Chinese students divided over majors by lottery system

Whatever the problem, the Chinese have the solution. While in the Netherlands, a plan to only allow students with high grades to some masters yielded quite some controversy, the University of South China takes it to the next level. Students who study civil engineering are assigned a major using a lottery system, and do not get to choose what their specialization is.The university offers seven specialist subjects in the department. Some of those are more popular than others, causing them to attract too much students, while other subjects stay behind. In the new system, students who are in their second year are assigned a major at random, unless they are among the 190 people that have the best grades.

Others can try to switch with someone else. If that does not work, they can try to be in the best 10 percent at the end of the year. If they are, they can apply for a switch. According to the BBC, there is a lot of discussion about the new system on social media. It is said to be unfair, since students should be allowed to study what they want. Others think it does not get fairer than leaving it to chance. It could have a different effect, a student told newspaper Beijing Times: “I think it is quite fair. Students are encouraged to study hard to gain the chance to freely choose majors.”

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