Top university tours offer little reward
DURING THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS large numbers of visitors, mostly primary and middle school students from outside Beijing, can be seen lined up outside the gates of Peking University and Tsinghua University, waiting to enter the two most prestigious higher learning institutes in China for a campus tour. Beijing Youth Daily comments:
To minimize the disturbance the free campus tours cause to their learning and research activities, the two universities strictly control the number of visitors within a designated period of time each day.
In fact, only a small number of group visits organized by the two universities themselves aimed at attracting potential candidates from the best high schools across the country can be called in-depth tours. These visitors live on campus, listen to lectures and communicate with the college students and instructors.
Most campus tours, on the other hand, only skim the surface. Tour guides give brief introductions to the sites of historical interest on the two campuses,
both over 100 years old, and then the students quickly pose for photos to prove to their parents that it is mission accomplished.
The two universities have thus become cash cows for the summer camp organizers, while the students reap little from their visits.
The long lines of youngsters waiting to have a look at the two universities reflect the importance their parents place on education. The parents hope the children can experience the best campus culture and learning atmosphere as early as possible.
The two universities can consider offering more tour services during summer vacations — paid for, professional services if necessary — for visitors.