University can't house all new students

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 October, 2009, 12:00am

This year, 8,000 freshmen enrolled at Shenzhen University. Due to limited space, about 1,500 of them will not be able to live in the university dorms.

According to university policy, students with better entrance exam scores have priority. Boys majoring in literature and history need to score at least 575 points to secure a dorm place, while girls require 565 points. For science and engineering majors, boys require 571 points and girls 555.

The policy has led to complaints from many parents whose children have to travel a long way. They said the university does not take individual situations into consideration.

Some freshmen who don't meet the grade requirements live two or three hours away by car, which is very inconvenient.

Professor Zhang Bigong, the university's president, said it was fair to allocate dormitories based on students' marks.

Rooms can't be allocated based on home address which could be fake, Zhang said.

'Many parents want to reach deals privately with the school to secure a dorm space for their children, but we reject them. Enrolment to the university is based on students' marks, and so will dorm space allocation, especially now when living and teaching resources are constrained,' the president said.

Zhang Feng, a Shenzhen University graduate, said: 'Lack of accommodation is nothing new for the university. In 2007, 3,000 local freshmen were without dormitories for one month because two dormitory buildings were still under construction.

'Students who live far away have three choices: go to classes by public transport, take the school bus or rent an apartment near the campus.'

Renting a flat outside campus costs about 400 yuan (HK$455) per month, or about 4,000 yuan per school year. Staying in a college dormitory only costs about 800 to 1,500 yuan per year.

To help students who have commuting problems, Zhang said the university would provide transportation for those whose homes were within an hour's drive from the campus.

'The school bus service will cover nine routes,' he said.

'But students who are not covered by this service have to solve the problem on their own. But some beds will be reserved for those whose homes are more than one hour away by car.'