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Access to campuses sparks fierce debate

Some universities have kept restrictions to public entry while others are letting people in

By Zhao Yimeng | China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-26 07:13

Children wearing doctoral gowns pose for a photo on Jan 30 at Tsinghua University in Beijing. [Photo/China Daily]

Divided opinions

Although the majority of public opinion seems to support opening public access to university campuses, some people are worried about order and management issues. Concerns have also been raised that "scalpers" might turn limited entry into a "business", which could pose a threat to campus security.

Many supporters of fully reopening campuses often compare the situation in China with Western countries where most universities are depicted as having no walls or gates.

Xiong said although the public has free access to some universities in the United States and European countries, the degree of openness varies according to the circumstances.

While institutions allow visitors to enter their campuses, restrictions remain on getting into teaching buildings and facilities such as libraries and laboratories. An entry card is usually needed to gain access to these places, striking a balance between an open campus and maintaining orderly education.

"It is essential to adopt a tailored approach by formulating a plan based on opinions of the entire faculty, students and residents in the community," Xiong said.

For instance, opening the university's sports facilities to the public must not interfere with students' physical education classes and workouts, he added.

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