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September 10, 2009

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Solo freshmen get cash bonus

A BEIJING college has pledged a reward of 100 yuan (US$14.64) to any freshman who came alone on their first school day, a policy to encourage independence.

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

A list of the reward winners will be publicized on the school's Website, Chengdu Business Daily reported yesterday.

The move came amid increasing public concern over China's younger generation, especially those who were born after the 1990s, as many worried that the cozy life they enjoyed made them less self-sufficient.

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

The school hoped the reward would set a positive example for students, Li said.

Reports of pampering parents and overprotected children have appeared repeatedly in media and have caused much debate in recent months.

A university freshman in Wuhan City, capital of central China's 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 asked the university to provide a separate bedroom for their daughter and add a private toilet in the existing room after seeing the four-person dormitory, earlier reports said.


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