China roots out its ‘gaokao migrants’ as university entrance exam nears

Laurie Chen:

With only a month to go until China’s gaokao university entrance exam, education authorities have vowed to crack down on cheating candidates.

More than 10 million students had registered to take the notoriously competitive exam this year, state news agency Xinhua reported. The standardised nationwide test is widely viewed as a key to social mobility that can determine a student’s future prospects for better or worse.

On Sunday, the education bureau in the southern province of Guangdong ordered an investigation into the credentials of all students who had transferred to senior high schools there from elsewhere in the country, in a crackdown on so-called gaokao migrants.

These “migrants” – students who register to take the exam in a different province to boost their chances of scoring higher – are a widely recognised phenomenon in China.