Tsinghua, PKU slam each other in public to lure top students

Updated: 2015-06-29 16:16

By Luo Wangshu(chinadaily.com.cn)

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Tsinghua, PKU slam each other in public to lure top students

A graduate is stopped by university admission staff at a high school in Guangzhou, South China's Guangdong province, June 25, 2015. [Photo/CFP]

The fight for top gaokao scorers between China's top two universities heats up online.

Peking University's recruitment team in Sichuan province accused Tsinghua's Sichuan recruiters of "luring students to Tsinghua with money" on Sina Weibo, China's microblogging platform, on Sunday.

PKU's Sichuan recruitment official account also implied that Tsinghua recruitment team phoned the top 10 gaokao scorers and lied that PKU would not be able to place them their desirable programs.

PKU also implied that Tsinghua has broken its promises to perspective students several times in the past five years.

Tsinghua's Sichuan recruiter forwarded the post and claimed that PKU was the one that was attempting to "buy" students with money.

PKU later accused Tsinghua of paying students and claimed that PKU does not take money for admissions.

These posts received thousands of comments and forwards in a short time, quickly climbing up to the top topic lists online.

Sina Weibo opened a page for the issue on Sunday morning and received 120,000 traffic flows by noon.

Two universities soon deleted the accusing posts.

Responding to the accusations, Peking University on Sunday evening said it strongly and firmly condemns bad behavior in recruitment and hoped such incidents would not happen again. PKU also sent best wishes to every student, hoping that they will find a place in their desired colleges.

Tsinghua also responded on Sunday evening, saying that the university follows the recruitment rules strictly. It also said the university will continue to improve recruitment process to better serve students and parents.

Since the results of gaokao, the national college entrance exam, began releasing on June 22, universities have started fighting for top scorers.

Chongqing Evening Post reported that Liu Nanfeng received the good news that he ranked top in social sciences in Chongqing from PKU's recruitment team.

According to the paper, Liu and his friends were traveling when they received the call. To win Liu's favor, PKU arranged a car to pick him up and send him home.

"I now understood what the word "flattered" really means," the paper quoted Liu as saying.

It is not the first time that top universities have launched a battle for top students in China. Recruitment team usually phone top students before scores are even released, offering them campus tours, inquiring about their desirable programs and persuading them to join.

According to a report that analyzed more than 3,000 top scorers in gaokao from 1952 to 2014, PKU is favored by more top scorers. The report showed that 784 provincial top scorers were recruited by PKU, with the university accommodating most provincial top scorers. Tsinghua follows PKU, attracting 618 provincial top scorers.

Universities in Hong Kong joined the fight for top scorers in the middle of 2000s and became very competitive but were not able to attract the best students.

The report also showed that nearly 70 percent of top scorers in gaokao favored management, engineering and economics-related majors.

Jiang Guohua, a researcher at the National Institute of Education Sciences, said that the gaokao top scorers as a group reflected the reputation and competitiveness of universities and majors in Chinese society with their fields of study.

"The majors chosen by gaokao top scorers usually represent the most prominent and popular ones in China," he said.

Zhao Xinying contributed to the story.