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    Following Gaokao, Chinese Students Watch Livestreams to Choose Universities

    In contrast with in-person recruitment events, livestreams can reach a larger audience. They may also help students from disadvantaged backgrounds access much-needed information.

    Some Chinese parents and students are turning to livestreams held by university recruiters to help them make university and course choices. 

    As China enters university recruitment season following the end of university entrance examinations, also known as the gaokao, earlier this month, experts say these livestreams could help students from rural areas or less well-off families make more informed decisions. 

    Around 100 universities and colleges in China will hold more than 300 enrollment livestreaming sessions on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, during this year’s monthlong university recruitment season, which ends mid-July, local media reported.

    In these livestreams, university recruiters and educational experts give admissions advice and explain the relative strengths of different majors. Following the gaokao exam, which takes place from June 7 to June 9 every year, students submit a list of preferred schools and majors based on their estimated scores, prior to the release of actual scores in late June.
    Most students and their parents are ill-prepared to make these choices, Wu Baojun, a recruiter at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said to local media.

    Even with the same scores as their peers, students from rural areas or less well-off families may be disadvantaged by a lack of necessary knowledge about universities and career planning, according to Wu.

    “The lack of effective information makes candidates confused and helpless when filling out their applications. Many will follow the crowd blindly and apply for the popular majors as defined by the media,” Wu said.

    Compared to traditional recruitment methods such as brochures and in-person fairs, livestreaming can reach a broader audience. A recruiter from Harbin Institute of Technology said to local media that one in-person fair could accommodate 1,000 people at most, whereas one livestream could draw in more than tens of thousands of viewers.

    Editor: Vincent Chow.

    (Header image: A screenshot shows a promotional image for University of Chinese Academy of Sciences on Douyin.)