Sunday January 26, 2020
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Over 300 Chinese students flunk postgraduate exam


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.


“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.



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Chinese Alzheimer’s Drug to Undergo Global Clinical Trials

In the last test, a total of 818 participants from 34 leading hospitals in China took 450 mg GV-971 orally twice a day for a treatment period of nine months, which proved safe and effective in improving cognition

In Alzheimer's disease, patients start losing memory. Pixabay

An innovative Chinese Alzheimer’s drug extracted from brown algae is set to go through clinical trials on 2,000 patients overseas this year.

The orally administered drug GV-971 will be tested in 200 clinical centers in North America, the European Union, Eastern Europe, Asia Pacific and other places, according to Green Valley Pharmaceutical Company, one of the drug’s co-developers.

China has already approved the drug.

Green Valley Pharmaceutical will complete the global clinical trials in 2024 and submit the New Drug Application to the US Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency in 2025, Xinhua reported.

GV-971 was jointly developed by the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Ocean University of China and Green Valley, after a 22-year study.

A lady suffering from Alzheimer’s. Flickr

The results of the mechanism of action study were published in the international journal Cell Research in September 2019, saying that the drug works by modifying gut bacteria to ultimately reduce brain inflammation in mice that were genetically engineered to have the disease.

It was approved for marketing last November by China’s National Medical Products Administration, which said the GV-971 “can improve cognition in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD).”

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According to researchers, apart from animal experiments, more than 1,100 Chinese Alzheimer’s disease patients participated in clinical trials before the drug hit the market.

In the last test, a total of 818 participants from 34 leading hospitals in China took 450 mg GV-971 orally twice a day for a treatment period of nine months, which proved safe and effective in improving cognition.

“Because of its effectiveness on Chinese patients, we expect this drug to benefit more people in the rest of the world,” said Lyu Songtao, Chairman of the Shanghai-based pharmaceutical company. (IANS)