Imaginary university catches students' eye

2023-07-07 10:30:53China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

"Shanhe University", an imaginary university created by students to serve the people of Shandong, Shanxi, Hebei and Henan provinces, has become a meme online.

It has also caught the attention of the Ministry of Education, which responded by stressing the need to increase higher education resources in populous regions.

The term has become a catchphrase online as high school graduates in the provinces complain about a lack of top-tier universities in the region, which has increased the competition for college enrollment and limited their opportunities to access high-quality higher education.

In China, students in the same provincial region compete with each other to get enrolled into universities.

Meanwhile, if a provincial region has more reputable universities, they will assign more slots to students in the region and the students have a higher possibility to be enrolled.

While there are 3.43 million students in the four provinces taking this year's national college entrance exam, or gaokao, accounting for 26.5 percent of the gaokao candidates, the regions only have a handful of renowned universities.

Netizens have joked that if each high school graduate in the province donates 1,000 yuan ($138), there would be more than 3 billion yuan, enough to establish Shanhe University, located in a way that overlaps the four provinces and that could admit more graduates from the regions.

The imaginary university has become a trending topic on social media platforms.

Netizens have also designed a school logo, motto, website and student admission guide.

However, although they are neighboring provinces, it is almost geographically impossible for a university to sit in all four provinces, unless it is extremely big.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Wu Yan, vice-minister of education, said the ministry is aware of people calling to establish such a university.

The ministry supports regions in central and western areas, especially populous provincial regions, to expand the scale of their higher education, he said.

Minister of Education Huai Jinpeng said the ministry will continue to bridge the education gap among urban and rural areas, different regions, schools and groups, so that all children can enjoy equal and high-quality education.


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