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Universities test morals, knowledge
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08:38, April 28, 2009

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Universities will look beyond a student's academic achievements to include moral and social efforts under new entrance guidelines announced yesterday.

The Ministry of Education said results from the annual national college entrance examination would not be the sole criteria when assessing prospective university students.

Dai Jiagan, director of the Ministry of Education's examination center, said students would have to undertake an overall scholastic assessment, and a comprehensive evaluation of other factors including their moral outlook, sport capabilities and social work.

"A scholastic assessment and a comprehensive evaluation of the student will be included in to university entrance criteria in the future, Dai told the People's Daily.

Dai did not reveal when the new guidelines would be rolled out across the country, but said that provinces and cities that joined the curriculum reform program would be the first to introduce the new system.

So far, 11 provinces and cities, including Guangdong and Shanghai, have joined the curriculum reform. Beijing will join next year.

In South China, the Guangdong Education Department said it would roll out the new entrance system from next year.

Students wanting to attend a prestigious university would have to perform well in the scholastic assessment.

The test would require arts students to answer questions about physics and biology, and science students would be asked about politics, history and geography.

All the students would be assessed from levels A through to D.

Prestigious universities will get priority on higher-ranked students, said Lu Xianwen, vice-principle of the education examinations authority of Guangdong province.

The comprehensive test would review a student's performance during junior, middle school and high school.

However, educators said the scholastic assessment test would make students' study workload even heavier.

"Students are already very stressed now, and this will mean they are even more stressed in the future," Chen Xiaoyang, principle of South China Agricultural University, said. This year, Guangzhou-based Sun Yat-sen University and South China University of Technology - which can enroll students independently of the college entrance exam - requires applicants of independent enrollment to take the scholastic assessment, she said.

Last week, the ministry released a guideline urging schools to move away from the current exam-orientated approach to education and focus on the student's overall experience.

Source: China Daily

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