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College dropouts spark discussions online

By Wang Xiaoyu | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-01 10:07

An admissions notice released online, which revealed that 81 freshmen had their college places revoked for failing to turn up this semester, has sparked the ire of the internet with many complaining that the students had wasted opportunities that could have gone to others.

The undergraduate admissions office of Jinan University in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, said the majority of the students were enrolled in majors in the fields of management, business, economics, tourism, interpretation and translation, as well as chemistry and materials science.

A hashtag related to the notice became one of the most-searched topics on microblogging platform Sina Weibo on Saturday.

The notice attracted attention because Jinan University placed highly, at 50, on the Chinese college ranking list released by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy this year.

Many netizens lamented that the students had wasted precious opportunities coveted by others and lacked integrity in not following through with their offers.

"Many people who dream of going to college are unable to fulfill their wishes and these people have given up the offer. Why do they waste resources?" read one comment.

Some said they empathized with their choices, saying that the students may have decided to retake the college entrance examination or to study abroad.

Chu Zhaohui, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Educational Sciences, said it is not uncommon to see college candidates choose to drop out a few months after the first semester begins because the college or the major was not what they thought they would be.

Shihezi University in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region said in September that it had revoked the admissions of 125 freshmen who had failed to show up on campus. Zhongnan University of Economics and Law in Wuhan, Hubei province also said that 44 freshmen from its School of Finance and School of Business Administration had not enrolled in time this semester, National Business Daily, a news outlet, reported.

Chu said that it is unreasonable to associate such decisions with the principle of honesty or integrity.

"These students are simply weighing up whether the college or the major suits their interests and future plans," he said.

Chu said that the phenomenon has shown that under the current college admission system, some students are unable to get into their ideal schools and some universities — even prestigious ones — struggle to find matching students.

"In the long term, more efforts should be made to enable admission offices and students to choose each other in a more equal and proactive manner," he said.

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