[photopress:Pekinguni__1_2.jpg,full,alignright]Peking University is known colloquially as Beida. Press reports happily use either term working on the basis that everyone knows this. It was originally known as the Imperial University of Peking when it was founded in 1898. The story is that it kept its title as Peking University of Beijing so that it would not be confused with Beijing Normal which might be the case. Possibly.
Now it has released its recruitment plan for postgraduates.
The university plans to enroll 4,300 postgraduates and 1,400 doctorial students this year. However, not all college graduates can go there by taking an entrance exam. For some, the university will rely on the recommendations of the colleges where they received their bachelor degrees.
And quite a lot of students are involved — between 50 to 80% of them will be recommended. As a result, comparatively few prospective postgraduates can enter Peking University just by taking entrance exams.
Peking University’ s admission policy says only excellent graduates who are from prestigious universities and recommended by their colleges are entitled to enter without taking postgraduate entrance examinations.
A student at Capital Medical University is unhappy with the plan. She said, ‘I think it’s very unfair!. Although Beida will enroll 4,000 postgraduates this year, only half of them will be picked by the entrance exam. Only one student in my class can be recommended. We just want to go to Peking University through our hard work. But how can we get in with such few chances?’
Li Chen, a graduate at a university outside Beijing, said, ‘I wish to be a postgraduate in Beida by taking an examination. Can’t postgraduate students get in even if they don’t have a bachelor’s degree from a top university? It’s prejudice. All prospective postgraduates at Beida should compete in the entrance exam.’
Peking University has its declared reasons to recruit more students through recommendation although, in truth, the reasons would not stand up to rigorous scrutiny nor could anyone claim the process is transparent.
The official position is that supervisors of postgraduates have found that recommended students ‘have higher academic levels and tend to be more devoted to studying’.
Professor Wen Rumin has worked as a postgraduate supervisor for a long time in Beida’s Chinese Department, said, ‘The university is doing the right thing since some prospective postgraduates are only good at taking exams rather than academic studies.’
There is much in the view that exams are not the be all and end all for judging a student. On the other hand it is an eminently fair process.
Professor Wen Rumin did not think the recruitment policy is unfair because the most important goals of postgraduate education are guaranteeing the teaching quality and selecting qualified talent.
Other supervisors say they think many students come to Beida by taking the entrance exam and only want to get a degree from Beida rather than really study a subject. As an argument, that leaves much to be desired.
An educator and professor at Renmin University, Gu Haibing, said Peking University has right to decide how to recruit students. Universities and supervisors should be entitled to enroll suitable postgraduates, as long as the recruitment process is open and with essential supervision. However, judged on the information that is available the recruitment process is not open, not transparent.
Source: China Daily