This week our China News focuses on education. In our first article, the writer records gleefully that Chinese universities have won an international competition against western universities for the first time. It is interesting that the winning university is attached to the People’s Liberation Army.
Chinese universities break European and American monopoly for the first time
In the international competition known as the “Olympic” in the aerospace industry, the Chinese team from National University of Defense Technology won the championship for the first time, breaking the monopoly of the European and American teams on the championship in one fell swoop.
The International Space Orbit Design Competition was launched by the European Space Agency in 2005 and is held every 1 to 2 years. It is a high-level and professional competition in the world’s space field, representing the highest research level in the field of space orbit design. This competition is hosted by the previous champion US Jet Propulsion Laboratory and lasts for four weeks.
This competition uses real-time scoring and online ranking mechanisms. A total of 73 teams from all over the world signed up to participate, including the European Space Agency, NASA, Iowa State University, Columbia University, Moscow State University, and the Russian Academy of Sciences. , University of Rome, Italy, University of Sydney, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Harbin Institute of Technology.
The National University of Defense Technology is a military comprehensive university directly under the leadership of the Central Military Commission. It has also been a key university for the construction of the country and the military.
In our second article, the writer describes the amazing task China accomplished in its 2020 university entrance examination. Known as ‘gaokao’, the exam this year proved more challenging than usual to organize. The writer notes that Chinese organizing capability once again proves superior to other countries.
College entrance examination shows strong national capabilities
In the eyes of many people, the 2020 China College Entrance Examination, which was full of trials and twists and turns, finally ended successfully.
This year’s college entrance examination is significant. On the one hand, the global epidemic makes it difficult to organize such a large-scale examination. On the other hand, at the same time, candidates in Anhui Province had to postpone their college entrance examinations, the floods in the south, the earthquake in Kunming, and other natiurak disasters added unprecedented difficulty to this year’s college entrance examination organization.
This selection test, which has set a record high in the number of applicants, is the largest gathering of people since the epidemic in China. German News TV reported that the number of Chinese taking the college entrance examination this year is “equivalent to Sweden’s national population”. 10.71 million candidates walked into the examination room.
China has such an effective governance method and calmly responded to the crises, and scientifically and effectively protected the examination. It is an excellent answer given that the world epidemic situation is still not optimistic.
France announced that it would stop the French high school graduation exam. The British Prime Minister also announced that he would cancel the UK’s 2020 public exams and score results based on teacher assessments. Russia, South Korea, Germany and other countries have postponed the college entrance examination.
The impact of the epidemic is huge, but China’s strength in the predicament is obvious. With the success of the college entrance examination, we have a rainbow of hope. China has accumulated more resilience in the face of the epidemic and its experience in epidemic prevention and control has gradually become richer.
Our final story appears in several Chinese papers with much comment. It deals with the tricky topic everywhere of parental help in education. How far should parents go to give their children a better chance in exams and in competitions? In this case, one parent clearly went too far.
According to the Beijing News, the Organizing Committee of the 34th Yunnan Provincial Youth Science and Technology Innovation Contest determined that the professional level of the winning student’s project research report (on gene therapy) exceeded the author’s cognitive level and writing ability. The project research report could not have been independently written by the author himself. Thus, the organizing committee of the competition decided to cancel the award. The first prize, the medal and certificate were withdrawn.
At about the same time, letters of apology from the student’s father were circulating online. (It is clear from these that the father, a gene therapy researcher himself, wrote the paper for his son.)
Withdrawing the award for the project was expected by the public. But the media believe that the handling of this matter cannot stop at the withdrawal of awards.
The results submitted by a primary school student completely beyond their cognitive level and writing ability were originally recognized by the jury as genuine results and rewarded. This inevitably causes the seriousness of the awards to be questioned. It also shows that investigating this incident in which the father used his research work to help his son is vital. This is not only to educate all participants on integrity, but also how to plug the loopholes in the awards systems and restore the credibility of the science and technology innovation contest.
Enjoying fair education is the best means of mobility for all classes of society. But education has also become a tool for upward mobility used by a few capable parents. Elementary school students who allegedly study gene therapy for cancer seem ridiculous, but this incident is a wake-up call to society.
Rectifying academic corruption is not just to prevent plagiarism and fraud, to curb the power of academic authorities, and to ensure fair education. It is also long overdue.