Should Beida recruit more recommended students?

By Zhang Xi (
Updated: 2007-07-09 16:37

Peking University released its recruitment plan for postgraduates on Sunday, which raised dissatisfaction of students from other universities.

Beida plans to enroll 4,300 postgraduates and 1,400 doctorial students this year, but not all college graduates can go there by taking an entrance exam. The prestigious university will focus on recruiting those who do not need to sit exams, but instead rely on the recommendations of the colleges where they received their bachelor degrees.

The plan shows of the prospective postgraduates studying sciences, 50 to 80 percent of them will be recommended. And at least half of the new postgraduates in other departments will also be recommended to Beida. In total, the university will enroll seven percent more recommended students than last year. As a result, only a few prospective postgraduates can enter Peking University by taking entrance exams.

In the past, half of those recommended students were from Beida, and the other came from other post secondary institutions. Peking University' s admission policy says only excellent graduates who are from prestigious universities and recommended by their colleges are entitled to enter Beida without taking postgraduate entrance examinations. However, very few students are lucky enough to get the chance.

A student at Capital Medical University is unhappy with the plan. "I think it's very unfair!" she exclaimed. "Although Beida will enroll 4,000 postgraduates this year, only half of them will be picked by the entrance exam." She continued, "Only one student in my class can be recommended. We just want to go to Peking University through our hard work. But how can we get in with such few chances?"

"I didn't do well in my college entrance exam four years ago," says Li Chen, a graduate at a university outside Beijing . "I wish to be a postgraduate in Beida by taking an examination. Can't postgraduate students get in even if they don't have a bachelor's degree from a top university? It's prejudice. All prospective postgraduates at Beida should compete in the entrance exam."

Peking University has its reasons to recruit more students through recommendation. Through their experience, supervisors of postgraduates have found that recommended students "have higher academic levels and tend to be more devoted to studying".

Professor Wen Rumin has worked as a postgraduate supervisor for a long time in Beida's Chinese Department. He says, "The university is doing the right thing since some prospective postgraduates are only good at taking exams rather than academic studies." He believes the academic levels of recommended students are higher than their counterparts who come to Beida by taking exams.

Wen did not think the recruitment policy is unfair because the most important goals of postgraduate education are guaranteeing the teaching quality and selecting qualified talent.

Other supervisors think many students come to Beida by taking the entrance exam and only want to get a degree from Beida rather than really study a subject. From this aspect, they are not as good as those recommended students, who are more welcomed by supervisors.

An educator and professor at Renmin University , Gu Haibing, said Peking University has right to decide how to recruit students. Universities and supervisors should be entitled to enroll suitable postgraduates, as long as the recruitment process is open and with essential supervision.

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