• Fri
  • Aug 22, 2014
  • Updated: 6:53pm

Top student who quit HKU scholarship attains top gaokao marks for second straight year

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 June, 2014, 3:54pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 June, 2014, 4:07pm

A student who quit the University of Hong Kong (HKU) last year after she was awarded a full scholarship has scored top marks for the second time in the National College Entrance Exam.

Liu Dingning, 19, gained the top score in exam in Liaoning province, Yangcheng Evening News reported. She is now applying to study Sinology in the Department of Chinese Studies at Peking University and has already had an interview with the university.

Liu hit the headlines last year when she walked away from a full scholarship worth HK$720,000. She had accepted an offer from HKU’s School of Chinese after she won top scores among Liaoning’s liberal arts majors in the extremely competitive National College Entrance Exam.

But she took a leave of absence and returned to her hometown of Benxi one month after she enrolled in Hong Kong.

She decided to quit HKU because she had difficulty adjusting to the city, including the language barrier and the humid weather, but most of all because she the course was not what she expected, Chengdu Economic Daily reported at the time.

Liu had dreamed of going to Peking University to study classical Chinese but obeyed her parents’ wish to take up the HKU offer, her father admitted. After withdrawing from HKU, she studied for another year and took the National College Entrance Exam again.

Liu’s renewed success has triggered yet more online discussion on Weibo. Most users cheered her success and courage in pursuing her own wishes but others argued she had wasted a year and education resources which could have been used for other students.

“It is hard to understand the world of these studying heroes… It is the unhealthy Chinese education system driving them to chase higher scores,” one post read.

However Liu is not alone. Another student, Xiao Yaxin from Jinzhou, Hubei province, said on Monday she will study for another year despite gaining a top score in the this year National College Entrance Exam in her city, because her results will not allow her to study at her dream university, CCTV reported.


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Not to be pedantic. ok -to be pedantic: Gao Kao does not translate as High School Final Exams, which would imply that it's needed for high school graduation; it's not (those are the " Huikao" which means "competency exams"). The official translation is "The National College Entrance Exam" - a bit clunky. Of course no one seems to be upset when Chinese newspapers just use "SAT" or" A-Level" or "IB DP" or "PISA" to abbreviate and not translate a test's name. If anything, and especially in international education circles, Gao Kao written in pinyin, and thus making it English and not Chinese (kinda like when we created the words in English for tofu, kungfu, tycoon, bok choy etc using older romanization systems for Chinese and Cantonese) is now the accepted term to use for the exam.
Vincent Hu
Huh.... as if you can outsmart her?? Gao kao is by far the most standardized exams in China and, despite of some rigidness, is a very effective benchmark for IQ. Feeling sad for megalomaniacs like you....
I beg you to use some of those 'analytical and critical thinking' that you so value. Top scorers in gaokao, or DSE, or SAT or any such tests have demonstrated if nothing else an extreme level of dedication and perseverance. That's why they are likely to succeed, not because they know what they know in those exams. As for 'mingle with us HK students', please, please, you do NOT represent 'us HK students' so please speak only for yourself. Frankly, it's probably difficult to mingle with someone of your abrasive attitude.
Nothing wrong with "Following Your Dream".
Haha you must have taken the gaokao! Sorry to have devalued your effort. But I think I am just talking about the truth!
How do you think China became it is today - the NO. 2 economy in the world? It sure didn't become rich & powerful lead by morons. I've been to the countryside too (my relatives lives in one of them) & they all agree that the quality of living have improved formidably. You also read (even in the western press/UN) that China is taking action on pollution. In fact it's their first priority now. Corruption, Plagiarism/cheating is prevalent everywhere even in the US/West - not only in China. And I'm sure if you dare to challenge them on a Mensa test, I'd bet my money on them judging from your comments.
Why was she awarded the scholarship HK$720,000? Does she really deserve it? Gaokao exam doesn't mean anything at all. It puts great emphasis on recitation and memorizing skills but places little regard to analytical and critical thinking. As a result, students taking the gaokao exam are far from practical.
Why don't scholarship donors consider giving the scholarship to students who excel in some more accredited exams instead of the gaokao?
I speculate one of the reasons why the lady quit HKU is that she found it hard to mingle with us HK students. She is not adaptable and is probably too immersed in her own world that she doesn't know how to deal with interpersonal relationship. This once again shows that performing well in gaokao is nothing but useless.
Yes look at her photo above. She looks like a real nerd! She seems to know nothing but study!!!
Excuse me!!I don't think such a nerd is smart!!!
Look around. Go to the countryside.
Do you see greatness? Do you see prosperity?
You see polluted rivers and lakes.
You see poorly designed cities.
You see widespread corruption in business and politics.
You see systemic cheating and plagiarism in universities.
Where are the so-called top gao kao high scorers?
What have they contributed to society?
Top gaokao scores are "white elephants."
China must change its educational system.




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