Should col­leges charge pub­lic for fields?

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - YOUTH -

Pub­lic ac­cess to sports fa­cil­i­ties has become a con­cern for sports au­thor­i­ties over the years. There are many venues for big sports events in the coun­try, but fa­cil­i­ties for peo­ple to ex­er­cise daily are not enough, ex­perts said at a sports fo­rum in Bei­jing in May.

The cen­tral gov­ern­ment pro­vided 930 mil­lion yuan ($137.98 mil­lion) in sub­si­dies to State-owned sta­di­ums, for these fa­cil­i­ties to of­fer free or sub­si­dized ser­vices to the gen­eral pub­lic, Xinhua re­ported mid-June.

Some ex­perts say that uni­ver­si­ties open­ing their sports fa­cil­i­ties to the gen­eral pub­lic is one way to solve the prob­lem.

Some uni­ver­si­ties charge the pub­lic to use their sports fields. But many neigh­bor­ing com­mu­ni­ties who use the sports fields com­plain about it say­ing that uni­ver­si­ties by def­i­ni­tion are an open space for pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion, so a closed, fee-charg­ing cam­pus goes against the spirit of free­dom and in­clu­sive­ness.

Sup­port­ers of the pay­ment pol­icy, how­ever, say that too many vis­i­tors crowd the cam­puses, dis­turb or­der, and de­prive stu­dents and fac­ulty from us­ing the sports fields. Some oth­ers, while sup­port­ing the uni­ver­si­ties’ pol­icy of con­trol­ling ac­cess to vis­i­tors, ques­tion whether charg­ing a fee is the best way.

They say if limited ac­cess could be given to non-univer­sity en­trants, then charg­ing a high fee would be un­fair to low-in­come res­i­dents. So, should uni­ver­si­ties charge the pub­lic for use of their sports fields?

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