Education Talking Points 08-06-2016


Fall in 2016 gaokao numbers raises concerns

9.4 million Chinese students are currently sitting the gaokao, China’s yearly national college entrance exams. This number represents a drop of 20,000 students as compared to last year, with the decreased gaokao registrations primarily being noticed in Beijing, Liaoning and Jiangsu. The gaokao is the examination upon which student selection and enrolment at Chinese universities is predicated, and as such there are concerns that lower test registration numbers will also correspond to lower matriculation figures. Although the fall is unlikely to impact enrolment rates at larger, more well-established and well-known universities, there is potential for smaller universities to struggle to meet quota. The decrease in numbers is possibly attributable to a growing number of Chinese students opting to undertake undergraduate study overseas. Click here for the full article.


Australian student visa applications now open to Chinese six-year-olds

Beginning in July, Chinese students from the ages of six and up will be eligible to apply for student visas to study in Australia. The new visa process will be streamlined and universal for all international students, and will make provisions for Chinese parents to accompany their children, as announced by Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Issued visas will be valid for two years, and it is likely that this option will be attractive to families based in South China in particular. There are currently almost 50,000 Chinese students undertaking their studies in Australia, an increase of 23 percent from 2015. Click here for the full article. 


High-rise secondary schools to be built in Sydney

In response to rising population density in the Sydney metropolitan region and a lack of capacity to accommodate students, it has been announced that five new multi-storey public schools will be constructed and opened in the city by 2020. These schools will be built to accommodate over 6000 students, and will depart from the traditional Sydney design of single-storey establishments with sprawling grounds, but adaptation to the growing population in inner city areas is seen as both necessary and an urgent priority. The planned schools will be built within ready walking distance to nearby parks in order to offset concerns that have been raised about outdoor space. Click here for the full article. 


44 South African schools introduce Mandarin Chinese into curriculum 

Provisions for the inclusion of Mandarin Chinese in the curriculum have been made in 44 South African schools this year, according to Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. This number includes 27 schools in the Western Cape Province, 11 in Gauteng, three in the Eastern Cape and three in KwaZulu-Natal. Motshekga says that similar programs will be gradually introduced in several schools in other provinces, with the aim that Mandarin Chinese will be offered as an option for a second language in 500 South African schools within the next five years. To facilitate these developments, the Chinese government is sending Chinese teachers to South Africa and providing a donation of 2,000 textbooks while a textbook for a South-African-specific curriculum is being developed. Click here for the full article.