There is another small group the HSK Test is for – I didn’t think it registers in scale compared to the two groups above, but it is worth mentioning to the curious reader – for scholarships.
More specifically, it’s possible to apply for the Confucius Institute Scholarship using your HSK test results.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Confucius Institute, it’s basically a state supervised organisation looking to promote the Chinese language and culture within China and in foreign countries. You might have heard of it in the past being mentioned in tandem with academic institutions – these make up the bulk of the CI’s partners, whose other goal is to assist in teaching foreign students and facilitating exchange opportunities for foreign students.
So, you might ask, what’s the Confucius Institute Scholarship?
Originally (and still), it was designed to provide financial aid for students who want to further their studies in China – but with some strings attached (there are always strings attached) – the discipline students choose must be related to the Chinese language or culture.
In other words, it’s a program designed by people who are looking to promote the Chinese language and culture to train people who do promote the Chinese language and culture.
Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Some majors you might get a scholarship for include teaching Chinese as a foreign language (or 对外汉语, which is often looked down upon as an unpopular and often derogatory choice for foreign students), and Chinese history (which can be notoriously difficult, not because of the content of the major as such, but because of the linguistic demands of the major).
Archaic Chinese…very difficult for the foreigner.
But this also makes sense, doesn’t it? Passing the HSK test with outstanding scores shows you have a linguistic aptitude, and hence the sponsorship for linguistics related subjects.
In a similar sense, if you pass the 留学生高考 with outstanding scores (and this is beyond the scope of the CI Scholarship), students often get priority in choosing their majors, and they either get full or partial scholarships.
In any case, three main criteria used to assess candidates for the scholarship program are academic performance (grades must by 90% or above and 80% or above for full and partial scholarships respectively), aggregate performance (learning attitude), as well as Chinese language ability (HSK level 6 written test scores must be above 180, and HSKK oral ability test scores must be above 75).