China: School under fire for assigning majors through lottery system

A central China university has caused controversy by making its students pick their majors through a lottery

Beijing: A university in China’s Hunan province has caused controversy by making its students pick their majors through a lottery system.

The auditorium at the University of South China was especially crowded the evening of September 8, when hundreds of students queued to pick their majors through a lucky draw.

Lu Qinghua, an official with the school, said, “We were forced to take these measures. If choosing a major is solely based on students’ wants, some majors will be overcrowded and others will have difficulty enrolling enough students. There are some other colleges that use this method.”

Critics have said the university’s methods are a sign of lazy governance.

“The college lacks a sense of responsibility. Students should enjoy the right to choose the majors they prefer, and the college should not sacrifice students' chances of personal development for the sake of maintaining a balance among majors," said a student.

An official with the publicity department of the university said the policy has been in place for years and the school had also sought advice from instructors and students twice in the past. “After one year of study, students whose performance is in the top 10 can apply to change majors,” she said.

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