Protests in China over university entrance system

Beijing: Protests have erupted across China against changes in the university entrance system. The protesters, comprising mainly of parents, are rallying against reforms to the quota system for higher education, which now assigns universities in city centres to admit students from outside provinces, leaving less places for aspiring locals, EFE news reported on Sunday. Video clips posted on various social networks on Saturday and Sunday show a number of protesting groups gathered in front of the provincial government office in Jiangsu, Nanking, where demonstrators have been for days shouting "We want the governor!". Other images, also published in social and Chinese media, show thousands marching in the streets accompanied by a strong police presence, while some protesters can be seen being taken away by agents. The civil unrest stems from educational reforms that change the criteria to gain competitive access to Chinese universities. The plan, proposed by the ministry of education and the economic planning body of the government, aims to find more opportunities for students from the poorest provinces of the country to attend universities in prosperous areas, where the prestigious schools are located. Although opportunities to study at Chinese universities are growing, the seven million places available are considered insufficient for the nine-million plus students who take the university entrance exams known as Gaokao, or 'big test' each year.