The presidents of two universities have been given warnings from the Ministry of Education for mistakes that occurred during the 2019 national postgraduate entrance examination.
Zhang Weiguo, president of Southwest University in Chongqing, and Zeng Yong, president of the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China in Chengdu, have been given administrative penalties by the ministry for negligence in ensuring the "absolute safety" of the exams, the ministry said in a statement on Friday.
Jin Yule and Cui Yanqiang, vice-presidents of Southwest University, and Hu Hao, vice-president of the University of Electronic Science and Technology were given demerits by the ministry for the incidents, it said.
Wang Jianli, a teacher at Southwest University who was responsible for compiling physical geography test papers, shared the test paper with Liu Guangpeng, another teacher at the university. Liu then shared the test paper with student Yang Yisu.
Both teachers have been suspended for leaking the test questions before the exam, and the student has been barred from taking the exam. Public security authorities are doing further investigation of the incident.
Li Hongjun, executive vice-dean of the university's Graduate School, and Yang Qingyuan, dean of the School of Geography Sciences, have been removed from their posts.
In a separate incident, the University of Electronic Science and Technology said that students taking the exam on solid-state physics need to retake the exam on Jan 6 because it was not in line with the syllabus and the results did not reflect the students' true academic abilities.
Students had complained online that they had been given the wrong test papers.
The university has removed the dean of the School of Materials and Energy, who was responsible for compiling the test paper, from his post and has forbidden him from supervising postgraduate students. The director of the graduate students' enrollment office has been given a demerit by the university.
In August, the Ministry of Education issued a guideline requiring universities to ensure the "absolute safety" of test papers before, during and after examinations.
Exam papers for each subject should be compiled by at least two associate professors or other experienced professors, the guideline said.
They need to sign a letter of confidentiality stipulating that they can be held criminally liable if they were to leak the test paper deliberately or accidentally, it said.
A total of 2.9 million Chinese students took the national postgraduate entrance exam from Dec 22 to 24 — 520,000 more students than in 2017, the ministry said.