Some Chinese colleges face decreasing enrollment, struggle to survive

16:32, May 04, 2011      

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With a steady decrease in the number of students taking the college entrance examination, some Chinese colleges are facing a life-and-death struggle, according to a recent survey conducted by eol.cn, a website under China's Ministry of Education.

The survey claims that, due to the decline of the birth rate, the number of students taking college entrance examinations began to drop after it reached a historic high of 10.5 million in 2008. In addition, the cumulative number has decreased 2 million in the past two years and is continuing to drop at a faster rate. This trend will last until the year 2017 or possibly until the year 2020.

Although the number of students has fallen, Chinese colleges' planned enrollment still continues to increase slowly. In the past three years, the average admission rate of China's national college entrance examination has risen from 57 percent in 2008 to 69.5 percent in 2010.

Statistics show the admission rates in eight Chinese provinces and cities have currently surpassed 80 percent, which includes not only the developed areas such as Beijing and Shanghai but also undeveloped areas. Last year, the admission rate reached just under 80 percent in Shandong Province, 81 percent in Hunan Province and topped 90 percent in Heilongjiang Province.

However, the rising admission rate has a direct impact on Chinese colleges' enrollment as well as the quality of students. The survey indicates that new entrants of regular universities and technical colleges in Anhui Province who give up registration last year are respectively 10 percent and 20 percent. Meanwhile, because the enrollment marks of some technical colleges have been very low, the quality of the students has dramatically worsened.

Moreover, the number of students studying abroad has increased by 24.4 percent, 27.percent and 24.1 percent respectively for three years in China, among which the number of students who forgo national college entrance examination to study abroad is the fastest growing part.

The phenomenon that middle school graduates are spurning the national college entrance examination, giving up on tests and forgoing registration is gradually becoming obvious.

In China, the tuition income of colleges and universities plays a key roll in daily operation. Once the number of students recruited is insufficient, bankruptcy is unavoidable for the schools.

By Ye Xin, People's Daily Online
 
 
     
 
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