China’s Ministry of Education continues to deliver interesting news. As you may recall, the MoE decreased the maximum score of the Gaokao’s English section recently. This month, the Ministry announced it will eventually eliminate the English section from the Gaokao. Instead, students may take several English tests during the year and the highest score will be counted.
As you likely heard, the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) education rankings named Shanghai students the best in the world at mathematics, reading, and science. But much of the world cried “foul!” as China only shares Shanghai scores. Looking at China’s overall scores might tell a different story.
Remember last year’s cancellation of South Korean SAT scores? This year, four Chinese were detained for their involvement in the forging of passports and charging of $1530 to sit TOEFL exams for their clients. This is by no means a new trend. In China you can find a “qiangshou” or hired gun to do just about anything for you.
Back in Texas, twenty leaders from nineteen Chinese universities met to discuss a strategy for enticing Chinese PhD graduates at US universities to come back to China. While China wants them back, I’m sure US car dealers would love for them to stick around. Chinese students in the US purchased about $15.5 billion in new and used vehicles in 2012 and 2013.
Meanwhile, Chinese undergraduate students at Western Oregon University have found a Chinese restaurant owner who is becoming a mother in absentia. She “helps them open bank and utility accounts, find furniture, and even phone home.”
Finally, ever heard of WeChat? This SMS chat app is ubiquitous across smartphones in China. Now, US colleges are using WeChat to send campus notifications to their Chinese students and to connect Chinese alumni.
One quick word of advice: You are missing out if your institution is not on WeChat yet. WeChat is a great way for a school to build solid relationships with Chinese applicants, current students, parents, and alumni. Heck, we even use it internally and externally at Vericant!
Best wishes for a peaceful and prosperous new year.
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