A top Chinese university is in hot water for allegedly lowering admissions standards for foreign students.
Students who wish to gain admission to a prestigious university need to go through a rigorous screening process. Oftentimes, it will include admission exams, grade requirements, and interviews. The standard is only fair since every top school is looking for the cream of the crop.
However, the prestigious Tsinghua University made changes in favor of foreign students should they wish to try their luck.
Tsinghua allegedly allowed foreign students to apply to the university without taking a written language examination of Putonghua/Standard Mandarin, according to SCMP. A lot of people found it unfair and somewhat alarming because it might create an opportunity for others to abuse the new system.
Meanwhile, education expert Xiong Beiqi is concerned that Chinese parents who want to give their children the golden ticket to Tsinghua might take advantage of the situation. Just by changing their child’s name to a foreign name, they might be able to gain admission to the university.
Many netizens argued that unlike the language examinations in the United States (TOEFL) and United Kingdom (IELTS), the HSK is much more complicated. Some of them said that many foreign students are not even fully familiar with the standard 1,800 words required by the said language proficiency test.
Additionally, local students are also complaining about the university’s scholarship grant that is set on a lower threshold for foreign students compared to the natives.
An unidentified Tsinghua admissions official allegedly confirmed that the new process aims to attract more foreign students to their school and therefore position the university on a grander, international scale.
The U.S. News and World Report Best Global University Ranking for 2017 named Tsinghua University as 4th best in Asia and the 57th best in the world.