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'Money for entrance' lurks in college admissions

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-07-23 15:54

BEIJING - As colleges in China begin delivering letters of admission, some parents cannot wait to make a deal with them - like spend 1 million yuan ($162,000) buying a place for their child.

If their child has failed to perform well in June's national college entrance exam (CEE) and their scores have not met the college's standards, money is another option.

Though the "money for entrance" practice is prohibited by China's educational authorities, it in fact still happens.

Searching on the Internet, many websites offered advice to parents on how to place their child in major colleges using money.

Xinhua reporters spoke to an agent whose details were on a website titled "qiuxiaojiaoyu" and asked the price for entering a college.

Prices vary for different colleges, the agent calling himself Chen said via the telephone. When mentioning a major college in Nanjing, in East China's Jiangsu province, the reporter was quoted 1 million yuan.

Chen promised a full refund if the student was not enrolled.

The price was confirmed by a member of staff at a college in Nanjing, who refused to be named. "The price was about 200 or 300 thousand yuan last year, but it has surged to at least 1 million yuan as the available quota has been cut to one fifth from last year," he told the reporter.

Places being traded are widely believed to come from various "reserve plans" of colleges.

In China, colleges are given by the provincial government a fixed total quota when recruiting new students. They must recruit most students openly according to their CEE scores.

However, they are also allowed to independently recruit a small percentage of students, which used to be 5 percent of the total quota, who do not qualify in terms of their CEE scores but are "excellent" in other fields such as art or sport.

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