For Survivors of a 9-Hour Chinese Exam, a Door Opens to America

Tiffany May
New York Times
Every June, millions of high school seniors in China sit down for a grueling university entrance exam, knowing they may not get into a top school or any school at all. If their results are disappointing, finding another route to university can take...

Depth of Field

08.03.17

Inspirational Vandalism, Theme Parks, and the Man Who Swam to Hong Kong

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
This month, five photo galleries explore different aspects of public and private space in contemporary China. Wu Yue meets a couple who swam to Hong Kong from Guangzhou during the Cultural Revolution and still find solace in the waters of Hong Kong’...

Is China's Gaokao The World's Toughest School Exam?

Alec Ash
Guardian
Chinese children must endure years of stress and impossible expectations preparing for their final school exam

Depth of Field

07.01.16

Tornados and Drag Queens

Ye Ming, Yan Cong & more from Yuanjin Photo
Being a photojournalist involves reacting to breaking news, a dedication to long-term projects, and everything in between. This month’s showcase of work by Chinese photographers published in Chinese media underscores this range of angles: from the...

In China, Cheating on an Exam Will Get Students Detention—in Prison

Max Bearak
Washington Post
More than 9.4 million Chinese students attended this year's college entrance exams (Gaokao) in China, and cheating in Gaokao is now considered a criminal offense...

China Threatens Jail Time For College Entrance Exam Cheaters

Javier Hernandez
New York Times
Mixed feelings proceed the approval of a new law, punishing exam cheaters with up to seven years in prison....

Bribery Confession in China Calls Into Question Integrity of College Admissions

MICHAEL FORSYTHE
New York Times
In a country where cash and connections rule, one bastion of meritocracy, it was thought, remained: admission to a university.

Media

10.23.15

The Eagle, the Dragon, and the ‘Excellent Sheep’

Former Yale University English professor William Deresiewicz’s book, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life, created a firestorm in the United States when it was released in August 2014. “The...

Books

06.10.15

China’s Millennials

Eric Fish
In 1989, students marched on Tiananmen Square demanding democratic reform. The Communist Party responded with a massacre, but it was jolted into restructuring the economy and overhauling the education of its young citizens. A generation later, Chinese youth are a world apart from those who converged at Tiananmen. Brought up with lofty expectations, they’ve been accustomed to unprecedented opportunities on the back of China’s economic boom. But today, China’s growth is slowing and its demographics rapidly shifting, with the boom years giving way to a painful hangover.Immersed in this transition, Eric Fish, a millennial himself, profiles youth from around the country and how they are navigating the education system, the workplace, divisive social issues, and a resurgence in activism. Based on interviews with scholars, journalists, and hundreds of young Chinese, his engrossing book challenges the idea that today’s youth have been pacified by material comforts and nationalism. Following rural Henan students struggling to get into college, a computer prodigy who sparked a nationwide patriotic uproar, and young social activists grappling with authorities, Fish deftly captures youthful struggle, disillusionment, and rebellion in a system that is scrambling to keep them in line—and, increasingly, scrambling to adapt when its youth refuse to conform.—Rowman & Littlefield{chop}

Inside a Chinese Test-Prep Factory

Brook Larmer
New York Times
One minute later, at precisely 11:45, the stillness was shattered. Thousands of teenagers swarmed out of the towering front gate of Maotanchang High School. Many of them wore identical black-and-white Windbreakers emblazoned with the slogan, in...

Caixin Media

09.08.14

Gaokao, China’s National College Exam, to Carry Less Weight

The Ministry of Education announced reforms on September 4 that will lessen the weight that the gaokao, the country's national college entrance exam, carries for university enrollment. The changes are to come into effect by 2020.The...

Infographics

07.16.14

Learn English, Chinese Style

from Sohu
In 2009, the number of people studying English in China was roughly equal to the population of the U.S. In 2012, Chinese people spent a total of $4.8 billion on English lessons. China is the world’s biggest market for English-as-a-foreign-language...

China’s Cutthroat School System Leads to Teen Suicides

Chao Deng
Wall Street Journal
Suicide has been an increasing problem in China, with state media calling it the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15 and 34.

Viewpoint

09.03.13

China’s Higher Education Bubble

Carl Minzner
The number of university graduates in China has exploded.In 1997, 400,000 students graduated from four-year university programs. Today, Chinese schools produce more than 3 million per year. But employment rates at graduation have plunged. And remote...

Media

06.17.13

Do Quotas in China’s College Admissions System Reinforce Existing Inequalities?

Earlier this month, millions of Chinese students took the exam for which they had been preparing their entire lives—the National Higher Education Entrance Examination, known colloquially as the gaokao. For some, the process was more arduous than for...

In China, Families Bet It All on College for Their Children

Keith Bradsher
New York Times
Wu Yiebing has been going down coal shafts practically every workday of his life, wrestling an electric drill for $500 a month in the choking dust of claustrophobic tunnels, with one goal in mind: paying for his daughter’s education.

Chongqing Lifts Exam Ban for Migrant Workers' Children

Xinhua
Global Times
The southwestern mega city is the latest city to ease the household restriction on migrants sitting the college entrance exam. 

The Struggle of 15-Year-Old Hukou Protester Zhan Haite

C. Custer
ChinaGeeks
A 15-year-old girl has made waves in the Chinese press recently for her fight against Shanghai authorities after she was banned from taking the college entrance examination because she does not hold a Shanghaihukou(household registration). She and...

Chinese Parents Defrauded by “Perfect” Education

Tania Branigan
Guardian
For ambitious Chinese parents, the opportunity was too good to miss – even with its 100,000 yuan (£9,950) price tag. Their children would learn to read books in just 20 seconds and identify poker cards by touch. The most talented would instantly see...

Parents Reject China’s Classrooms for Home Schooling

AFP
Agence France-Presse
Giving up his successful career as the head of a medical research firm to spend his days at home reading from children's story books was a tough choice for Chinese father Zhang Qiaofeng. But Zhang, one of a small but growing number of Chinese...

Out of School

07.15.12

France’s Baccalauréat Sparks Debate on Chinese Education

Bi Cheng
What does one gain by working?Are all beliefs contrary to reason?Comment on an excerpt of Spinoza’s Theologico-Political Treatise Do we have a duty to seek the truth?Would we be freer without the state?Explicate an excerpt of Émile by Jean-...

Burden of China's College Entrance Exams

Edward Wong
New York Times
Millions of high school graduates across China have been furiously dialing telephone hot lines or gathering with family members around the home computer in recent days in a nail-biter of a ritual not unlike that of waiting for a winning lottery...

Is Its Educational System Pulling China Up or Holding It Back?

Helen Gao
Atlantic
China wants inventors and entrepreneurs, but its schools, built around the notorious gaokao exam, are still designed to produce cookie-cutter engineers and accountants.