A warning message on the school's website reads "Ding Jinhao was here"

A warning message on the school’s website reads “Ding Jinhao was here”

China National Radio 中国之声 posted on Weibo: Opening the school’s official website, the first thing that pops up is a window reading “Ding Jinhao was here”. The message won’t go away until the “accept” button is clicked. A “human-flesh search engine” revealed that the main character of the “Ding Jinhao was here” story once attended the Nanjing City Youfu West Street Elementary School. We feel such a hacking of a former school’s website is quite despicable. How do you think Ding Jinhao should be taught his lesson?


Original publication date: 5/26/13


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25-Fold Increase in Tuitions Over 25 Years

by elbbj on March 1, 2013

tuitionsJinling Evening News reports: The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences published a report several days ago entitled Social Security Green Paper: China’s Social Security Development Report (2012), showing that China’s investment in the development of public education has been relatively small. The report takes up the example of higher education, which from the beginning of nationally-instituted tuition charges in 1989 to the present, has experienced a 25-fold increase.

Jinling Evening News reporters conducted spot interviews with current college students, most of whom spent 6000 RMB per year on tuition plus 1500 RMB on housing. Including living expenses and other expenses while at school, they spent about 20 thousand RMB per year.


’80s: Students received subsidies and spent 0 RMB per year

The green paper takes the view that the low level of investment in public education has not only led to the continued weakening of the personal and social benefits of education, but also been a main factor in the monetary and personal investment of education becoming an increasingly heavy individual or family burden. It has also weakened the benefit to the public from national funding.

According to the report’s analysis of the higher education situation, there has been a 25-fold increase in tuitions between 1989 and the present. At the current rate, 4.2 years worth of the average urban resident’s take home salary is necessary to fund a university education, or 13.6 years worth of the average rural resident’s salary. In recent years, this has led to some high school students from the countryside sitting out of the gaokao. In 2009, the number of students taking the gaokao fell by 400 thousand, and in 2010, the number dropped by 740 thousand. Only four provinces in the entire country have not seen the number of gaokao participants fall.

In an investigation on NetEase entitled “From 0 to 10,000: When Will Tuitions Stop Rising?”, the website collected stories involving tuitions from users of all ages. The stories from individuals who attended school in the ’80s made younger people very jealous. The first set of students who attended college after the reinstitution of the gaokao not only went to school for free, they also were given work by the government. A user named “70’s Guy” remembers entering Hohai University in 1989. There was no tuition then, only a few books and things to buy, as well as a fee for a quilt. Living expenses were about 60 RMB per month, and there was a government stipend of 17 RMB per month. Another user named huanggw2002 said that entering school in 1982, there was no tuition, and a government stipend of 22.5 RMB (plus tickets for 33 jin of rice and 12.6 RMB worth of vegetables). They still got stipends over winter and summer vacations, and with 10 RMB sent from home, that was enough to get by.


’90s: 10,000 RMB per year, 2500 RMB Tuition in 1999

In 1996, China began to test integrated student admissions processes and university tuitions began to increase. When all universities were integrated in 1997, tuition increases reached between 30 and 50%.

A woman surname Peng working in a Nanjing-based IT company told reporters that when she entered university in 1999, tuitions had already started to rise, but she was lucky compared to her classmates. Mrs. Peng remembers at the time, tuitions were at 2500 RMB per year, with housing costing 600 RMB, and living expenses between 400 and 500 RMB a month. The 8 months of living expenses per year were 4000 RMB, and including costs for books and other study-related expenses, total expenses for a year would come out to 10 thousand RMB.

Mrs. Peng said that costs had risen significantly since the ’80s. “But I was lucky compared to those who came one class after me,” she said. When students arrived in the year 2000, tuitions rose to 4500 RMB per year. “At that time, computer science was a popular major, and it was one of the more expensive majors.” She said the sudden increase in tuition caused many students from less well-off families to apply for deferred tuition payment. Mrs. Peng’s parents would only earn 800 RMB at that time for a year’s worth of farm work, so she had to borrow money from all over the place to attend school. “It was a good thing that after I graduated I found a pretty good job. My husband and I now make about 20 thousand RMB a month combined, and I’ve been able to pay back all the money I borrowed from my parents to attend school.” Mrs. Peng remembers her parents sending her ten-cent bills at that time, and it still makes her feel like crying.


Today’s living expenses higher: 5000 RMB tuition in 2006

Most students in college today spend about 20 thousand RMB per year on living expenses. Ning Jia, a fourth-year student this year, told reporters that she is a journalism major, and spends 6000 RMB on tuition per year plus 1500 RMB for housing, and about 1000 RMB per month for living expenses. Including some other expenses, she spends about 20 thousand RMB per year total.

“Actually, there are a lot of non-academic expenses for college students now. For girls, other than things related to school, they always have to buy some make up and stuff, get together for dinner occasionally, go sing karaoke, and buy present for the birthdays of classmates.” Ning Jia said that some of the more conscientious students will find some part-time work to do in order to relieve their family’s burden. Compared to girls, boys have even more ways to spend money. A fourth-year male student named Xiao Xiaowei told reporters that he spends about 1500 RMB per month on living expenses, and has to borrow money from classmates occasionally. “A lot of guys on campus will find a girlfriend. Taking her out to eat and getting her presents for her birthday and the holidays, these aren’t small expenses.” Xiao Xiaowei mentioned a guy on the internet who lamented over the fact that if you don’t have a lot of money, you shouldn’t find a girlfriend while in school. “Look at those guys who profess their love while at school, holding a bunch of roses and a candle. Actually it’s just a huge expense!”

A user named enfor said that when she started school in 2006, tuition was 4800 RMB per year plus 1200 RMB in housing expenses and 400 RMB for other academic supplies. “My family ran a small shop, and my tuition came out of the income from it. Once I knew that my tuition took up 70% of that money, I was very frugal. I would rather be hungry than buy some fruit or snacks to eat.”


Original publication date: 3/1/13


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Solo Exhibition for 17 Year Old with Autism at Beijing’s 798 Art District

January 21, 2013

On the 20th of this month, a gallery within Beijing’s 798 Art District  organized  a solo art exhibition for Lu Cheng, a seventeen-year-old student with autism from Nanjing. Visitors were moved even more by the artist’s remarkable talent than by feelings of charity. The exhibit is entitled Kunju Opera Lessons, and includes sixty oil paintings […]

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