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Rewards for independent freshmen

A COLLEGE in Beijing pledged a reward of 100 yuan (US$14.6) to any freshmen who came alone on their first day, a policy it said was to encourage more independent students.

The reward will be given in cash or pre-paid phone cards to nearly 115 students, or 10 percent of the 1,145 freshmen who signed in for their first-year studies at China Youth University for Political Sciences, a school under the supervision of the Communist Youth League.

It's the smallest university in China and one of its former principals was President Hu Jintao.

A list of winners will be published on school's Website, Chengdu Business Daily reported today.

The move comes amid increasing concern that China's younger generation have enjoyed too cozy a life and had been indulged to the detriment of their independence.

The policy could also save the school from the burden of accommodating a large number of parents accompanying their kids to colleges on the first day of each semester, Li Geng, a teacher at the university told the newspaper.

The school hoped the reward scheme would encourage students to be independent and stand up for themselves in their new campus life, Li said.

Reports of pampering parents and overprotected children appear frequently in the media and have sparked debates in recent months.

A university freshman in Wuhan City, Hubei Province stunned her fellow students by arriving on campus with 19 suitcases, her parents and two tourist guides.

The family drove a luxury limousine to the school when the new semester started earlier this month. The parents even asked the university to provide a single room for their daughter and add a private toilet after seeing the four-person dormitory.


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