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Is Tsinghua University soft on foreigners?


  • Top Chinese university criticized for lowering admission standards for foreign students / SCMP
    China’s Tsinghua University recently changed its admission requirements for overseas students. Foreign students may now apply without taking any entrance examinations, as long as they hold a high school diploma and pass the HSK Level 5 Chinese proficiency test. Widely recognized as one of the top two prestigious universities in China, Tsinghua was ranked 57th best worldwide in the 2017 US News and World Report Best Global University Rankings. The move, according to an anonymous Tsinghua admissions official, is to “bring the university more in line with international practice.” For Chinese students, the path to get Tsinghua admission is highly competitive; in 2016, among nearly 9.4 million students who took the Chinese national higher-education entrance examination, only 3,000 students were admitted to Tsinghua University. The school’s favorable policies for overseas recruits sparked outrage on Chinese social media (in Chinese), with many commenters suggesting that Tsinghua discriminates against Chinese students. One person wrote, “Studying hard for 10 years is nothing compared with a foreign citizenship.”

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Jiayun Feng

Jiayun was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allowed her to pursue a journalism career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.