CHINA: Contest for 'prodigy' places in universities

A thin but fit figure at 5 foot 10, he looked no different from other college students. His shyness and unguarded manner, however, gave him away. Zhang Xinyang, from Panjin in Liaoning province, entered college at just 10 years of age, a record in China. Now 16, he is pursuing a doctorate in mathematics at Beihang University in Beijing, write Wang Yan and Chen Jia for China Daily.

But his current goals are not academic. "An apartment in Beijing, a good job and a Beijing hukou [permanent residency]," Zhang said. "Providing a place for the child is the parents' responsibility. They wanted me to come to Beijing for university, and that's what they need to pay for their own choices."

Raising a child prodigy gives parents reason to feel proud, and apparently that's what many hope for. About 1,400 high school students across the country applied this year for 100 to 130 openings in a programme for gifted youths at Xi'an Jiaotong University. The number has been increasing by 200 to 300 annually in the past few years.
Full report on the China Daily site