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Top student loses college chance over cheating

A STUDENT who achieved the highest score in this year's national college entrance exam in Chongqing Municipality will lose a chance to enter his dream school this year because his family lied about his ethnicity to achieve extra admission points.

The irony is that he didn't need those bonus points to get into the prestigious Peking University. And his parents and another person allegedly involved in the scheme to increase the boy's admissions chances have lost their jobs for falsifying information.

The student with the bogus ethnic background, He Chuanyang, was not alone. Chongqing officials said they caught 31 others trying to use the same ruse. It was not clear yesterday whether they had also been denied college admission.

He's case came to light because of his high test score. The graduate of Nankai Senior High School topped Chongqing's honor roll this year after scoring 659 points out of 750 points on the national college admission test.

He was given another 20 points because, when he was 14, his parents illegally changed his ethnic identity from Han to Tujia to qualify for the preferential treatment that China's 55 minorities enjoy in education and employment.

When Peking University found out about the record switch, it said it could not enroll He because he had lied about his ethnic background.

He Yeda, the boy's father, was removed from his post as head of the Wushan County college entrance examination office after reporters exposed the cheating.

The boy's mother, Lu Lingqiong, lost her post as deputy director of the organization department of the Party's Wushan committee, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

Wan Minqiang, chairman of Wushan's science commission, was also sacked for his involvement in the affair. Wan, formerly head of a county ethnic and religious affairs bureau, approved an application by the senior He to change his son's ethnicity, Xinhua said.

Despite acknowledging the cheating, the boy's mother said the university's action was unfair, according to Xinhua.

"It was a mistake we made three years ago - he was only 14 and knew nothing of our decision," she said.

The fate of the young scholar touched off a dispute among online users.

In a survey on, one of the China's most popular Websites, 43.8 percent of those voting supported the student and argued that he deserved a good university because of his excellent test score, while 26 percent thought he should be allowed another chance by taking the test again.


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