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Over 300 Chinese students flunk postgraduate exam

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Sydney: Over 300 Chinese students flunked an examination of a masters degree program at the University Of Sydney in Australia, a media report here said. About 37 percent of more than 1,200 students were given a failed grade in a postgraduate business course at the University of Sydney. Most of them were Chinese students, reported the Global Times on Wednesday. Cecily Huang, the author of the Global Times article, worked for the Guardian Beijing office as a researcher and news assistant and is currently studying for a Master of Arts in Journalism at the University of Technology, Sydney.

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“It must be something wrong with the system! It was not only me; more than 300 Chinese students failed this exam,” a Chinese girl screamed on the phone as Huang traveled on a train between Epping and Central here — the outburst evoked her journalistic instincts and led to the article thereafter. The massive flunking event has escalated since some Chinese students have sought appeals against their results. Although the University of Sydney attributes the problem to students’ English level, language is certainly not the main reason. Every Chinese student had to get a relatively high English score to be accepted to the masters program. The subject is called Critical Thinking in Business, one of the core units required to complete a Master of Commerce. In this exam, all the questions were open-ended.
“I am not surprised Chinese students lack critical thinking, because under the Chinese education system, most Chinese students learned chiefly how to respect authority, and how to seek one standard answer,” said Huang.”Once Chinese students are given different options, they get confused and frustrated. They are not used to a more exploratory learning style. “In real life, there is no standard answer but more options and solutions. Unfortunately, we do not know it until we begin real work,” she said. Most Chinese students who came to this business program had just finished their bachelor degree in China. “Without any working experience, how could they analyse business cases with critical thinking? It reminded me of a student, from my journalism program, who wanted to report on the Gaza war without even basic knowledge of the background.”
“The business students I have interviewed told me they worked very hard, but the results were completely unexpected,” Huang said. According to her, “hard work” does not necessarily lead to good marks in a masters program. It requires effort, as well as interest and creativity. “In China, we study to pass the ‘gaokao’, or to find a job with decent salary, not for love of the subject. I am so tired of being questioned by my very concerned relatives, ‘How much money do you make’ or ‘how much can you get for your published article’. They do not care whether I enjoy my job or what my article is about.

(IANS)

 

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Online Debate Over US-China Trade Negotiations Erased by Chinese Censors

It was not clear exactly why the comments were censored. Chinese officials on Monday were keen to show that Beijing had stood firm in the talks.

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Chinese censors have erased online debate over US-China trade negotiations as the two countries appeared to back away from a trade war.
A selection of the censored comments were published by the Chinese Media Project. In one, a Weibo user, referring to US President Donald Trump, said: "The madman won."

Chinese censors have erased online debate over US-China trade negotiations as the two countries appeared to back away from a trade war.

After the announcement on Sunday by US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that planned tariffs on $150 billion worth of Chinese goods would be put “on hold”, posts on the microblogging site Weibo discussing the deal were immedietly deleted, according to a research initiative studying Chinese media.

A selection of the censored comments were published by the Chinese Media Project. In one, a Weibo user, referring to US President Donald Trump, said: “The madman won.”

Another deleted post said China’s bid to get US sanctions lifted on the telecommunications equipment maker ZTE had been unsuccessful, according to a report in the Guardian.

“The other points of compromise — or kneeling, to put it more sharply — are small matters,” the user wrote, according to the project.

Chinese censors have erased online debate over US-China trade negotiations as the two countries appeared to back away from a trade war.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, wikimedia commons

On Saturday, Beijing and Washington released a statement saying they had come to a consensus of “effective measures” to narrow the US’ huge trade deficit with China.

It was not clear exactly why the comments were censored. Chinese officials on Monday were keen to show that Beijing had stood firm in the talks.

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A researcher for China’s Commerce Ministry said that the country had demonstrated three “bottom lines”, which were: It would not cut exports to the US in order to reduce the trade deficit, no target was set for reducing the deficit — Trump had previously pushed for a $200 billion reduction — and China upheld its right to upgrade its industry.

The White House’s threatened tariffs had targeted Beijing’s “Made in China” industrial programme.

“Despite all the pressure, China didn’t ‘fold’, as Trump observed”, the state-run China Daily said in an editorial. “Instead, it stood firm and continually expressed its willingness to talk”. (IANS)

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