Students of SUSTC refuse to take exam

By He Shan
0 CommentsPrint E-mail, June 1, 2011
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45 students of Shenzhen's South University of Science and Technology of China (SUSTC) said publically yesterday that they won't make up the national college entrance exam, even though the Ministry of Education may urge them to do so.

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The efforts of those students to get rid of the daunting national college entrance exam are part of an education reform advocated by Zhu Qingshi, a prestigious professor and president of SUSTC.

The authorities, however, poured cold water on the reform which immediately sparked controversy, because it defies the current education system that requires students to pass the national exam before going to universities.

Four months ago, 45 students arrived at SUSTC to commence study, without taking the national exam.

An official statement from the Ministry of Education ensued. On May 27, the Ministry of Education spokeswoman Xu Mei said any school should be run legally under the existing education system, a statement considered to hint that the students are no exceptions.

The students were in a bind after statement came from the authorities, but they said they insisted on not taking the exam.

"Even if the ministry commands us to make up the exam, my son definitely won't take it," said a parent from Shandong Province. "I never regret having sending my son to SUSTC. I hope he can circumvent the exam and continue to study in SUSTC."

Another parent hailing from Hubei Province also expressed opposition to the statement of the ministry. "We go to university not for a diploma, so my son definitely won't make up the exam," she said. "SUSTC is a pilot school for reform, so we have anticipated those difficulties and pressures."

But she also said they haven't got any formal notice from the university and students are still studying as normal.

Professor Zhu Qingshi, the architect for the reform, said it is up to students and parents to decide whether to take the national university entrance exam. At the same time, some people anticipated a worse outcome for the students. Xiong Bingqi, vice dean of the 21st Education Research Academy, inferred that the SUSTC may abandon the reform under pressure and become an ordinary school.

"Although we are just ordinary students and have little power, we love the university and hope people will keep supporting the university and give it more freedom," said a student in an interview with Xinkuaibo Newspaper through a message.

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