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US: Low GPA leads to most Chinese dismissals, study finds

Pressure to enter top-ranked universities often sets Chinese students up for failure and eventual dismissal as they struggle with social integration, cultural differences and new academic standards, a white paper released by education services provider WholeRen Education argues.

Male students made up 62% of the dismissed students in the sample group

Among undergraduates, 39% were dismissed due to low GPAs, and 30% of those students were attending universities ranked between 51-100

The paper reveals that most students are dismissed from programmes because of low grade point averages and violating academic integrity. It has called for more guidance for Chinese students enrolled at all levels of education in the US.

Among a sample of some 500 dismissed students, WholeRen found that most students (62%) were male undergraduates. Seventy one percent were attending a top 100 ranked US university and more than half were studying science or economics related degrees.

“Many students are polished to get into high ranking universities but they can’t survive”

When a student is dismissed they can transfer to another institution giving them another opportunity to obtain a US degree. However, many return to China and face social discrimination and complications to enter the domestic system based on the gaokao entrance exam scores which they don’t have.

“It’s a loss of face for the family,” Andrew Chen Chief Development Officer at WholeReen told The PIE News. “We’ve seen students go into deep depression after they go back.”

Explaining what he thinks is part of the problem, Chen said: “It’s the ranking seeking syndrome of the Chinese parents.”

“In their eyes the schools outside of the top 100 don’t exist– so they will do everything to get their kids into the top 100 and the agencies are helping them do that,” he added. “Many students are polished to get into high ranking universities but they can’t survive.”

Among undergraduates, 39% were dismissed due to low GPAs, and 30% of those students were attending universities ranked between 51-100 the study found.

Another reason why grades drop is that students aren’t prepared to excel in competitive independent learning environments, Chen argued.

“Chinese students come from an environment where everything was directed, and guided to total freedom and they don’t know what to do,” he said.

“A lot of American schools haven’t figured out how to handle them.”

Academic dishonesty (12%) and low attendance (5%) were the other top reasons for dismissals among undergradautes while GPA accounted for 15% of dismissals among gradaute students and academic dishonesty 6%.

Chen sees the discrepancy between GPA and academic dishonesty in dismissal factors shows Chinese students are more trustworthy than educators think.

More communication and better guidance needs to be given to all Chinese students in order to prevent plagiarism he argued. “They need to know about the rules in the US because it’s a different culture. In China we have a lot of situations where a student cites without naming the source so that needs to be taught in the US.”

The most vulnerable group are aged between 19-21 the report says. WholeRen’s recommendations to improve attendance and academics place responsibility both with parents and universities.

“Parents and school staff should help students to choose what they are really interested in”

“A suitable major is much better than a popular major. Parents and school staff should help students to choose what they are really interested in, but not the most popular major in current trend,” it says.

“As for children who are relying on parents heavily, families should adopt every possible communicating tool, such as FaceTime and international phone calls, to talk about daily happenings and make strong emotional connection,” it goes on to say.

“What is more, parents should encourage children to go out and make as many friends as possible.”

Dismissals are costly to Chinese parents and are taken badly by Chinese communities at home and in the US, said Chen. “We see some schools view Chinese students as just revenue sources, but that’s not right. It’s better for everybody that they’re successful.

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7 Responses to US: Low GPA leads to most Chinese dismissals, study finds

  1. More needs to be done in China before the students go abroad to help students prepare for the experience of studying abroad. Test prep schools in China tend to focus on tricks to help students get an IELTS or TOEFL score instead of helping to improve their English use and getting students used to the level of autonomy required to be successful in a foreign university.

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