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Why China’s Ivy League Universities Are Mad at Each Other

As high school graduates are applying for university, an online feud between China’s ivy league schools has gone viral. It turns out that China’s universities will go to extremes to enroll the best students of the country.

Manya Koetse

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As high school graduates are applying for university, an online feud between China’s ivy league schools has gone viral. It turns out that China’s universities will go to extremes to enroll the best students of the country.

Trending on   Sina Weibo this week is an online feud between China’s top universities Peking and Tsinghua University. It appears that China’s higher education institutions will go to extremes to get the top scorers of the national College Entrance Examinations in their school. Netizens wonder if it is okay for them to persuade students to register at their university through money (topic: “Should Colleges Buy Top Scorers of the College Entrance Examination?”).

In the past few days, Chinese high school graduates have been busy handling their applications for college, as the scores and results of the College Entrance Examination were released earlier this month. While the students are busy looking for the right university, the universities are also busy looking for the top students. Two Chinese universities have taken their fierce competition online. The Admission Office of Peking University in Sichuan and Tsinghua University blame each other on Weibo for buying the top scorers. Tsinghua University claimed on its Weibo account that Peking University (PKU) was buying students. PKU turned tables and pointed the finger at Tsinghua. The feud went viral on China’s social media.

Many netizens cannot believe that the top two universities in China would pay students to enroll because of their good grades. But the practice of recruiting top students is actually quite common in China, where most colleges and university have a ‘recruitment group’ that is specifically focused on getting the best students to join their institute. They are ready to fight off other universities to get more top scorers enrolled by offering them scholarships, better majors, or even give them bonuses.

Under the contemporary Chinese education system, the College Entrance Examination is the most common way to enter a college or university. The social status of an educational institute is related to the number of excellent examinees (top scorers) it recruits. That is why the majority of colleges in China will set up Admission Offices in every province, in order to get the best examinees from all over the country.

Recruitment is just one step within China’s higher education system. It reveals a problem that is at the core of the system; namely that in the present Chinese education system, it is all about the grades – not about the cultivation and motivation of students.

The problem is twofold. By solely focusing on grades, only top-scoring students will be praised as the best. And because universities get measured by the amount of top-scorers that attend them, only those will be listed as the best universities.

China’s Ministry of Education has openly criticized both universities for their conduct. The comments from both Tsinghua and Peking University have now been deleted from Weibo.

Sources:

http://edu.sina.com.cn/gaokao/2015-06-28/1342475443.shtml

http://edu.sina.com.cn/gaokao/2015-06-29/0743475446.shtml

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Food & Drinks

Tianjin Restaurant Introduces “Meal Boxes for Women”

The special lunch boxes for women were introduced after female customers had too much leftover rice.

Manya Koetse

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China’s anti food waste campaign, that was launched earlier this month, is still in full swing and noticeable on China’s social media where new iniatives to curb the problem of food loss are discussed every single day.

Today, the hashtag “Tianjin Restaurant Launches Special Female Meal Boxes” (#天津一饭店推出女版盒饭#) went trending with some 130 million views on Weibo, with many discussions on the phenomenon of gender-specific portions. The restaurant claims its special ‘female lunch boxes’ are just “more suitable for women.”

According to Tonight News Paper (今晚报), the only difference their reporter found between the “meals for women” and the regular meals, is the amount of rice served. Instead of 275 grams of rice, the ‘female edition’ of the restaurant’s meals contain 225 grams of rice.

The restaurant, located on Shuangfeng Road, decided to introduce special female lunch boxes after discovering that the female diners of the offices they serve usually leave behind much more rice than their male customers.

The restaurant now claims they expect to save approximately 10,000 kilograms of rice on an annual basis by serving their meals based on gender.

On Chinese social media, the initiative was heavily criticized. Weibo netizens wondered why the restaurant would not just offer “bigger” and “smaller” lunch boxes instead of introducing special meals based on gender.

“There are also women who like to eat more, what’s so difficult about changing your meals to ‘big’ and ‘small’ size?”, a typical comment said: “Some women eat a lot, some men don’t.”

Many people called the special meals for women sex discrimination and also wanted to know if there was a difference in price between the ‘female’ and ‘male’ lunch boxes.

There are also female commenters on Weibo who claim they can eat much more than their male colleagues. “Just give me the male version,” one female user wrote: “I’ll eat that meal instead.”

This is the second time this month that initiatives launched in relation to China’s anti food waste campaign receive online backlash.

A restaurant in Changsha triggered a storm of criticism earlier this month after placing two scales at its entrance and asking customers to to enter their measurements into an app that would then suggest menu items based on their weight. The restaurant later apologized for encouraging diners to weigh themselves.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Local News

15-Year-Old Girl Jumps to Death in Sichuan, Kills Father Who Tried to Catch Her

The tragic incident has stirred a flood of comments on Weibo.

Manya Koetse

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After the shocking death of a 2-year-old boy went viral in China earlier today, another tragic story is again top trending on social media.

On August 22, authorities in the city of Luzhou in Sichuan stated that on Saturday morning 10:30 a 15-year-old girl jumped from the 25th floor of an apartment building.

The girl’s father, a 42-year-old man, attempted to catch his daughter and break her fall. Both father and daughter were killed in the incident.

The hashtag “Father killed while trying to catch daughter who jumped off a building” (#父亲欲接坠楼女儿被砸身亡#) received over 460 million views on Weibo on Saturday, with thousands of people discussing the tragic event.

Bystander footage of the scene shows (blurred, viewer discretion advised) how people are screaming in horror when the girl jumps to her death.

The case is currently still under investigation.

Among the flood of comments, there are many who are worried about the mother in this family and offer their condolences: “She must be in so much pain.”

Some also ponder over the terrible predicament of the girl’s father and a dad’s love for his daughter, writing things such as: “He just relied on his instincts to step forward and open his arms.”

There are also many people reflecting on the stress experienced by young people in China, school pressure being a major issue, leading to self-harm or suicide. According to a 2017 news report, suicide is the leading cause of death among young Chinese people.

“I can understand both the daughter and the father,” some say: “I can feel the pain in my heart.”

 

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2020 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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