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Chinese Students' Cheating Techniques - Don't Try at Home

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the smart-people-bad-government dept.

555

corbettw writes "According to a wire report on Yahoo! news, competition for university admissions in China are so intense that people are coming up with new, and sometimes dangerous, ways to cheat. The methods include microscopic earphones and wireless devices. In some cases, students are required surgery to recover from their cheating attempts. If there are that many people that desperate to get into a university, the obvious question would be, why don't they just open more schools?"

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another good idea. (4, Insightful)

sjwt (161428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568664)

" If there are that many people that desperate to get into a university, the obvious question would be, why don't they just open more schools?"

And why dont we just print more money to solve poverty?

Re:another good idea. (3, Insightful)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568688)

With schools you can open as many as you want but without professors it's just going to be babysitting for college students.

Re:another good idea. (3, Insightful)

miskatonic alumnus (668722) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568835)

Since schools also produce professors, I don't see the problem.

Marie Antoinette (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15569003)

With schools you can open as many as you want but without professors it's just going to be babysitting for college students.

Babysitting is fine. What are the students going to be doing there except sitting around eating cake anyway?

Re:another good idea. (1)

Lord of Hyphens (975895) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568729)

Simple, it's more fun for the Gov't this way!
Besides, if they manage to off themselves (or each other) in their attempts, more room for the rest of the applicants.

Re:another good idea. (5, Insightful)

virg_mattes (230616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568740)

Printing money (what you really mean is inventing monetary value, since physically printing money doesn't do anything to the economy) requires that you devalue the monetary value you currently have, since the money supply represents a "set amount" of value, and forcing it around to more people cuts into the value of what each unit holds. The same is not true of univeristies. That is, we're very far from the situation where opening another univeristy will so crowd the market for higher education that the value of an education will decline due to the presence of more of them. Therefore, your analogy is false, because it's based on a bad assumption about marginal value. They should consider opening more schools so more of their people can get a higher education without resorting to cheating.

Virg

Re:another good idea. (1, Insightful)

sjwt (161428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568769)

and where do they find the stafff for trippling there university system overnight? they either overcrowed the calsses, or they higher underqulified staff, which devalues the education that the studentes recive.

Re:another good idea. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568805)

And you are a perfect example of why they should not overcrowd. They may actually issue YOU a degree.

Re:another good idea. (1)

virg_mattes (230616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568926)

> and where do they find the stafff for trippling there university system overnight?

You know, I went back through my reply in great detail, and try as I might I can't find where I mentioned "overnight" anywhere in it. Could you point it out for me please, or are you busying yourself looking for the medication for that jerking knee?

Virg

Re:another good idea. (2, Insightful)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568792)

now if only we could print senses of humor in the same way the GP joked about printing money. . .

MOD PARENT UP. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568876)

+5 correct.

Re:another good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568980)

The Yuan is pegged to the dollar, so they can invent as much monetary value as they like as long as no one discovers that it's not actually floating and the value will stay the same. Until someone finds out they were floating it and the Yuan crashes.

Re:another good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15569010)

Whoosh!

Re:another good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15569057)

mod parent up; mod grandparent down to, say, 2

Re:another good idea. (2, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568774)

Exactly, because in China, I'm sure the schools are all state run (they are communist). They open as many as they can. They also maintain high standards so that people graduating with be worth something. If you give everyone a degree, a degree is no longer worth anything. On a side note, they may just be better off studying. Most of the time when I was in university, I saw many people trying to cheat, and thinking up these elaborate schemes, or spending hours typing notes into their programmable calculator. If they spend half the time they did cheating on just doing the work, the probably could have gotten at least a B average. People would spend hours running around the engineering building looking for answers to an assignment that could be completed in 45 minutes.

Re:another good idea. (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568862)

If you give everyone a degree, a degree is no longer worth anything.

Tell that to the government of my country. That is *exactly* what they do at high school level. They actually say it: "No kid should leave school without a degree." With the result that the degrees aren't worth the paper they are printed on. *sigh*

Re:another good idea. (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568875)

I can't talk about now, but when I lived in China twenty years ago, people were slotted for jobs. If you scored well on the tests, you went to a good university with a major decided for you and a job afterward, but if your scores were lower you went to a "normal" (teachers') college or just went straight to work. People then really didn't have any choice in the matter. Things may have changed some, but I doubt they turned 180 degrees.

Re:another good idea. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568994)

Would this really be that much worse than what we have in western countries. Currently, there's many people going into programs that don't have any jobs at the end. Or people going into something that they really don't have the brains to do. Lets face it. People are different, not everyone has the brain to be an engineer, or has the patience to work as a teacher, or has the physical ability to work as a labourer. If everyone was trained for a certain job (or if no training was required, given a job), then there would probably be a lot less people out of a job, or doing something below their skill level.

Re:another good idea. (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568918)

I've dealt with Iron Curtain scholars in the past and found that many were of the very highest ability. Even under the absurd communist regime in Romania many engineers of the first order were created. As an American I found that sort of a shock at first. It surprises me how ethnocentric I can be as I was even taken back by the ability of Canadian scholars. It seems that we are sort of brain washed to believe that we are somehow out front of the pack in all circumstances. We are not.

sign of progress (2, Interesting)

Nowhere.Men (878773) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568874)

Before they were stupidly studying very hard to be able recite their lesson at the exams.

Now they have to be ingenous and imaginative to be able to cheat and not get caught.

World beware, the new China is coming.

You win! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568910)

You win the "Worst Analogy On Slashdot" award for Tuesday, June 20, 2006, 7am to 8am PST.

Re:another good idea. (3, Insightful)

Lord Apathy (584315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15569022)

" If there are that many people that desperate to get into a university, the obvious question would be, why don't they just open more schools?"

Because you need someone to dig the ditches.

I have an easy solution (2, Interesting)

GeorgeMonroy (784609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568678)

Just raise the price of tuition and that should limit the amount of people who apply. :)

Re:I have an easy solution (2, Insightful)

CogDissident (951207) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568761)

They do try to at least "pretend" to be actually a communist nation, where people are entitled to the same service. Its not true of course, but they at least give a feeble effort to look like they do.

Re:I have an easy solution (1)

kibbylow (257730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568775)

There is no tuition in China. It's paid for by the government.

Re:I have an easy solution (2)

phillips321 (955784) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568791)

Then students who are financially held back will be prevented from studying. Exams are the best form of entry into any university. This allows you to know which candidates are trying their hardest/most intelligent.

If your going to say something stupid atleast try to make it moderately funny.........

Ninjas... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568679)

Maybe their goal is to make them cheat. The students don't realize it, but they're actually taking a NINJA EXAM. /naruto

Perhaps an easier way would be to go overseas... (3, Interesting)

Silas Palmer-Cannon (973394) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568681)

We get hundreds of Chinese international students a year here in Australia... we would welcome many more! Its gotta be easier than surgery!

Re:Perhaps an easier way would be to go overseas.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568970)

We also charge them thousands of Australian dollars. The Chinese kids whose families can afford to send them to Australia for three years are probably not the ones mutilating themselves to get into college.

Maybe it's to the top ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568683)

Maybe they cheat to get into the top universities and not any old uni. First post?

Re:Maybe it's to the top ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568843)

First post?

Not. Even. Close.

It's funny, laugh? (1, Funny)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568685)

students are required surgery to recover from their cheating attempts.

I suppose we could laugh at the grammar, if not the idea.

They are required surgery? (1)

melcrose (884835) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568686)

Good thing they aren't required to learn english.

Preferable method? (1)

Artie Dent (929986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568687)

What's the obsession with earphones with cheating? Wouldn't it be easier (and less dangerous) to cheat using writing?

Re:Preferable method? (1)

daranz (914716) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568770)

I suppose it's easier to conceal cheating attempts involving headphones. With wrtitng, you have to actually take something out and read it - if someone is observing you closely, they can notice you looking like you're reading something you shouldn't be reading. With headphones, you do not have to make any highly visible movements to retrieve information (provided the headphones are concealed in the first place).

Also, storing a lot of information in a small package is easier with audio players... You don't wanna cheat from a huge book under your desk.

Re:Preferable method? (1)

System.exit(true) (981356) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568798)

Wouldn't it be easier to...i dunno...study? When the work required to cheat is harder then the test then I see a problem. Besides, it's natural selection. Let the dumb b******** kill themselves.

Re:Preferable method? (3, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568820)

The methods include microscopic earphones and wireless device

The article makes this sound like something new ... but people were doing this more than 30 years ago in high school ... we had one guy who took the finals with a walkie-talky stripped out of its case, battery pack taped to one leg, transceiver to the other, switch in one shirt cuff, earpiece in the other, and wires connecting it all ... so he could get the answers from another student.

Of course, anyone desperate enough to do that is also dumb enough to believe you when you transmit the wrong answers ;-) (in other words, I was tired of him sitting behind or beside me, always trying to copy my answers, and then ME being accused of copying HIS answers)

It exploded near his abdomen??? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568693)

Seems like the movies might be on to something after all... He must have asked it a question that got the AI all confused and it had no choice but to self-destruct.

More schools? (1)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568701)

What's the point of opening more schools if people have to cheat to get accepted? That's the wrong answer; the reason there's a test isn't to find the best people, it's to find the qualified people. Some people just don't deserve better schooling.

Re:More schools? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568899)

Some people just don't deserve better schooling.

Everybody deserves access to better schooling you techno elitist prick. What the fuck does your socially retarded ass know about what society needs or who should and shouldn't have access to it.

From your vanity link it looks like you're on the bottom of the food chain asshole.

Re:More schools? (5, Insightful)

jonin (471268) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568952)

"What's the point of opening more schools if people have to cheat to get accepted? That's the wrong answer; the reason there's a test isn't to find the best people, it's to find the qualified people. Some people just don't deserve better schooling."

Because if there are so few schools that the only way to get accepted is to have a passing score of 95% or better, it is no longer about qualified or not.

Although I don't agree with their cheating to get accepted, I do think opening more schools would decrease the problem and maybe even make a little money in the process.

It is not like other countries (especially the U.S.) where if you have a pulse you can get accepted because there are so many schools.

It is not about student's value (1)

doudou42 (691076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568964)

There are 10 millions student and 2,5 millions places.
It is not about students value but about the system.

What if in a generation there is 5 millions student who really deserve better schooling ?
The will be left aside because there aren't enough places.

Compare with the US...
How many students are rejected, not because they aren't good enough but because the is no place to go ? 75% ? I really doubt it.

But what do they want to major in? (4, Funny)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568703)

If it's law enforcement or electrical engineering, they're not off to a good start.

Re:But what do they want to major in? (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568967)

Whatya mean? If it's law enforcement, they're off to the best start possible. This situation is about as real-world as it gets.

Universities for the cheaters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568706)

You mean open universities just for those who need to cheat to get it? Can they continue to cheat on their exams while attending classes?

Chinese Education Reforms & Conundrum (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568707)

If there are that many people that desperate to get into a university, the obvious question would be, why don't they just open more schools?
I certainly hope you are joking about that last statement.

I should start by saying I am an American and therefore have probably been exposed to much propaganda against the Chinese government. Despite this, I have tried to educate myself on the current state of China & would like to point out an RSC article [rsc.org] that talks about the history of higher education in China. Here's an excerpt from it:
A brief history of higher education reform in China

1949

China's education system was based on the Russian model. Universities and colleges were divided to form specialist institutes and many universities were moved into rural areas to even out provision. These institutes were controlled by central government which also controlled the distribution of graduate students.

1966-1976

All formal education in China was stopped during the Cultural Revolution. During the later years, people entered university as students only by a process of recommendation. Many subjects were discontinued.

1977

The education system was restructured to give the system that operates today. The national university entrance exam was reintroduced and a comprehensive range of subjects became available with unified curricula for university degree courses.

1986

The government introduced the structural reform of higher education. Many institutes merged to form more comprehensive units. Mergers of centrally controlled institutions led to 72 'national' higher education institutes (HEIs). Mergers of locally controlled institutions led to 257 new HEIs.

1999

Tuition fees introduced for all university students. Fees are in the range Yuan 3000-6000 (£200-400), depending on the subject studied.

2001

Following China's entry into the World Trade Organization, new types of higher education establishments were introduced. These included independently funded universities and colleges, independent university-affiliated colleges for specialist subjects; and cooperation colleges that use foreign investment or foreign universities to set up an affiliated college or international university.
Wikipedia offers a much longer explanation [wikipedia.org] including the criteria by which you were eligible for aid:
  • * top students encouraged to attain all-around excellence;
  • * students specializing in education, agriculture, forestry, sports, and marine navigation; and
  • * students willing to work in poor, remote, and border regions or under harsh conditions, such as in mining and engineering.
The most important change is the one from 1999 where tuition fees were introduced. It is my understanding (though I could be wrong) that money is often tight and your standard laborer in China makes roughly $50-$100 USD per month. Can you expect them to afford tuition rates of £200-400? Not really.

I guess it would require a miraculous grant to get a higher education in China and I'm certain that those are a limited number that is quite small compared to a population of one billion. Even then, the best place to find secondary education is abroad as most of the world's leading universities are in the United States.

This isn't how a Communist country is supposed to be run. There isn't supposed to be any "tuition fees" for education. There isn't supposed to be competition dividing people into two classes (one worthy of secondary education, one not). In a perfect Communist society, I was born to do something and as long as I work hard and do it, I get the exact same education you get. I haven't seen one good thing coming from China's "Communist" party. It seems the only parts of Communism that China kept are the parts that favor the government!

You're not going to solve this problem by making more schools or learning institutions because the tuition is still going to be out of reach for the average person. All you're going to do is create more places that people can't afford to get into. China should be concentrating on dumping money into scholarships, loans & grants based on need--though it will probably go into their giant military budget (not that the US is much better). If you look at the history, 1986 saw the merger and downsizing of facilities. They did that for a reason--not enough people could afford to keep them in operation.

Similar to most articles I read, the only losers in this deal are the students & citizens. People's Republic of China, indeed!

Re:Chinese Education Reforms & Conundrum (1)

Arthur B. (806360) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568785)

that money is often tight and your standard laborer in China makes roughly $50-$100 USD per month. Can you expect them to afford tuition rates of £200-400? Not really.

Hum, tuitions fee in the states are generally much more than 4 months of salary.

Re:Chinese Education Reforms & Conundrum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568878)

Dollars are not the same as pounds. Notice the different symbol? Back to school for you, I guess.

Re:Chinese Education Reforms & Conundrum (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568850)

It is my understanding (though I could be wrong) that money is often tight and your standard laborer in China makes roughly $50-$100 USD per month. Can you expect them to afford tuition rates of £200-400? Not really.

Your standard American "laborer" makes $2,000-$3,000 a month. Tuition rates at high-end universities here are $20,000-$40,000. Assuming that cost of living scales, seems like we're a lot worse off in terms of tuition costs. Yet it seems that cheating in the US is a lot lower. I don't know about China, but in Russia (which is similar to it in a lot of respects) cheating is an integral part of the culture: if you don't let your friend copy off your exam/homework/whatever, you're a bad friend. So I don't think poverty is a good explanation for cheating.

Re:Chinese Education Reforms & Conundrum (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568919)

Tuition rates at high-end universities here are $20,000-$40,000

Thanks for comparing apples and oranges. You can get a college education many levels above the typical Chinese college for about 1/4 of the low-end price. And our government will subsidize the loan to the extent that it effectively halves the price. Then there is outright financial grants for lower income families. These do not get repaid.

If you come from a poverty level income family, you can get a decent college education for free, or close to free. Especially if you are a "minority". Of course, if we keep spending 300 billion a year on interest payments and $500 billion on our war machine, this may not last much longer.

Re:Chinese Education Reforms & Conundrum (3, Interesting)

arivanov (12034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568934)

Welcome to the real world. Congratulations.

The truth about ex-soc countries education is that it has been always a subject to vicious selection for any of the places that were moderately worth it. Ratios of 500:1 at Moscow state were quite common for some science majors and thousands to 1 were normal for humanities because these offered a route into the state administration. And you do not want to even have an idea about the selection ratio at whatever the name of the institute was that specialised in economics.

Other ex-soc countries were not far behind. My wife's class in biotech at Sofia State had a selection ratio in the 250:1+ and my own chemistry class at Sofia state had a selection ration of 35:1. That is once again with a limit of 2 maximum applications within a year. That is after graduating from high schools which themselves had a selection ratio of 30:1 in her case and 200:1 in my case. Once again with similar application limits and specialisation at that time. By the way this was the norm, not a deviation across the ex-soviet block.

In addition to that the exams were per-university (not countrywide like in the west) with a limit on how many universities you can apply to (used to be 2 in most countries). So this ratio of 500:1 or higher was after the voluntary selection performed by people estimating their chances and sending applications only to 2 universities. So the overall selection ratio was actually much much higher.

I know that I am going to evoke some morbid egalitarian screams from the Slashdot community, but I do not see anything wrong in this. Good education implies selection.

Re:Chinese Education Reforms & Conundrum (1)

martijnd (148684) | more than 8 years ago | (#15569058)

Interesting to see how it went in Taiwan which is a little further down the line. Entry into the top universities was for decades highly competative (and still is for the top places). You had to cram yourself to death to enter. The top schools are public , and government funded. (The top one, TaiDa, is about half way down the world top-200)

However, as the main industrial tycoons were reaching retirement age a decade ago or so, they wanted to do something about their legacy. So many private universities opened dedicated to these people's father's and mothers. Brand new facilities and pretty well endowned. At the same time the government invested money in upgrading the existing technical college's to full university status. Teachers were required to obtain PhD's to retain their positions.

So suddenly there is a glut of universities -- obviously there is also plenty of complaints about lower standards. But it is now possible for each student who has the intention and will to actually enter university. This is also brings another benefit -- with a college degree further studies abroad are hard. With a university degree from any of these schools its usually not too hard to enter into an American, Australian, Canadian or UK post-graduate programme. One result of this is a large number of world-travelled bilingual English/Chinese speakers, many of whom work for the endless trading companies in Taiwan.

Considering how many efforts any Chinese family will put into educating their next generation -- I am pretty sure things will go similary in China.

A more in-depth story on entrance exams ... (3, Informative)

macklin01 (760841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568710)

This LA Times article [latimes.com] from the weekend has a more in-depth look at the grueling process of Chinese university entrance exams, and shows a bit more of the motivation to go to such lengths to cheat.

For example:

hinese college admissions officers don't look at your high school grades, personal interviews, recommendations or essays in making their decisions. They don't make allowances if you don't test well. They won't even cut you slack if your mother died the day before. Everything, countless years of sacrifice and hard work, boils down to this one test. Those who perform miserably have to wait another year to take the exam.

Not a great system from any point of view. Encourages cheating. Discourages creativity, not particularly fair to the students .... -- Paul

Re:A more in-depth story on entrance exams ... (3, Informative)

Alicat1194 (970019) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568842)

don't look at your high school grades, personal interviews, recommendations or essays in making their decisions.

We have that in Western Australia, and it works fine. Basically, you do a set of exams, the scores from which are used to calculate your 'tertiary entrance score' (TES). The students with the highest scores get accepted to Uni, those with lower scores either try again, or go on to do something else. (There are alternative methods of entry (mature age tests, grants, etc), but they're only used by a relatively small percentage of students)

It helps to get rid of a lot of bias in who gets in and who doesn't (even if it does make for a few months of exam-study hell).

Re:A more in-depth story on entrance exams ... (1)

frantzdb (22281) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568898)

And for the universities, it probably doesn't predict performance at the university and beyond as well as other metrics might.

atleast in my day a-level exams were much the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568955)

in the uk.(although allowances were made in certain circumstances) you entrance to university relies solely on the results of a number of exams taken over the course of a couple of days.

I have no idea how the system works now with as and a2 levels but i for one found the exams to be a fair way to judge how much someone has taken out of their a-level studies, and how much they would be taking with them to university.

Testing through out the course, on the fly, using modules and course work to me does nothing but artificially raise pass rates and produce students who are unable to take a long term approach to their study methods. exams reward and produce students who when the chips are down deliver the goods.

As for building more universities, surely this isnt the answer, university education shouldn't be for EVERYONE, it should be selective, based on talent. Otherwise you end up with the absurd situation in the uk, where desperately overcrowded and underfunded universities are offering 'degrees' in 'David Beckham' studies

Hahaha it's funny! (0, Flamebait)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568712)

Heh heh, that country is so overpopulated and in such economic crisis that kids are literally dying to get into university for a chance to better themselves!!!

OMFGROFOLOLOL HILARIOUS

HAHA..

Ok, ok.. I got another good one..

There's a huge AIDS epidemic in Africa, right.. SO like, these poor rural folks dont understand how it's spread, and when they get it, they can't afford any sort of treatment so they just die..

HAHAHAHHAH omg my sides are splitting

You got modded down, but (2, Insightful)

nathan s (719490) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568803)

I respect your point here. The summary seems a bit flippant and this is not really funny at all.

With this much "ingenuity"... (1)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568716)

...they might as well swap their old brain with a newer smarter one. They wouldn't need to cheat then.

not sure if more universities is the answer... (1)

cheesegunner (983036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568719)

"while an electronic device connected to headphones and strapped to a third student's body exploded, leaving a bleeding hole in his abdomen." Sounds to me like they need better high-school physics classes.

Re:not sure if more universities is the answer... (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568762)

Or, for that matter, electronics. ...I wouldn't even know how to intentoanly make a tape player/radio into a bomb let alone do it accidentaly.

Encouragement (3, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568723)

You hear that America! Now China is about to outdo is in another category: cheating! Are we going to stand for this?!?

Precisely why do we care? Admittedly, if China's colleges and universities get filled with these industrious but otherwise dim individuals, we won't have to worry about China being a technological force to be reckoned with.

Encouragements are not necessary (1)

doudou42 (691076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568893)

You hear that America! Now China is about to outdo is in another category: cheating! Are we going to stand for this?!?

Don't be affraid, China has still a long long way to go : They still can't afford all the drugs american students are using (last week article [slashdot.org] )

More schools (4, Interesting)

JimBobJoe (2758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568727)

why don't they just open more schools?

(Stereotype alert)

It's my understanding that Asians are very meritocratically oriented, and one of the results is that they must know how people rank. Even if there were more schools to accept all the potential students, people would still be racking their brains because exams would be designed to order 9 million people from the top person to Mr. 9 million.

Their fascination with meritocracy is not necessarily a bad thing. Thomas Friedman mentioned in The world is flat that the Chinese insist on promoting people who know what they're talking about in government. With a meritocratically oriented civil service that runs all the way to the top, the leaders of Chinese government tend to be engineers and scientists, whereas we in the democratic USA are stuck with lawyers.

Re:More schools (1, Flamebait)

TheBogie (941620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568822)

Thomas Friedman mentioned in The world is flat that the Chinese insist on promoting people who know what they're talking about in government. With a meritocratically oriented civil service that runs all the way to the top, the leaders of Chinese government tend to be engineers and scientists, whereas we in the democratic USA are stuck with lawyers.

They need to get some economists and historians in their government. Then they would realize that communism doesn't work.

Re:More schools (1)

be-fan (61476) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568869)

They seem to have realized that, which is why they are rapidly deregulating their markets.

Nothing happens overnight, of course.

Re:More schools (3, Insightful)

prefect42 (141309) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568986)

Having just been to Beijing and Moscow, I'd say it certainly feels like China has deregulated a lot more than Russia. Talking to a Chinese friend from home I learnt that economic reform has been going on for a lot longer in China than Russia, despite Russia 'turning away' from Communism. But in the same breath I note that a local commented that in China it's a communist country for the ruling elite, but not the general population. But that's the joy of implementation vs specification.

Re:More schools (2, Insightful)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568848)

With a meritocratically oriented civil service that runs all the way to the top, the leaders of Chinese government tend to be engineers and scientists, whereas we in the democratic USA are stuck with lawyers.
And in China, do they have all the lawyers design bridges and research physics?

Lawyers making laws are not the problem with the US (or other democracies). Idiots pandering to the lowest common denominator and big business seems to be. Not that China's exactly a model of enlightened government...

Re:More schools (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568864)

I don't think you need to invoke anything specifc about Asians -- you can't "just open" a new Princeton or Oxford any more than you can do it for Fudan or Keio.

Remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15569015)

In China, even of you are one-in-a-million there are 1306 people exactly like you.

Re:More schools (3, Insightful)

plutonium83 (818340) | more than 8 years ago | (#15569045)

Seriously, how can you get away with saying something like this. Try talking to a 17 year old American applying to college, now make it so they can only take their SAT's ONCE, then lower the available colleges and acceptance rates, you'd see the same thing in America. "Oh, but it must be because they are Chinese!" I'm surpised someone can get a +4 by making broad generalizations like this. If parent was talking about Linux, the post would be a troll!

Maybe, just maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568738)

Perhaps these students aren't smart enough to do university. Therefore, opening a place for them will be wasteful.

Cheap batteries? (1)

strazzere (882662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568739)

FTFA: while an electronic device connected to headphones and strapped to a third student's body exploded I wonder if they used the fake batteries that are made in china that explode in our cell phones.... Ironic?

Socialism (-1, Troll)

greysky (136732) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568749)

the obvious question would be, why don't they just open more schools?

Just remember this the next time you're considering voting for someone who promises to socialize healthcare.

Re:Socialism (4, Informative)

The_DOD_player (640135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568810)

Trust me.. there is nothing socialistic about the current chinese society, least of all their health care.

Why not just open more schools? (3, Insightful)

Distinguished Hero (618385) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568763)

If there are that many people that desperate to get into a university, the obvious question would be, why don't they just open more schools?"

Maybe because in the real world resources are finite? Yes, in a free market situation, where the price that people were willing to pay would be higher than the marginal cost of production, more would be sold, and high profit margins would encourage even more people to enter the market, satisfying even more demand; however, education is (probably) highly subsidized, and as such, every additional student or school opened costs even more money. There is also the matter of very good or even decent teachers being a finite resources. Add in the matter of prestige (everyone wants to get placed in a top school), and the fact that it doesn't make much sense to graduate a lot more people than the demand for jobs (unless you want to depress wages by increasing unemployment or think that these people will be entrepreneurs who will in the future generate even more jobs), and the fact that graduating more sub-par students in addition to the best of the best is not really necessary or all that beneficial and you will come to realize that the decision is rather rational.

not good enough (1)

Unsus (901072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568776)

Those who (physically) hurt themselves cheating are obvious not qualified for uni anyway.

Black Thursday=Exam Day (5, Insightful)

Blorgo (19032) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568782)

If you are from a poor Chinese family, this is the only chance you will have to get into get into a university, with the govt. paying most or all of the costs. It is a way out of poverty for a whole family; the pressures are enormous, and there are many suicides of students who failed to get high enough scores on the entrance exam (held just once per year, typically on a Thursday). So, anything goes. If you can't afford to pay a tutor, or are not quite smart enough in the first place, and don't have a Party member for a family friend to pull some strings, you are doomed to work in an IPod factory or even a rice paddy for the rest of your life. So, you do whatever it takes.

In the west, we have lots of opportunities and second chances, and China is doing better these days, but has much govt. control still. It's a developing country, with a huge gap between the 'haves' and 'have nots'.

I personally hope the Chinese govt. can keep things from boiling over at some point. People (over 1 Gig of people there) want more than the Govt. can supply, and it's a balancing act. Most of the top govt. officials are engineers, which (if you know engineers) is both good and bad.

Re:Black Thursday=Exam Day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568937)

... People (over 1 Gig of people there) want more than the Govt. can supply, and it's a balancing act....


Really? Is there a torrent?

I cant find the article (-1, Troll)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568812)

But it's just as funny..

Some inner city kid got shot trying to rob a liquor store to raise money for his sisters tuition..

Hilarious! No prior criminal record, and then shot right in the fucking head!

Get it? Now not only does she not go to school, but her brother is dead.

wah wah wah wahahahahahahah

OMG it's funny, laugh.

a few answers to these questions (4, Informative)

superwiz (655733) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568818)

First, education in a top school is VERY different from education in a recently opened school with no reputation. I know because I teach in a public university. Our classes are dumbed down because the students won't get it otherwise. Most of the classes that I took in junior and senior level in my undergrad can never be taught here.

Second, education is only a small part of the value of university. Creating life-long contacts with people who will be in your field and those who are already successful in your field is almost as (if not a bigger) part.

Third, Ph.D. is awarded for discovering something new in a field. Try discovering something new in Math... And without a Ph.D., you can't teach in a university. This limits the number of university teachers in technical disciplines.

And lastly, since I am compareing China to my American experience, they can't "just" open a university. It takes more than a guy with money willing to build a building. A university degree there is an official governtment document. So all programs must come with official government approval and certification.

Re:a few answers to these questions (1)

frederec (911880) | more than 8 years ago | (#15569011)

Third, Ph.D. is awarded for discovering something new in a field. Try discovering something new in Math... And without a Ph.D., you can't teach in a university. This limits the number of university teachers in technical disciplines.

Speaking as someone who is a month away from getting a PhD in math, it's not THAT hard to discover something new in math. Just look at all the math journals, or any technical journals, for that matter. There is pleny to research and discover. It's just little of it filters down to common knowledge.

Like most fields, there are more PhDs who graduate than there are jobs for them. I'm not trying to argue that opening new schools is trivial. I am saying that when new schools appear, there are more likely than not PhDs who would be more happy to apply their training to something relevant to their field.

Re:a few answers to these questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15569051)

And without a Ph.D., you can't teach in a university. This limits the number of university teachers in technical disciplines.
You may be interested to know that, at least in the U.S., every university faculty opening has hundreds of applicants, even temporary visiting professorships at no-name colleges in the middle of nowhere. It's not uncommon for a job seeker to apply to every position in the country, in their desperation to get a job. Underproduction of Ph.D.'s who want to go into academia is not a problem, even in technical fields.

Riots (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568828)

The problem is not always getting into any school but top schools. Last week there were riots over what school name was going on some graduates diplomas in China. I think I say it on cnn.

The big problem with competition. (5, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568839)

For years its been quite stylish to voice an ideology of bringing competition into all aspects of life. This situation demonstrates the horrible flaw in the idea.

The question you've got to ask yourself is what about a person is actually being measured by the competative system? In educational systems like this one, what is being measured is the ability to pass a test. Cheaters score very highly on this scale, so you end up distilling the most ruthless cheaters from society.

Don't get too comfortable mocking China for this though - most western countries include extensive testing in their high school education systems, in the pursuit of the almight 'competativeness', and this leads to the same kind of thing.

In Socialist China... (0, Offtopic)

andphi (899406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568852)

...The tests cheat on you!

Sorry, I couldn't resist....

Don't try at home?? (1)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568859)

Well it would be a total waste of time if you're at home :p

why don't they just open more schools? (5, Insightful)

dindi (78034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568871)

Because some cultures beleive, that you should only go to higher school if you can perform there.
Your society needs farmes, car repairmen, plumbers and people who clean the streets

HNow in other societies, you can "buy" into college, college that most people can actually finish, then you end up with a bunch of kids with a degree, who are othervise barely suitable for a simple administration job at the local fastfood restaurant, or price/wal/whatever-mart.

I personally grew up at a place, where even getting into highschool (4 yrs after 8yrs primary) was just impossible for some, because they weren't able to perform well enough to get admission..... university exams were kind of a bloodsport back then :)

Is that right? If you allow specialization, and have a good selection of importance choices between subjects: yes ...
In my time, my college points included literature and history, even though I was about to go to an IT school.....
Also in college we wasted a lot of time learning useless stuff because of the lack of specialization, and while I somewhat agree that a universal knowledge should be taught in schools (high, and some uni/college besides the obvious primary), in many times that amount of universal trash should be better considered.

The Chinese, like Americans, are self-defeating. (1, Offtopic)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568872)

"... why don't they just open more schools?"

It's easy to understand that an American would have a lack of appreciation of Chinese culture. Chinese culture often insists on being self-defeating.

The U.S. culture is extremely self-defeating, too, of course. What purpose is there in taking over from Saddam Hussein in killing Iraqis (other than to make those with weapons and oil investments rich)? The U.S. has a higher percentage of its people in prison than any nation in the history of the world. The U.S. has invaded 24 countries since the end of the Second World War.

But the Chinese culture is even more self-defeating than that. There is a movie made in Hong Kong in which self-defeat is the theme. I don't remember the title. A family sacrificed to send their boy to university, when he didn't want to study, and their daughter was an excellent student.

--
U.S. Taxpayer Karma: If you contribute money to kill people, expect your own quality of life to diminish.

More about Chinese self-defeat: (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15569024)

There are elements in China that are planning war against Taiwan! There are people in China who want China to administer the Taiwan government, too, when they are not successful administering their own country. That's another example of Chinese self-defeat.

From the Taipei Times: Read about China's "Taiwan Complex" [taipeitimes.com] . "Symptoms include an irrational, even schizophrenic, approach to relations with Taiwan."

"They also threaten Taiwan with missiles deployed directly opposite the island -- 784 according to the latest count -- but appear bewildered when polls show that the Taiwanese believe the regime in Beijing is unfriendly toward them."

One word: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15568896)

Status. The status of the schools mean everything in places like China, Korea, and Japan. That is why they don't open new schools. Asian cultures tend to be OBSESSED with status. I know Chinese friends who refuse to wear anything but Kalvin Klein jeans even if they didn't look good on them because Kalvin Klein(I think that is spelled right) is associated with STATUS! There are currently riots going on in China because they are changing the name of the college on degrees being printed next year(the students in question are going to an associated university but were told that a more prestigious university would grant the diplomas). In Japan, it doesn't matter if you did jack shit in college, if you are a University of Tokyo or University of Kyoto student, companys will fight eachother to get at you, even above more qualified candidates who went to lesser known schools but who actually did useful and interesting things in college. Obviously this isn't univerisal, but it seems while status is still important in the west, very few people will hire you simply because you went to say Johns Hopkins(though of course it doesn't hurt)

I don't see much difference with France... (2, Interesting)

gedeco (696368) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568912)

In France you have to pass a bachelors exam before you might go to university.
The bachelors exam is the final high school exam.

For the french speaking among us
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baccalaur%C3%A9at_(Fr ance) [wikipedia.org]

Other countrys have such obligations too.
In my time I had to pass a qualification test, before being able to get to technical college.

Cheating? Yes this is a common among students. Nothing new.
Using new technology? In my time they where using a TI 59 programmable calculator to cheat.

The only difference: The article make it looks like those Chinese are more desperate.
Or is it the aim of the article to sell some sensation? Like some tabloïds?

If you got only one chance, you do what you can (5, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568915)

You only have one shot. How far would you go?

Imagine this: Studying is your ONLY chance to get a well paying job. There is no such thing as having THE killer idea, gathering some venture vultures and getting rich that way, you study, or you're assembling Furbys for the rest of your life.

And you only have ONE shot. ONE try. ONE single chance to prove that you're "worth" it. It's not like "write to a billion colleges and even if MIT rejects you, the university of Wallawalla will accept you". Studying abroad is also not necessarily an option.

You have to succeed. If it costs your life.

How far would you go? Personally, I'd sacrifice a virgin should I find one, just for the odd chance that this might appease some kind of deity I don't believe in.

Yet another good idea... (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568921)

Bring one or two of them here and maybe we can perfect a way to cheat Las Vegas.

It isn't like we have Peter, Frank, Sammy, Dean to ask anymore. You could ask Joey [wikipedia.org] though.

A culture of cheating? (5, Informative)

ThePyro (645161) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568944)

My wife spent two years teaching English in China. The way she described her experiences, it sounded as if cheating were an accepted norm. Some teachers, rather than ask their students to refrain from cheating, instead ask them to not make it so obvious that the teacher loses face. It's just a given that many of them will cheat. And some of my wife's students explained to her that it's quite an insult to refuse another student's request to help him or her cheat; it could ruin an otherwise lengthy friendship.

Granted, though, this was not at a top university. It was a smaller, almost trade-school atmosphere.

because ! (1)

garaged (579941) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568996)

the same reason for every other country (usa included) applies !

The goberment is good enough for not caring about the citizens that put them in charge

plain simple

Experience with cheating in China (4, Interesting)

Therlin (126989) | more than 8 years ago | (#15568997)

My previous employer taught American courses in China through Chinese universities. Cheating was a huge problem.

Tests were done online. Students used all sorts of IM software to message each other. They used cell phones to text friends outside of the room with the books. IMs were blocked. Cell phones confiscated on the way into the rooms. They still found ways to cheat.

Some instructors stopped testing online and moved to paper tests. Students would pay the university's copy center to get copies of the exam.

For Internet tests, some instructors now only ask questions that do not require the use of the keyboard. The keyboards are placed on top of the monitors before the tests begin so that students cannot send any messages to anyone.

Plagarism? Standard everyday occurance.

Then students get caught and told that they are going to fail the course. Then they cry and ask for another chance because they don't want to go back home and not have a future. When given that chance, they are often caught again in the future.

Didn't like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15569001)

When the story reads, "If there are that many people that desperate to get into a university, the obvious question would be, why don't they just open more schools?" it made me think the poster needs some help regarding perspective and who is who.

This might be a somewhat cynical view but (3, Insightful)

milamber3 (173273) | more than 8 years ago | (#15569008)

I think that the government would be against opening more schools. It seems that the more educated a society as a whole becomes, the more political opposition to oppression there would be. I met quite a few graduate students from China when I was in school and I will always remember something this one TA told my EE2 lab. He said that almost no one in the higher education system supported communism. They all had to take classes and tests on the subject and that was the only area where everyone was completelty disinterested and large scale cheating was completely overlooked. I'm not saying that everyone who goes on to university will automatically fight the government but I think there is a history of more education leading to that sort of thing.
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