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May 18, 2011

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Home » Metro » Education

Air-con summer 'luxury' to keep students cool

STUDENTS used to basic accommodation will get a taste of "luxury" this summer, as public universities in the city are fitting air conditioning in their dormitories.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University will start installing air conditioning units at the end of the month. Work is expected to be completed by the middle of next month, said Yao Renzhong, a university official in charge of logistical support.

SJTU is the first local public university to launch such a large-scale program. The university invested 20 million yuan (US$3.1 million) last year to upgrade old circuits in preparation.

Other public universities, including Fudan University, have similar plans.

A growing number of students now remain in universities during summer and winter breaks to work as researchers or for internships.

Some universities also plan to introduce summer classes.

In the past, some students quit their dorms and booked into hotels during the hottest and coldest days.

However, not all students have welcomed the arrival of air conditioning, with some worried about the cost and potential for disagreement.

A survey of almost 6,000 SJTU students found that nearly 80 percent supported the scheme, while the remainder opposed it on the grounds of health, preference and cost.

There are various cost options for each room - not including electricity - including 350 yuan for six months and 550 yuan for a year.

The firm which won the contract will provide a form of scholarship under which students from poorer families will be paid for work done for the firm or the university.

Students can also install air conditioning themselves, provided it meets standards.

And students not wanting air-con can room together.


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