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Tibet Education Exploitation, Credits : AFP

  • 22 Mar, 2024
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China’s University Entrance Exam Exploitation Seats : Sold for $417000


The Tibet Rights Collective has raised concerns over China’s exploitation of university entrance exams, which discriminates against Tibetan candidates and undermines their educational opportunities. Under the guise of promoting “a sense of community for the Chinese nation,” China’s assimilationist policies prioritize Han predominant groups, neglecting the rights of ethnic minorities like Tibetans.

China’s recent move to offer national college entrance exam seats from the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) to candidates elsewhere in the country for a hefty price exemplifies this discriminatory practice. In exchange for a minimum investment of 3 million yuan ($417,000), individuals from other regions of China can have their children take university entrance exams in TAR, taking advantage of what is perceived as an easier scoring system.

The TAR, with a population predominantly consisting of ethnic Tibetans, boasts one of the lowest college entry barriers in China. This has become an attractive prospect for millions of students who sit for the competitive “gaokao” entrance exams each year, hoping to secure better job opportunities upon graduation.

However, this exploitative practice has sparked debate on Chinese social media platforms. While some argue that it unfairly disadvantages Tibetan students, others support it. Concerns have been raised about the impact of this scheme on the enrolment rates of Tibetan children.

In response to mounting concerns, China’s education ministry issued a notice vowing to crack down on “gaokao migrants” -students seeking to benefit from this scheme. However, the prevalence of such practices persists, especially amid economic challenges, including record-high unemployment rates among college students.

Moreover, China’s differing college admission criteria, which include preferential policies for ethnic minorities, exacerbate the disparities faced by Tibetan candidates. For instance, Tibetan students achieving a score of 300 out of 750 on the entrance exam could qualify for undergraduate places at over 1,200 universities nationwide in 2023. In contrast, candidates in regions like Beijing would require significantly higher scores.

The influx of exam takers from provinces with better educational resources threatens to inflate Tibet’s minimum scores, further disadvantaging Tibetan aspirants. This underscores the urgent need for equitable access to education and an end to discriminatory practices that perpetuate inequalities faced by ethnic minorities, including Tibetans.

In light of these developments, the Tibet Rights Collective calls for an end to China’s exploitation of university entrance exams and urges authorities to uphold the educational rights of Tibetan students. It is imperative to address systemic injustices and ensure equal opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their ethnic background.