A teenage boy in Jiangxi province who missed the gaokao, China’s ultra-competitive college entrance exam, when he risked his life to save bus passengers from a knife attack was given a rare opportunity to attend a specially arranged make-up exam after media and authorities awarded him the title of “Good Samaritan”, while more than 10 universities have already expressed interest in admitting him to their schools.
On May 31, 17-year-old Liu Yanbing was on a bus in Jiangxi’s Yinchun city when a knife-wielding man started stabbing passengers onboard. Liu managed to grab the knife from the attacker, saving the lives of his classmates but seriously injuring himself in the struggle, SCMP relays.
By June 7, the first day of gaokao, Liu and his classmate Yi Zhengyong were still in the hospital and missed the exams, and the “knife snatching boy” soon came under the spotlight of local media.
Xinhua reported that the Education Department of Jiangxi Province granted both the students a chance to undergo an unprecedented make-up exam upon recovery, and over 10 universities, including the prestigious Tsinghua University, have expressed willingness to help them throughout the college admission process “within the boundaries of established policies and rules [in an effort] to make their dreams of becoming college students come true”.
On Weibo, Liu has likewise been hailed a hero for his deeds at a time when public outrage has risen over the perceived lack of Good Samaritans in China. In one poll of 50 thousand voters, over 80 percent of people supported Tsinghua University’s decision to admit Liu directly, an outcome that isn’t unheard of.
In the past, Peking University and Tsinghua University granted automatic admission to students who showed good moral character by saving others during the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.
While not everyone agreed that students should be accepted to colleges based on courageous conduct alone, users like hanwater1981 encouraged the decision: “Academic performance is only one of many aspects [of getting into college]. Moral character is also very important. The intelligence difference among people is not so prominent. Even if [Liu] did not excel academically in his high school, it won’t be a problem if he works hard at Tsinghua University.”
Over 9.4 million students registered for gaokao this year, 270,000 more than last year. We compiled a list of this year’s composition topics as seen on the notoriously difficult test in different regions of China.