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A teacher in China went viral for her attractive appearance, but some questioned why she was hired. Photo: SCMP composite

‘Beautiful like a fairy’: university in China pushes back on criticism it hired attractive teacher to boost attendance, praises her ‘lively lectures’

  • The teacher was compared to a ‘fairy’ for her good looks, but the school defended her teaching skills
  • The university rejected online criticism that they had hired her to boost class attendance

A university in central China pushed back last Tuesday against criticism that it had hired a beautiful teacher to boost attendance saying it “trusted her excellent teaching ability and decided to hire her”.

It also defended her popularity, saying that her enthusiastic and lively lecture style is the reason.

The young woman, surnamed Zhang, who works at Henan Kaifeng College of Science Technology and Communication in Henan province, is a popular teacher but recently went viral for her beauty.
Zhang teaches “Mao Zedong Thought”, a required course in Chinese universities. One student, surnamed Song, said he liked the lively lectures Zhang gave and planned to attend for the whole semester.
Zhang was compared to a ‘fairy’ online. Photo: Weibo

When videos of her teaching went viral, Zhang was complimented for both her teaching style and her physical appearance.

One person online said: “She is as smart as she is beautiful, she is like ‘a fairy’.”

Another joked: “If I studied there, I would not skip any of her classes.”


Zhang likes to be interactive with her students and often smiles to encourage students to actively participate in the lectures.

Zhang has nearly 430,000 followers on TikTok and, like most people, tends to share snippets of her private life with her followers.

Zhang’s colleagues pointed out that she has recently received a master’s degree. Photo: Weibo

Her looks also attracted criticism, and people accused the university of hiring her because she was attractive.

One asked: “Do the students like her lectures, or do they like her?”

Another said: “When the looks of a teacher become a topic of discussion, it is not a good sign for the education system.”


In response, the university pushed against those negative interpretations of her popularity and pointed out that she has a master’s degree in education from Henan University.

The director of the School of Marxism at Henan University, surnamed Li, explained that Zhang mainly gives a lecture on the ideological and political course for undergraduates in their second year.

Zhang is also popular on social media, with hundreds of thousands of followers. Photo: Weibo

“Her class attendance is increasing, especially after the week-long National Day Holiday,” Li said.


One Weibo influencer asked why this was even a topic of conversation.

“Beauty and wisdom can coexist. She should have no students who skip class [regardless of her appearance]. I hope she can continue teaching with peace of mind and live up to the love that netizens and students have for her,” said the writer.