Be fearless, Stephen Hawking tells 9 million Chinese students on eve of uni entrance exams

Stephen Hawking has sent his best wishes to mainland students who started taking China's university entrance examinations, on June 7, 2016.
Stephen Hawking has sent his best wishes to mainland students who started taking China's university entrance examinations, on June 7, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG - World renowned physicist Stephen Hawking has sent his best wishes to more than nine million mainland students who started taking China's ultra-stressful university entrance examinations on Tuesday (June 7), South China Morning Post reported.

“As many of you prepare to take the National Higher Education Entrance Examination, I want to wish you, the next generation of scientific minds, success in your academic endeavours,” Hawking said in a post on his account on Weibo, where he has a large following, on Monday.

"This culmination of your hard work marks just the beginning of your very bright futures," added Hawking, a theoretical physicist at the University of Cambridge who has had a distinguished career despite spending much of his life battling a debilitating form of Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Results of the three-day national exam, commonly known as gaokao, determine whether a high school graduate can enter a college or university and is seen as a make-or-break test for young Chinese.

Students are tested for their proficiency in various disciplines, including Chinese language, mathematics, English, and physics.

“Whether you aim to be a doctor, teacher, scientist, musician, engineer, or a writer - be fearless in the pursuit of your aspirations,” he wrote.

“You are the next generation of big thinkers and thought leaders that will shape the future for generations to come.”