Chinese Authorities Propose $400K Entrance to Tibet University for Chinese Investors’ Children, Stirs Debate

Representative image. Image: sipa.

By Tsering Choephel

DHARAMSALA, 21 March: Chinese authorities in Tibet are enticing investors from China by promising to allow their children to take the university entrance exam within Tibet in exchange for a minimum investment of $400,000, Reuters reported on Thursday.

The report notes this move as the unusual exploitation of the easier scoring system in Tibet and therefore threatens to harm the prospects of Tibetan candidates from the region.

The plan has reportedly sparked debate on Chinese social media with mixed perspectives. While some view the move as unfair to Tibetan students, others welcome it.

“What about the enrolment rate of kids born in Tibet?” asked one user on China’s Twitter-like Weibo social media platform.

As of 2023, a Tibetan student would need to score at least 300 out of 750 on the entrance exam, known as GaoKao, to qualify for an undergraduate spot at 1200 colleges across China, according to the report. In contrast, Chinese students taking the exam in Beijing would need to score a minimum of 448.

The advantage given to Tibetan students in the qualifying score acknowledges the weaker education resources available in Tibet, noted the report. Therefore, the influx of Chinese students with better education resources taking advantage of such a twisted offer from the Chinese authorities in Tibet will threaten to drive up Tibet’s minimum score and harm the prospects of Tibetan candidates.

However, the advantage given to Tibetan students in the first place is not out of empathetic considerations on China’s part. It is known to have been conceived by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to drive young Tibetans into proper Chinese cities like Beijing and others to subsume them among Chinese and erode their Tibetan identity. Such a move has been practised by the CCP since the early 1950s from the onset of their invasion of Tibet, though without success as they envisaged.

This new development will further exacerbate the already undermined prospects of Tibetan students at securing a seat at university. As reported in June of last year, China imposed Mandarin Chinese as the medium language for Tibetan students sitting for Gaokao. This move aligns with Beijing’s enforced introduction of the ‘Sinicising’ Model 2 Education system in primary and secondary schools across Tibet, which entails teaching all subjects, except the Tibetan language, through Mandarin Chinese.

With layers upon layers of Sinicising policies and measures, the worst and most concerning being the CCP’s exposed running of what Tibet advocates and rights groups observe as ‘colonial-style state-run boarding schools’, where over a million Tibetan children have been admitted through force or threat – with the strategic intention of wiping out Tibetan identity

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