Chinese university launches dating course to better equip students with social skills

Reuters
China Published: Dec 14, 2018, 05:55 PM(IST)

As China was never completely colonised, it continued to be ruled by its monarchs until Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong declared the creation of the People's Republic of China (PRC) after the Chinese Revolution of 1949. It celebrates National Day and not Independence Day. Photograph:( Others )

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In high school, Chinese students face pressure from parents to study hard and get accepted to their ideal university. This, in turn, has led to the growth of dating websites and independent dating courses, to teach many young people a skill they lack.

China's Southwest Jiaotong University launched a dating course, as many students entering college have seldom if ever, dated.

In high school, Chinese students face pressure from parents to study hard and get accepted to their ideal university. This, in turn, has led to the growth of dating websites and independent dating courses, to teach many young people a skill they lack.

To better equip their students with this social skill, the university has built such a dating course into their curriculum.

In a recent class, teacher Gao Fei presented colourful scarves symbolizing the sacrifices and benefits of a marriage.

Undergraduate students from various majors took turns expressing themselves via this thought-provoking process. They also discussed and wrote down what these sacrifices are.

For the male, it was mostly the loss of personal space and money; and the female - their looks and health.

This class, geared toward marriage, came near the end of a 14-week interdisciplinary course entitled the "Art of Getting Along with the Opposite Sex".

"In this class, the boys shared their views on marriage and changes they may encounter from dating up to marriage. We don't often understand this as girls," said Hou Shufen, a logistics undergraduate student.

In the early parts of this inaugural course, students learned how to make a good first impression, meet the right person, and date.

Gao, the course's founder and teacher, had two aims: to help narrow the gap between knowledge and practice and to better prepare -- than repair -- these students for what is to come in their future.

"The divorce rate in China has been increasing over the past five to eight years, and most of those divorced was born in the early 1980s or even late 1980s if they get married early. Young people born in the early 1990s have also begun to enter into marriage," she said.

For some students, it is more than just a dating and marriage elective.

Ji Zesen, an engineering undergraduate, said this course is necessary. He cited the lack of communication skills most university students face as they focus too much on their academics.

"If we can manage to get along well with the opposite sex, I believe we can also communicate better with the seniors and people of the same sex. The skills can be fully applied to these areas," said Ji.

In China, huge importance is placed on education: nailing good grades, getting into good schools and so on. Now college education is not all about just math and science, it is also about learning social techniques, like the class about dating and marriage here at this university. It all starts from equipping these students with soft skills to hopefully better maneuver today's societal problems and beyond.

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