Any article about China education will probably reference China’s National College Entrance exam, or the “Gaokao”. As a subscriber, you probably already know more than the average person about the Gaokao, but an interesting update to the exam is making headlines across Chinese media.

Starting in 2016, “the overall score of the English section will drop from 150 to 100, while the total points for the Chinese section will rise from 150 to 180.” This de-emphasis on the English section could result in the average Chinese student spending less time on learning English. My guess is this is a long-term strategy to encourage more students to take the Gaokao and stay in the Chinese education system. For students interested in studying abroad, this change will likely not have a big effect and we will continue to see students flock to Hong Kong to take the SAT.

For Chinese set on attending the best Chinese universities, Gaokao cram is becoming an increasingly popular prep option. Participation levels are so high, some schools now “ use loudspeakers to address the hordes of students with schedules that run from 6:10 a.m. to 10:50 p.m.”

In other news, the dust has settled around  NASA’s misunderstood decision to ban Chinese students from a conference in California. It’s clear that politicians, media, scientific communities, and others on both sides of the Pacific continue to struggle with the integration of an increasing number of Chinese students into the US.

Some schools are being pro-active about this though, and UC Davis is setting an expensive example by spending 88 million dollars to upgrade its international student dorms!

Meanwhile in other parts of California, the US legal system is also dealing with trans-Pacific events! The trial surrounding the murder of two overseas Chinese USC students has begun and looks like it may end quickly.

That’s the recap for this month.

Cheers and as always, please share your thoughts!


LINKS (in order of appearance)

Teachers, Students Divided Over Gaokao Reform Plan

Hong Kong’s New Big Draw: The SAT

China’s Cram School From Hell

Never Mind. NASA Says Ban On Chinese Students Was A Misunderstanding

UC Davis Upgrades Dorms As It Courts National, International Students

Two Ordered To Stand Trial For Slayings Of USC Students


This is the eleventh issue of Inside China Ed, a news digest feature of the Vericant newsletter. All Inside China Ed newsletters become available on the Vericant Blog a week after it is sent to our newsletter subscribers. If you would like to receive the Inside China Ed newsletter in your inbox, please subscribe to our newsletter – it’s fast, easy, and best of all, free!

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