Fewer candidates take graduate entrance test

China’s 2014 national graduate school entrance examination, which took place last weekend, saw a drop in the number of candidates this year, writes Zhang Yue for China Daily USA. Admission officials said the end of free postgraduate courses might be behind the decline in numbers.

The Ministry of Education said that 1.72 million people participated in this year's examination, a decline of 40,000 from last year. It was the first drop in five years. According to the Beijing Education Examinations Authority, about 250,000 people applied for universities in Beijing in 2014, a drop of 7.85% compared with 2013.

This year is the first in which free postgraduate education has been replaced with university scholarships, and the first with no age restrictions on entry. In the past, the ministry's enrolment guide on graduate exam registration stated that, in general, applicants should be younger than 40, although there was no age limit for those willing to pay for their own tuition.
Full report on the China Daily site