BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- A positive discrimination policy applied to Chinese university enrollment is coming in for criticism following alleged abuses of the system.
According to poll results published by the China Youth Daily on Tuesday, nearly 85 percent of those surveyed do not support the policy.
The Chinese national college entrance examination, the world's largest in terms of the number of candidates, puts students under notorious pressure each year to gain the qualifications needed to enter university.
However, under the "extra points" system, applicants may win additional credit not only for outstanding performances in academic competitions, art, sport and science, but also for being children of martyrs, or from ethnic minorities or impoverished rural families.
More than 64 percent of respondents to the survey think the policy has harmed the interests of the majority of students, while only 13.6 percent said it has played a good role in encouraging development among students.
"It's acceptable that someone got extra scores for their special talents, but it's unfair that some students were given preference simply because of where they are from," said Ma Li, a junior student of Northeastern University.
Ma also pointed to students forging identities to give themselves a better chance at entering university.
There is suspicion of Chinese parents faking minority identities for their children in order to get them extra scores in university enrollment.
Investigation is under way after recent reports that high schools in Benxi and Fushun of northeast China's Liaoning Province forged national athlete certificates for students in order to get them extra points.
The exam, also known as the "gaokao," is seen as the most important opportunity for students to change their fate. A total of 9.39 million Chinese students sat this year's examination.
Despite the scandals, others voice support for "extra points."
The policy can encourage students to focus on the field they are interested in and adept at, said Renmin University sophomore Yang Zheng, who was excused from the gaokao for his outstanding performance in national computer competitions.
Experts agree that diversifying standards and opening the college door to a wider set of applicants with special talents is a good idea, but one that has been scandalously abused.
"The policy was adopted to make up for the weakness of the traditional gaokao, which ignores students' performance in sports and morality," said Liu Haifeng, dean of the education institute of Xiamen University.
Despite occasional cheating, the rule is still necessary, Liu said, citing the importance of giving preference to those from ethnic minority areas in which the quality of education is generally inferior.