Where is the easiest place in the country to get into Qingbei

It’s another year of college entrance exam season, and soon, once the results are out, a fresh pot of college entrance exam scholars will jump out to tell you the story of life’s winners. What can be considered a winner in life? In China, it is not possible to say whether the examination on Fudan, Shanghai Jiaotong is considered, the examination on Qingbei, I believe that the left and right neighbors will send congratulations for you.

But once the results come out, you may find things are not right when you compare them carefully: why do people in some places can go to Qingbei if they are a few points over the heavy line, but you have to be 100 points over the first line?

Indeed, the urban legend you often hear that “Beijingers with 400 points can go to Qingbei” is not necessarily unjustified. The difficulty of getting into Beijing varies greatly from region to region, but it’s just not as exaggerated as rumored.

So, where in the end are the lucky ones most likely to get into Tsinghua University and where are the people most difficult?

It’s never easy to get into Qingbei

When it comes to the difference in the difficulty of taking the Qingbei exam in different places, your first reaction might be that it’s all about the uneven distribution of quotas by province, but things aren’t that simple.

However, when there is no allocation of quotas by province, people across the country do not have the same chances of getting into Tsinghua University.

In fact, in the early days, PKU admissions only had test centers in Beijing, and candidates from some remote places had to go through a lot of trouble to come and take the exam. Therefore, most of the students who could get into Peking University at that time were concentrated in the north, and the province with the most candidates was Hebei. Later, Peking University also began to set up examination centers outside Beijing in Shanghai and Wuchang, and occasionally held admission examinations in Guangzhou, but that was all an afterthought [2].

And in the 1930s, although Tsinghua University also conducted separate admissions, because it had counterpart schools with multiple examination sites in Shanghai and Nanjing, it was not uncommon for candidates from Jiangsu and Zhejiang to surpass those from Hebei [3].

A study on the enrollment of national universities in the Republic of China period found that Peking University had the most freshmen from Hebei, followed by Shandong, Hunan, and Henan, while Ningxia and Xinjiang had only one person, and Qinghai and Xikang (the junction of modern Sichuan and Tibet) did not even [3].

In the same period of Tsinghua University, the most freshmen were from Jiangsu, followed by students from Hebei, Zhejiang, Guangdong, and Hunan. Judging from the student population only, Tsinghua University at that time was simply like a southern school [3].

Tsinghua had a deep love for Jiangsu and Zhejiang because it itself had a deep connection with Jiangsu and Zhejiang. The predecessor of Tsinghua University, Tsinghua College, had students selected by the provinces that shared in the Gengzi reparations, of which the proportion of southern provinces was not small. In addition, many students from the coastal areas of Jiangsu and Zhejiang went to study in the United States through Tsinghua before Tsinghua ran its university department [4].

It can be seen that in the Republic of China period when there was no provincial quota, the chance to go to Tsinghua University and Peking University was not fair either. In those days, what determined whether you could go to Tsinghua and Peking University was your grades, but more important was your distance from the examination site.

That is to say, at that time, if you were born in Hebei, your buddies may all cast envious glances at you. At that time, Hebei did not Hengshui Middle School not to mention, more than others from Tsinghua and Peking University is a big step closer. But if you were born in the border provinces, then I’m sorry, you basically have no chance with Qingbei.

For example, in 1931, Qinghai, Tibet, Xinjiang and Xikang no one applied for Peking University, while Shaanxi, Guangxi, Heilongjiang, Chahar, Gansu, Ningxia, Jehol and Taiwan, although there are students to vote for the examination, but no one was admitted. The situation at Tsinghua is a little better, but there are still few students from the border provinces [2].

It is worth noting that, while it is much talked about today as if it is easy for Beijingers to get into Tsinghua and Peking, Beijing students did not have a clear numerical advantage in either Tsinghua or Peking University during the Republican period [3].

So when did it start to be easier for Beijing students to get into Tsinghua?

Where people had the hardest time getting into Tsinghua University

During the Republican era, most of the students who got into Peking University came from provinces with strong education or from nearby provinces. After the founding of the People’s Republic, Beijing gradually became the largest source of students for Peking University. Shanghai, Jiangsu and other places sent to Peking University were similar to Beijing. However, after 1972, the number of candidates from Beijing was far behind other regions [2].

However, excluding the uniquely qualified Beijing candidates, students from other places did not have the same chance to get into PKU.

In the early 1950s, apart from Beijing, students from economically developed regions such as Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Guangdong were the most likely to get into Peking University.

However, after the 1970s, there were many more students from Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, Shanxi and other places who got into Peking University. The three eastern provinces have even become a large source of students for Peking University, just like Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Henan provinces. Considering that the number of candidates from the eastern provinces is not very large, it can be said that it is easier for the eastern provinces to attend Peking University [2].

This change was probably influenced by the provincial quota system, which was introduced in 1959, when the “unified and decentralized management system” was adopted for college admissions. This method provided that the number of students in each province, city, or autonomous region and the imbalance of candidates among regions could be solved by the central department in consultation with them or by coordination among regions [5].

From this period, colleges and universities gradually lost their enrollment autonomy, and college entrance examination enrollment began to be really linked with administrative regions. Getting into Qingbei is no longer the patent of children from economically developed areas, and some students from remote areas have more opportunities as a result. Now the daily scolded college entrance examination quota system, in fact, narrowed the gap between the difficulty of going to Tsinghua and Peking University around.

This relatively more balanced admissions model, now still around the Tsinghua-Peking University enrollment quota distribution. Look at the admission ratio of Tsinghua Peking University in each province in recent years, you will find a lot of unexpected results.

A study on the admission rate of Tsinghua University in each province found that Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai, the municipalities directly under the central government, are basically the easiest for candidates to get into Tsinghua University [6]. Surprisingly, the three northeastern provinces have little news about the college entrance examination, but the admission rate also often squeezes into the top ten [7].

In addition to this, the chances of getting into Tsinghua University and Peking University in Qinghai and Ningxia, which are not as well developed in terms of education, are also high, even slightly higher than in provinces like Zhejiang. This is most likely due to the fact that these provinces have so few people and are taken care of by the national policy for the central and western regions.

However, not all western provinces are so easy, Yunnan, Guizhou, Gansu, these provinces, many candidates are not many places, want to get into Tsinghua Peking University, the difficulty is hell mode. On the admission rate of Tsinghua and Peking University, these provinces are often in the top five of the bottom [6].

They are not the only ones in hell, those provinces with hundreds of thousands of candidates in the college entrance exams, the same number of places in Peking University and Tsinghua University are up for grabs. However, unlike your impression may be, the worst is not in provinces like Shandong, Henan and Anhui where college entrance exam factories are everywhere. Guangdong, which has a good economic level and educational development, is instead the most difficult of the large population provinces to get into Tsinghua and Peking University [6].

Independent enrollment, change the opportunity to go to Tsinghua University

Of course, there is more than one way to Peking University and Tsinghua, and the number of independent enrollment in colleges and universities is increasing in the past few years. Take Peking University, for example, Peking University in 2017 in the mainland enrollment of 2819 people, independent enrollment on the admission of 679 people.

The increase in the number of independent enrollment places, but also broke the enrollment ratio around the previous also called balanced.

Since its birth in 2003, independent enrollment has been subject to questions about the impact of educational equity. The most significant problem is that many colleges and universities are tilted to local students for enrollment.

A study of inter-provincial differences in independent enrollment at Tsinghua and Peking University found that in 2013 and 2014, Beijing kids had a distant second place in Tsinghua admissions, at over 17%. In contrast, Shanghai, Zhejiang, and Jiangsu, which came in second in both years, were only hovering around 6%-8% [8].

However, in 2015, major universities carried out a reform of independent admissions. Did the reform make the chances of going to Qingbei more fair?

Indeed, after the 2015 college entrance examination reform, Beijing no longer occupies the top of Tsinghua and Peking University’s independent enrollment admission rate. On the contrary, Zhejiang, Hunan occupied the first two, the admission rate increased to more than 10%. So it seems that after the reform of independent admissions, it seems to become more fair, at least the advantage of Beijing candidates is no longer so obvious [8].

But wait, you know that before the reform, the admission rate of the provinces with the lowest admission rate of Qingbei independent admissions is less than 1%, at least some people can still get on. But after the reform, this figure becomes 0 in Yunnan, Guizhou and Tibet [8].

In other words, for those provinces that were already difficult, independent admissions still widened the gap between them and other provinces in terms of the difficulty of getting into Qingbei. A large part of this may be due to the fact that independent enrollment is more closely associated with some key high schools.

A study of two years of independent admissions in 2007 and 2008 showed that 58 high schools identified by Peking University as having the qualification of “school recommendation” accounted for more than half of However, most of these schools are in Beijing, four in Heilongjiang, Hunan, Liaoning, and Zhejiang, only one in Shanghai, and none in Jiangsu [9].

Of course, these key high schools were not raised in a day. According to a list of source high schools that sent students to Peking University, from 1952 to 1999, the top 10 high schools that sent the most talent to Peking University were all in Beijing.

Outside of Beijing, the top 10 high schools sending students to Peking University are located in Tianjin, the eastern provinces, Hunan, Hubei, and several provinces in Jiangsu. Some western regions, which lack key high schools, are not even named on the list [2].

The gap of key high schools means the gap of independent enrollment. Especially in Guangxi, Yunnan, Guizhou provinces, the original also at least Guangdong, an economically developed province, and they do difficult brother. But the independent admissions a debut, Guangdong will be more than 4% of the independent admissions admissions rate of Qingbei left these provinces far behind [8].

However, if you are really unfortunate to be born in Guangxi, Yunnan, Guizhou these provinces, do not give up easily. The denominator is even bigger, what if you are the numerator?

[1] Liang Chen. (2018). From Educational Selection to Educational Stratification:Admissions and Thresholds in Republican Universities and Colleges. Studies in Modern History (6).
[2] Liang Chen, & Li Zhongqing. (2013). The silent revolution: A study of the social origins of students at Peking University and Soochow University (1952-2002). Life, Reading, and New Knowledge, Sanlian Bookstore
[3] Li T. (2014). A study of enrollment in national universities during the Republican period. (Doctoral dissertation, Southwestern University).
[4] Zhang Mingyu. (2018). A preliminary exploration of the evolution of Tsinghua admissions system in the Republican period. Tsinghua University Educational Research (03), 120-124.
[5]Ren YR. (2017). A study on inter-provincial enrollment plan variability of key universities. (Doctoral dissertation).
[6]Gao Dandan. (2017). Quality university enrollment quota by province:Implementation status, regional differences and optimization path. Chongqing Higher Education Research(2).
[7] Wang S. M., Zhou H., Chen M. S., Zhu Weiyi, and Lei Changzhou. (2011). Who is more likely to go to Tsinghua – A sociological investigation of college entrance opportunities
[8] Deng Ziru. (2017). A study on inter-provincial differences in independent enrollment between Tsinghua and Peking University – an analysis based on the admission rates of the two schools from 2013 to 2015. Modern Management (04), 43-46.
[9] Liang Chen, Dong Hao, Ren Yunzhu, & Li Zhongqing. (2017). The origin and transformation of China’s educational elite (1865-2014). Sociological Studies (03), 52-74+247.