Number of candidates registering for gaokao reaches new high of 12.91 million
Published: Jun 01, 2023 09:59 PM
China's Gaokao kicks off as scheduled despite sporadic COVID-19 cases in June 2021. Photo: Li Hao/GT

China's Gaokao kicks off as scheduled despite sporadic COVID-19 cases in June 2021. Photo: Li Hao/GT

The number of candidates registering in 2023 for the gaokao, the national college entrance exam, has reached a new high of 12.91 million people, an increase of 980,000 from 2022, the Ministry of Education announced on Thursday.

To optimize services and ensure a comfortable examination environment, the Ministry of Education, in conjunction with the China Meteorological Administration and other departments, will closely analyze information on extreme weather and natural disasters during the examination period, guiding localities to further improve their emergency response plans and ensuring they can respond to emergencies promptly and effectively. 

Guidance has also been given on aspects like commuting safety, food and lodging hygiene, and noise management. Reasonable convenience has been provided for nearly 10,000 disabled candidates nationwide. 

The number of candidates registering for the gaokao has also sparked heated discussions among netizens. Some people said that the current number of candidates is far larger than the birth rate, and competition is becoming too extreme. There are also concerns about whether college degrees will lose their value and whether employment will become more difficult.

However, observers have pointed out that despite the constant increase in the number of people taking the college entrance examination in recent years, the admission rate has also been expanding. Public data shows that the admission rate has been steadily rising in recent years. 

This is because as the number of students increases, the state is also actively carrying out school construction work. In addition to upgrading the qualifications of a number of institutions, it is also actively helping schools develop relevant specialties.

Moreover, the gaokao is not the only way to learn skills and gain employment opportunities. Not all students are suitable for the traditional higher education path, as some experts have pointed out. For students who have special talents or interests in other fields, they should be provided with more diversified educational and development opportunities.

By 2025, the scale of undergraduate vocational education admissions will be not less than 10 percent of the scale of higher vocational education admissions. This goal has been clearly written into the "Opinions on Promoting the High-quality Development of Modern Vocational Education" issued by the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council in October 2021, showing the country's confidence and determination to develop undergraduate vocational education.
Since the pilot scheme for undergraduate vocational education in 2019, the state has issued a series of policies to guide and support school construction, professional settings, teaching staff, talent training, and education evaluation. 

At the same time, some netizens pointed out that instead of focusing on the number of candidates, people should pay more attention to the individual development of each student, not just their qualifications or scores. "Everyone has their own advantages and interests, and we should respect and support their personalized development, rather than making them all go down the same path. This can not only help them find what they truly love but also provide society with a more diverse pool of talent," one netizen said.