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University Potentials Told to Fight the Flab
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China's university applicants may be required to take a fitness test before starting their university lives as the overall health of Chinese youth continues to spark worries, the Ministry of Education (MOE) revealed in a new proposal.


The MOE's plans would also see senior high school students submitted to more rigorous physical standards.  


The current physical test, comprising a 50-meter dash, the long jump and the shot put, varies in clout from province to province, counting for as 7 percent of a senior high school's hopeful total mark in Jiangsu Province.


"The results of physical tests taken during senior high schools will be recorded in students' academic files," Liao Wenke, a vice director with the ministry, said at a press conference. "Universities and other higher educational institutes can then use these results as an important reference at enrollment time."


Further plans would see physical test results be used to differentiate between any applicants achieving the same mark in written exams.


This proposal has been drafted by the MOE after a recent survey shed worrying light on the declining physical strength of students. The survey, having polled 380,000 students nationwide, sounded the alarm after tracking a vast increase in the amount of students in the 7-18 age range who were overweight. It also showed that in 2005, Chinese students jumped on average three centimeters less in the long jump than in 2000.  


The ministry called on all schools to upgrade their sports facilities, allowing students more avenues to cultivate their bodies.


(Xinhua News Agency April 26, 2007)

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