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Tobacco money opens University registration

South China Morning Post – 12 Sept. 2011

A prestigious Beijing university denied rumours that it enrolled an 11-year-old because his father donated millions of yuan, saying the admittance was in line with all requirements and regulations.

Xu Hengrui , from Yunnan province, is a first-year student at Renmin University’s law school. He is the university’s youngest ever recruit. There is no minimum age for taking the college-entrance examination. But online rumours claim that Xu was admitted to the college before sitting the exam, on the condition that he achieve the minimum score for college entry, after a large sum had been donated by his father, the chairman of a tobacco supply company in Mile county.

The rumours also said Xu had been driving since seven. The minimum age for a driver’s licence is 18.

Xu’s academic prowess was described online as average, but he was made out to be a genius in Yunnan.

An unidentified official at the admittance office of Renmin University said Xu was recommended by the Yunnan education department, and his performances in the written test, interview and review by an independent committee all met the university’s criteria for its special admittance programme, according to a report by The Beijing News.

The official denied Xu’s father was on the university’s board directors.

A vice-president of Mile No1 Middle School, where Xu was registered, told the newspaper that Xu scored 526 points on the college-entrance exam, 31 points more than the benchmark for top universities in Yunnan. He said Xu had criticised the teaching at his primary school since second grade, before moving to Kunming , where he was taught at home by tutors.

The vice-president said Xu returned to the school for exams in an Audi that he had driven alone from Kunming, about 140 kilometres from Mile county.

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