Policy puts focus on genuine artistic students

Updated: 2016-01-25 07:47

By Wang Yanfei and Zhao Xinying(China Daily)

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 Policy puts focus on genuine artistic students

Students practice with their instruments before taking an arts exam for their desired universities in Wuhu, Anhui province, in January. Zhang Rui / Xinhua

Number recruited should not exceed one percent of the annual admissions

The change in the preferential policy for students with talent in arts will help universities select those with better artistic capabilities, a teacher and a recruiting official said.

"After the change, the policy only benefits students with real arts capabilities. Those who learn instruments just for a year or two can hardly get what they want through the policy," said Li Fang, a violin teacher in the symphony orchestra at the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China in Beijing.

Li has more than 20 years of experience helping students prepare for university art tests.

The Ministry of Education started a comprehensive policy reform in 2013 affecting the gaokao, or the national college entrance exam, as well as university recruitment.

Before the revision, there had been a "fast track" for Chinese students with arts talent to get into some of the top universities in China: becoming members of these universities' arts troupe.

According to previous policies, talented students who passed tests and interviews for universities' art troupes could be admitted with a lower threshold - 30 to 60 points lower than the minimum admission gaokao score.

Through the policy, many prestigious universities including Peking University and Tsinghua University were able to enroll students with good abilities in music, dance and drama.

But the policy was criticized by some people for allowing a "gray zone" for ineligible students to be recruited through the back door, leading to unequal access to prestigious universities.

The policy was also criticized for making the learning of arts test-oriented, as some students with little interest in arts took advantage of the policy, attempting to gain admission to top universities through intensified arts training of only a few months.

Things started to change after the policy revision was introduced. According to the new regulations, only 53 universities across the country are able to recruit talented students through the university arts troupe, and the number recruited in this way should not exceed one percent of the total number of students the university plans to recruit each year.

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