University: Those who fail to make the grade can transfer to a college
Students who fail to make the grade at a university in Central China have been told they will need to transfer to a three-year college course.
Starting in the fall semester, undergraduates who repeatedly fall short of the required academic credits will be transferred, according to a notice posted on the website of Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, Hubei province.
It means such students, instead of receiving a bachelor's degree from a respected university, will only be able to get a college diploma upon graduation, which carries less weight with potential employers.
According to the notice, students who are transferred to the college must finish their studies within three years; otherwise, they will be treated as having dropped out and will not get any academic certificate at all.
Once transferred to the college - which is on the university campus - tuition drops to 75 percent of that of the university. They are not allowed to change majors or get back to the four-year university study track.
A staff member in the university's teaching affairs office who asked not to be named, said the new regulation is "considerate", as it will offer another option to students and will reduce their academic stress.
"Each year there are some students who should be dismissed because of not working hard and failing to meet the university's requirements for academic credits," the staff member said. "It's a pity if they leave, as students who are admitted to Huazhong University are generally brilliant and got high scores in the national college entrance exam."
Under the new policy, struggling students can still earn a college diploma, which is much better than being dismissed, he said.
Huazhong University is not the only higher education institution in China with such a policy.
In July 2015, Tsinghua University issued a notice saying that students who get less than 12 academic credits in a semester will be put on "probation" for a year. Students on probation must secure at least 30 academic credits during the session to get back to their normal four-year university studies, or they will be required to transfer to a college or face dismissal.