fictional university that went viral in July has sparked discussions about the inequality of education resources within China.
This year, 3.27 million students from Shandong, Shanxi, Henan and Hebei provinces took the national college entrance exam, roughly accounting for one-fourth of those sitting the test nationwide.
Despite their massive populations, higher education resources in these provinces are extremely limited. The four contiguous provinces in Central and North China have few high-ranked universities and no Project 985 schools �� a government-led program to turn China’s top 39 schools into world-class institutions.
To address the issue, netizens proposed that the provinces’ total 3.27 million examinees crowdfund a prestigious school for the region, dubbed Shanhe University.
They brainstormed its every detail on forums and social media platforms, from its official website, school motto and uniforms to department structure and even brochures.
This bit of internet satire raises the greater issue of regional inequality of education and the resulting brain drain to major cities. On July 6, Vice Minister of Education Wu Yan responded to the discussions, promising that the government would work to improve distribution of higher education resources to heavily populated yet underfunded provinces.