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.”