9.42 million students sit national college entrance exam

Updated: 2015-06-07 07:24


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9.42 million students sit national college entrance exam

Students review books at a dorm in Wanzhi Education School, a school special for second-time applicants for college, in Hefei, capital of East China's Anhui province, May 21, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - About 9.42 million Chinese high school graduates, slightly less than the population of Sweden, will sit for the national college entrance examination, known as Gaokao, which kicks off Sunday.

The number has marked a tiny increase from that in 2014, which stood at 9.39 million, according to statistics from the Ministry of Education.

The Chinese government has motivated staff nationwide to escort the exam. Police were sent to roads and exam sites for students' security and drivers have been told not to whistle while passing schools and should give way to cars transporting examinee or test papers.

Despite the huge army of high school seniors pursuing higher education, Chinese universities face a growing survival crisis after decades of explosive expansion.

The number of students taking what is generally considered the single most important test any Chinese person can take, has fallen for five straight years since 2009. It peaked at 10.5 million in 2008.

The amount of examinees stopped declining in 2014, but the modest recovery has not brought relief to the looming survival crisis, according to a 2015 report on Chinese university admissions released by China Education online Tuesday.


Universities across China have been facing difficulties meeting recruitment quotas in recent years.

In central China's Henan Province, where the pursuit of higher education is intensely competitive, nearly 70,000 university or college openings were not filled in 2014, accounting for 11.36 percent of the province's total quotas.

Such vacancies have existed for three years in Henan.

Under China's university recruitment system, the central authorities set quotas for university enrollment across provinces and major cities. Students indicate the universities and colleges they want to apply to and their Gaokao test scores are used to allocate spots.

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