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Universities keen to lure top students
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Universities are competing aggressively for top students as the annual national college entrance examination approaches.

Some are offering special scholarships for students who do well in the exam to be held from Saturday to Monday.

Tsinghua University said last month it will increase the number of awards this year.

Students with high scores, such as champions of each province and winners of international student academic competitions, will be entitled to scholarships of up to 40,000 yuan ($5,700), more than double that of last year.

Zhang Chunsheng, a teacher in charge of student finance management at the university, said it will also offer more opportunities to go abroad for students.

Top students will be sent to foreign universities for one or two months during the summer. The university will cover the expenses of each student, about 30,000 yuan.

"The improved incentives will help boost the university's competitiveness," Zhang said.

"To build a world-class university, we need to establish an award system comparable to other top universities."

Some universities in Hong Kong are also trying to lure outstanding high school graduates from the mainland.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the City University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, have all held enrollment exercises in major mainland cities.

In 2005, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the City University of Hong Kong were the first to show interest in mainland students.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong announced earlier this year it will accept 250 mainland high school graduates this year.

About 40 percent of the students will be awarded scholarships to cover tuition and living expenses.

Many overseas universities have also expanded their intake of Chinese students.

The China Education Expo late last year in Beijing saw a record-breaking number of representatives from more than 600 overseas colleges and universities.

The universities are offering good scholarships and visa policies to attract more outstanding students from China.

"Universities today offer international teachers, students and funding," Hong Chengwen, a management professor with Beijing Normal University, said.

"Excellent universities attract more funds, and their scholarships better students," he said.

(China Daily June 3, 2008)

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