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Immigrants 'not eligible' for exam
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The Xi'an Baqiao district court on Monday upheld a ruling by the local education authorities that 12 students due to take the college entrance exam on June 7 are not eligible because they are "immigrants".

The case was brought before the Xi'an's Baqiao district court, Shaanxi province, in early March by the parents of the students against the ruling by the Xi'an education authorities.

The court found that the decision of the Baqiao district student enrolling office, the Baqiao district education bureau and the Xi'an education and examination center, was correct and in line with local regulations.

Zhang Pei, deputy director of the court, told China Daily the regulations stipulate that only students who have a household and school registration in the city for at least three years are qualified to take the exam in Xi'an.

"The students only came to Xi'an in 2007, and the education authorities judged they were immigrants," Zhang said.

The students come from an oil exploration area in Nanyang, Henan province.

Their families were told by property developers in Xi'an that if they bought an apartment there their children would be eligible to take the exam in the city.

Wang, one of the parents that contested the decision by the education authorities, said she bought a house in Xi'an in 2006 and her family had a household registration.

Chen Xing, one of the rejected students, said it was not fair. He had been studying hard for the exam.

Bai Zunmin, a professor at Shaanxi Normal University, said different educational standards were the reason students go to different cities to take the exam.

Xi'an has the third most universities in the country after Beijing and Shanghai, and enrollment is easier because the average education standards in Shaanxi province are lower than those in developed areas.

Shaanxi therefore is a big attraction for students from other provinces.

The Baqiao district student enrolling office said it found 88 students from Sichuan, Henan, Shandong, Jiangsu, Guangdong, Shanxi, Hebei and Gansu provinces, and Chongqing municipality had registered in January for the exam.

However, colleges tend to enroll more local students because they are entitled to government subsidies.

In Xining, Qinghai province, the local authorities had also disallowed 24 "immigrant" students to sit for the exam.

(China Daily May 28, 2008)

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