Chinese college sends students’ transcripts directly to their parents under pressure to improve undergraduates’ performance
After China recently urged college students and professors to work hard in bid to build world-class higher education, some careless undergraduates in South China shockingly found that their childhood nightmare may return to haunt them again, with their ‘ugly’ school reports being directly sent to their clueless parents along with professors’ numbers.

It’s reported by the Chinese media that Shenzhen University (SZU) in Guangdong is now having transcripts of its undergraduates in certain majors delivered to their parents, in order to improve performance of unsatisfactory students. The news has immediately caused panic among young students and a heated debate on Chinese social media considering higher education in the country used to feature lax management and almost 100 percent pass rate.

“You may need to fight off hundreds of competitors to get admitted to a good college, but then you get to sleep over the next four years,” a netizen thus put it. It seems that luxury is not going to be available anymore. During mid-October, the Ministry of Education released a high-profile “opinion”, asking for all universities and colleges nationwide to take actions to heighten students’ assessment and abolish the old system that allows undergraduates to laze away their college days.

Earlier, a university in central China’s Wuhan hit national headlines by degrading 18 undergraduate students with failing grades to junior college degree. A Ministry of Education official was widely reported as saying that it’s inevitable a certain number of undergraduates get knocked out and it’s appropriate for colleges to increase the number of those who could not graduate on schedule.

Against this backdrop, many netizens said Shenzhen University just intended to alert parents of those students with incompetent performance at school, in case a downgrading, delayed graduation or even expulsion may be too unexpected for them to accept.

Despite the decision to send school reports to college students’ parents may be well-intended, many netizens and educational specialists argue the practice may be controversial considering it’s a violation of privacy because undergraduates are all adults.

“I will let my parents know my grades, but that doesn’t mean I will allow my transcript to be sent to them with me knowing nothing about it. We’re grown-up people and could take responsibility for what we’ve done. So, it makes no sense to get across us to report to our parents like we’re still kids,” a netizen posted.

An observer with a doctoral degree in education, Nanjing University posted undergraduates, as adults, are entitled to take responsibilities for their own decisions, and acts. Colleges should let their students shoulder the result if they could not graduate as scheduled.

Shenzhen University later solicited opinions through its official Weibo account about the controversial practice. A netizen’s post quoted by Chinese media ridiculed, “What could I say? I will just have to forgive you with tears in my eyes.”

Many educational experts regard SZU practice as a step backward to high school or even primary school where young kids are subjected to strict supervision. Instead, higher education institutions in China are suggested to spend more time and energy on facilitating their adult students’ full engagement in teaching.


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