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BEIJING (Reuters Life!) - Dozens of Chinese students who saw little prospect of getting into a top medical school have secured admission by becoming nationals of the tiny west African country of Guinea-Bissau, a newspaper said on Thursday.
Among the 112 international students that entered Peking University Health Science Center in 2007 and 2008 were 48 from Guinea-Bissau -- all ethnic Chinese from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, the Shanghai Morning Post said.
"Only themselves know the reason," a university official was quoted as saying when asked why they chose to change nationalities to Guinean and pay much more in tuition fees.
The center is one of the most competitive medical colleges in China, but the entrance examination for international students was easier than the one for Chinese students, the newspaper said.
Guinea-Bissau, a country of under two million people, was once the Portuguese colony of Portuguese Guinea.
Hong Kong, a former British colony, and Macau, a former Portuguese colony, are now "special administrative regions" of China with wide-ranging autonomy, while China has claimed sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.
Reporting by Yu Le and Nick Macfie; Editing by David Fox