Chinese parents make unusual use of courier service

News from Beijing has revealed that China’s famously pushy parents have stepped it up a notch by arranging to be ‘couriered’ into the country’s top university for a sneaky peek.

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A family in Beijing arranged to pay a courier the equivalent of £2.30 to let them hide in the back of the mail van and enter Tsinghua University more easily than joining the long queue of visitors, which during the summer month starts at around 2am. Those queuing are not trying to get in for a specific event; instead, they simply want to have a look and show their teenage children the inside of a top university.

Elite Chinese universities

Tsinghua University is one of the very best universities in Beijing; in fact, it is one of the best in China. Despite the one-child policy having been lifted, those with teenage children still have just one child and are concerned that the future prosperity of the family depends on this lone child. As a result, a huge amount of pressure is put on young people to do well in school.

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Parents think that by taking their children to visit a university such as Tsinghua, they will feel more compelled to succeed in school; however huge queues for visits during summer at this and other universities, such as Xiamen, have led to parents looking for more inventive ways to get in.

Walls and tunnels

In addition to being ‘couriered’, families have been found scaling the walls and some even entering through hidden tunnels. These universities are not equipped to deal with so many visitors and are encouraging those who want to look around to join a pre-booked guided tour. Tsinghua University has also been forced to put a 6,000-a-day cap on visitors.

Luckily, couriers in Bracknell such as have not had similar requests from pushy British parents looking to visit Oxford University, an hour’s drive from Bracknell and one of the two top universities in the UK and indeed the world.

China’s growing economy over the past 20 years has seen a blossoming middle class; however, as with any country, there is a finite number of well-paid jobs and parents with just one child will understandably be keen to ensure that their child can support them through old age.

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