International Educator - November/December 2016 - 50

INTERNATIONAL ENROLLMENT

in the country and they vary in quality, reliability, credentials, licensing, size, marketing
reach and English speaking ability."
As a result, he said, it's critical that admissions officers be on the ground in China,
frequently.
"China is rooted in and works through
relations," he said. "As such, in-person contact is irreplaceable. Marketing visits do
more than remote meetings and calls do
more than emails."

In addition to using agents to prepare for
the SAT and the Test of English as a Foreign
Language, a growing number of Chinese
parents are hiring people to conduct videotaped interviews of their children that are
then sent to a school's admissions office.
These so-called "third-party interviews"
serve several purposes. For one, they help
admissions officers-who don't have the
time to honor interview requests from all
China's applicants-to see the student in
"action." The officer can assess whether students who scored high on entrance exams
can also speak English proficiently and can
participate in class discussions.
Moreover, if the interviewee's application
essay was flawless, but her spoken English

Chinese students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

isn't up to par, it can raise the question
whether the student's essay was ghostwritten by hired agents.
According to a January 2016 article in the
New York Times, the chief executive of an interviewing company called InitialView, said
that in 2013, more than 6,000 applications
from China included an InitialView interview and that by 2014, the number topped
17,000. According to Chinese admissions
agents, the Times wrote, more than a third
of the 100 top-rated U.S. colleges and universities recommend third-party interviews.
Admissions officers are also increasingly
conducting Skype interviews with college
admissions officers.
"Language proficiency scores [from Chi-

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50  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR N O V + D E C .16

nese students] continue to decline," said Tim
Urbonya, executive director of international
education at the University of Wisconsin Colleges, where the Chinese population has grown
from a handful of students five or six years ago
to more than 120 this fall. "We just enrolled a
student who scored 5.5 on the IELTS but when
tested with the iTEP test upon arrival, his level
was just above that of a beginner. We are putting more stock in Skype interviews to help
verify the student's language levels."

Other Trends
The decline in English proficiency isn't the
only troubling trend admissions officers see
as Chinese students apply to, and enroll in,
their colleges and universities. They note
that there's often a disconnect between
how Chinese students are trained to study,
take tests and participate in classes, and how
their U.S. instructors want them to study,
take tests, and participate.
For one thing, test-taking in the Chinese education system tends to focus on
rote memorization rather than analytical or
communication skills. To be admitted to a
Chinese university, students sit for the intensely competitive college admissions test,
known as the "gaokao,"which often requires
years of study and requires memorization of
arcane things such as seventh century poetry.
In addition, educational choice is somewhat lacking in China. Students are assigned
to universities based on their gaokao scores,
which in part determine what they're allowed
to study. Campus life can consist of strict
curfews, mandatory classes on Marxist and

THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE

The Third-Party Interview



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - November/December 2016

From the Editor
In Brief
Voices
Act Globally
Tradition and History
Health and Insurance
Education Abroad
International Enrollment
View From Out Here
In Focus
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Cover1
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Cover2
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 1
International Educator - November/December 2016 - From the Editor
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 3
International Educator - November/December 2016 - In Brief
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 5
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 6
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 7
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 8
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 9
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 10
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 11
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Voices
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 13
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 14
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 15
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Act Globally
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 17
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 18
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 19
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 20
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 21
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 22
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 23
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 24
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 25
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Tradition and History
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 27
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 28
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 29
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 30
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 31
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 32
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 33
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 34
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 35
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Health and Insurance
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 37
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 38
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 39
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 40
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 41
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Education Abroad
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 43
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 44
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 45
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 46
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 47
International Educator - November/December 2016 - International Enrollment
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 49
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 50
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 51
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 52
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 53
International Educator - November/December 2016 - View From Out Here
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 55
International Educator - November/December 2016 - In Focus
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Cover3
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Cover4
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