SAMK China office organized a two-day admission promotion activity two weeks ago, just after the national university entrance results came out. Normally, once students got their scores and provincial ranking result, their high school will hold a parent meeting immediately to offer advice for university application. University will also take this meeting as a good opportunity to promote themselves. They will send 2 to 4 of the university staff to travel to different high schools around the country. This year SAMK China office contacted four high schools in advance and promoted our 2017 bachelor programs to Chinese students and their parents during the meeting.
In China, tertiary education resource is limited and discrepant that requires students to struggle for. Higher education at the undergraduate level includes two and three-year associate programmes, and four-year bachelor’s degree programmes (Y. Cai, 2011, P7). The best university group we named “985 project university” and second level “211 project university” offer only 20% positions for all high school students totally. Thereby, I can say this may be the most important exam in the students’ lives. The exam is usually held in the beginning of June, and it takes two-weeks to get the results.
The score-check app looks like this. Take this student as an example, she is a science student. It says her Chinese score is 113 out of 160, Math is 128 plus 32 out of 160 plus 40, English is 98 out of 120. Her physics is B level, biology is A level. She has a 5 point bonus concerning she got 4 As in her history, chemistry, geography and politics tests. Her provincial ranking is 10,418 out of 360,400 students in Jiangsu Province.
When students checked their scores online while the university enrollment baseline has yet released, their high schools held parent meeting immediately offering suggestions to parents and students. Universities were ready for promotion and pre-admission in each high school. Parents are nervous to find the best university to match the students’ score. It can neither be too good for their child nor far from their score. It is like a gambling or a blind date. Each side wants to get more information. Universities try to get the best students’ information and promote their own universities to them. Parents hope to get a promise, or at least hint that their child is safe if they apply this university.
Parents hope to get a promise, or at least hint that their child is safe if they apply this university.
We, as the only overseas university, then look quite calm (very Finnish). Firstly, our programme is 2017 programme which is not so urgent. Secondly, our application does not need a university entrance score. Many parents and students are confused. We cannot blame them. We are the special one in this place. We don’t judge their child by this test, but we have our own test. Parents show great interest in our program. Especially we offer a back-up plan for their children — you can anyway choose to apply next spring if you made a huge mistake for your application this time. We also prepared books, brochures and flyers and roll-ups to introduce Finnish education and our university.
These are some of the universities. On the left Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. It is an independent Chinese-foreign cooperatively run school under the operation of Xi’an Jiaotong University and Liverpool University from the UK. It may be an effective approach if Finnish higher education can develop cross-border education in China.
SAMK China office, I took my two interns with me. In front of the desk are our 2017 bachelor programme flyer, SAMK Chinese version brochure, Satakunta region scenery book etc.
Till now, there may have risen a question in your mind, why parents involved in this case so deeply that Eva’s article put them even before students. You are right. I’ve read a comment which mentions that Chinese students are forced into competition at the age when they should cultivate their own dignity, independence and self-esteem. Thus, they are still “baby” even when they graduate from high school. Most of them have no clear picture in their mind what they want to study in the future. That’s why their parents use their experience to help their children to make the decision.
Cai, Y., (2011). Chinese higher education reforms and tendencies, Implications for Norwegian higher education in cooperating with China. Norwegian Center for International Cooperation in Education (SIU).