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Asia Minute: More American Universities Now Accepting Chinese Test Scores


It’s summer break for many students around the world. In China, last week marked an important event for high school students with plans for college. And this week there’s a new development involving the United States.

Last week, some 10 million Chinese students spent nine hours over two days taking a test.

It’s not just any test — it’s the “National Higher Education Entrance Examination.”

Results will determine which universities students get into — or whether college will even be part of their future.

The test’s more familiar name is the “gaokao.” And for the first time, a state university in the United States will accept those test scores as part of its admissions process.

The University of New Hampshire will be joining dozens of colleges which already do that – from Canada to Europe and Australia, and a few in the United States.

Prospective UNH students will still have to take one of the American standardized college tests — the SAT or the ACT.

The University of San Francisco will take the gaokao results by themselves, no need for any other tests, although prospective students do need to complete an English language interview.

One of the motivations on the part of the university: money.

Credit Millyard800 / Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
University of New Hampshire Urban Campus

While the United States carries an annual trade deficit in goods and services with China of more than 300-billion dollars, higher education is not a contributing factor. Government figures show China is the largest source of foreign students for the U.S. — nearly 400,000.

And universities generally charge some of their highest prices to students coming from overseas.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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