China's Tsinghua University has been bombarded with criticism after it released a new set of admissions requirements for foreign applicants, which critics have deemed "discriminatory against Chinese nationals."
According to the university's 2017 requirements for international bachelor's degree applicants, foreign applicants must hold a high school diploma and pass the Level 5 HSK Chinese proficiency test with a score of at least 60 out of 100.
All other entrance examinations are waived for foreign students.
The requirements have sparked controversy, with many denouncing the "preferential policy," arguing that such requirements will dampen Chinese students' enthusiasm and lead to educational injustice.
"As one of China's most prestigious universities, Tsinghua's admissions requirements for international students are too lenient compared to those for their Chinese counterparts. At most respected universities in the U.K., there are specified enrollment standards for Chinese students requiring high GPAs and strong English skills," an expert from a Beijing-based study abroad agency told People's Daily Online.
The expert also believes that Tsinghua's Chinese proficiency requirement is too low compared to requirements for TOEFL or IELTS scores from Chinese applicants abroad, as foreigners can pass the Level 5 HSK exam by knowing only 2,500 Chinese words.
Other critics believe that the new requirements may worsen China's educational injustices. Many Chinese parents already give birth to their children abroad so that their offspring can obtain foreign passports.
If those foreign passport-holders then seek to receive an education in China, they have much easier access to prestigious schools and education resources than their Chinese peers.