good score in mathematics is only a necessary condition and does not guarantee admission, it signals that top universities are looking for talents with a sound background in mathematics for the long-term development of society.

Most universities still go by the total gaokao scores for admitting students. However, in high school some talents have outstanding scores in individual subjects but put up an average performance in other subjects. If their total scores do not match the admission criteria of top universities, it could mean a missed opportunity for some talents.

That's why the Ministry of Education released a guiding document in 2020 on strengthening fundamental sciences, which promotes multi-dimensional evaluation of the candidates' performance while ensuring fairness and justice.

The core competition among countries lies in technological innovation capabilities. Whether it's the internet, consumer electronics, or the semiconductor industry, they all rely on basic disciplines such as mathematics and physics. To some extent, the quantity of talent in basic disciplines that a country reserves determines how far its path of technological innovation can go.

It is for this reason that in recent years, countries have continuously increased their investment and efforts in the cultivation of talents in fundamental sciences and related fields. Of course, admitting such candidates is only the first step. Universities must also develop scientific training plans tailored for these candidates, fully empower them with the space for independent exploration, so that their genius can flourish and live up to expectations of society.


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