Shenzhen University in southern China. Photo: Weibo
Shenzhen University in southern China. Photo: Weibo

Students at a university in China have been told to stop loafing off and knuckle down to their studies or they could face the sort of reprimand that every Asian child wants to avoid: their parents will be informed.

Shenzhen University in the country’s south recently sparked much online chatter when it started sending transcripts and report cards to parents of all undergraduate students via a courier service.

Parents were given full transcripts of all subjects their child studied in the past semester, related grade point averages and letters from the university provost and wardens, according to newspapers in the city.

Already getting nervous as the end-of-semester exams approach, the students can now look forward to a lecture from their parents during the otherwise relaxing winter break if they fail to score high marks.

If you thought it sounded awfully like primary school report cards, you would be right, and it is no surprise the SZU students are upset. Some have said they resent being treated like small children, while others are unhappy that the university has intruded on their privacy.

Undaunted, more universities are now taking a page out of SZU’s book and sending transcripts home for parental scrutiny. There are no signs yet as to whether this is having any impact on the quality of studies.