Chinese girl power

September 11, 1998

CHINESE girls are starting to storm male academic bastions. Only about half the students who sit the national university entrance exam traditionally win a place but this year it seems girls did better than boys.

Shanghai International Studies University found that all this year's first-year intake were female. Males now account for only 32 per cent of the student body. Accommodating the young women in dormitories designed for men and arranging sports teams are two dilemmas the administration has cited.

Beijing Foreign Studies University, meanwhile, has only 25 male entrants out of 112. They may have to imitate other female-dominated universities and "borrow" boys from other universities for dances and other social functions.

Examiners said thousands of university aspirants claimed to be orphans when writing about "My Triumph Over Adversity". Although tugging examiners' heart strings is not new, they must have been surprised at the sudden population decimation.

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