Several provincial-level regions will reduce or eliminate bonus points that have long been offered to ethnic minority students in the national college entrance examinations, or gaokao.
Seven regions have released new policies on university enrollment for this year's gaokao, which will be held in June, people.cn reported on Thursday.
According to Beijing's new policy, only ethnic minority candidates who transferred to the capital at the high school stage from officially-designated border, mountain and ethnic minority residential areas will enjoy five extra points in the 750-mark gaokao.
Education authorities in Beijing's Dongcheng district said that the city's new policy means only one student in the district could get extra points this year, while last year 541 students got a helping hand.
Northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region will no longer offer 50 extra points to students who received bilingual education, people.cn reported. The report did not say how many extra points these students would now be offered, if any.
East China's Shandong Province has eliminated its five-point bonus for all ethnic minority students, reports said.
"Some rules lack a sound basis but are still in force, which has become a grey zone in gaokao. Therefore, China has been gradually eliminating some policies on extra points," Chu Zhaohui, a research fellow at the National Institute of Educational Sciences, told the Global Times.
Chu believes that it is not necessary to allocate bonus points in gaokao to many ethnic minority students who have grown up in a Putonghua, (standard Chinese spoken on the Chinese mainland) environment; otherwise it will create more unfairness in the exam.
Given the large number of Chinese students competing in gaokao, several extra points could make a difference between getting into a key-level university instead of a moderate institution. As a result, many Han Chinese often complain that policies favoring ethnic minorities constitute "unfair competition."