The University of Sydney has begun using gaokao scores from Chinese students seeking admission with the school, traditionally considered one of the top 3 universities in Australia.
Candidates for admission will no longer need to enter preparatory programs before entering the university, though International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores of 6.5 will still be required to demonstrate English proficiency.
The policy change is great news for Chinese families looking to save time and money, with the cost of living and tuition in Australia reportedly requiring 200,000RMB per year.
The move also comes at a time when enrollment numbers of Chinese students in Australia have declined for the second year in a row, partially due to the strength of the Australian dollar.
After the iron ore and coal extraction industries (both of which rely heavily on Chinese demand), education is Australia’s third largest earner of international export revenue.
It remains to be seen whether other institutions in Australia and elsewhere will continue to drastically change their policies in order to attract students from the Chinese mainland, who are often considered to have acquired insufficient skills during their time abroad:
Mr. Jiang also mentioned a new trend he’s seeing — “a growing consensus within China that Chinese students who’ve studied abroad and who return to China are becoming a social problem.’’
“They return with limited English and limited marketable skills, yet they also have high expectations,’’ he said.
“As well, while they really don’t fit in America, they have also developed habits and ways of thinking that don’t permit them to integrate back into Chinese society easily.’’ (via NYT)
The foolproof plan for people with limited marketable skills and high expectations is usually to move to China to teach English, which in the case of Chinese sea-turtle students becomes a somewhat trickier proposition.