Recently, a website named "education online" which is attached to China's Ministry of Education issued a report on the enrollment of colleges and universities in 2011.
Statistics show that the number of students participating in the standardized college entrance examination is declining.
Because of the decline in the birth rate, the number of students taking part in the national college entrance exam began to decrease after reaching a record high of 10.5 million in 2008. It has dropped by 2 million over the past two years. And it appears that this trend is accelerating.
"The number of students participating in the national entrance examination is declining nationwide. In Beijing alone this year, the number dropped by approximately 4 percent, whereas in Haidian District the number remained nearly the same as it was last year," said Zhou Ping, Vice Dean of Academic Affairs of High School in Beijing.
There are other reasons which accelerated the reduction in the number of students. For three consecutive years, the number of students choosing to study abroad grew by 24.4 percent, 27.5 percent and 24.1 percent separately, among which the number of high school graduates studying abroad grew the fastest. Meanwhile, there is an increasing phenomenon of not taking the college entrance examination or registering in national colleges among high school graduates.
"It has become increasingly popular for high school graduates to study abroad in recent years. Some schools even established classes specializing in helping them to prepare for those examinations to study abroad. This year, eight of our students have already given up writing the college entrance exam and instead are getting ready to study abroad," Zhou said.
Over the last three years, the average enrollment ratio of the national college entrance examination increased rapidly, from 57 percent in 2008 to 69.5 percent in 2010.
With the reduction in the number of students and the rapid increase of the enrollment rate at colleges, it will certainly influence enrollment numbers.
For those Chinese colleges which need students' tuitions and fees for their major source of income to cover operation costs, if there are no longer enough students entering these colleges, it is likely that they will face many difficulties and could even close.
(CNTV.cn May 6, 2011)