CHINA: University pushes bold exam reform

One of China's top higher education institutions, Peking University, last week released a list of 39 high school principals nationwide recognised to recommend students to be enrolled without taking college entrance examinations, reports the Shanghai Daily. Recommended students could be given offers of places after interviews rather than taking the exams.

According to an announcement issued by Peking University, it received more than 400 applications to receive qualifications for the enrolment recommendations. The university said 3% of undergraduate admissions were scheduled to be enrolled through the recommendation method in which the university experts would evaluate recommended students' abilities and specialities. But an internet survey showed 70% opposition to the new admission option.

Professor Xia Xueluan, of the Institute of Sociology and Anthropology at Peking University, said recommendations from high school principals were an experiment in reform. "The experiment and original college entrance exam provide us two divisions to find out a more reasonable measure in college student enrolment," Xia said.
Full report on the Shanghai Daily site