University to grade student personalities, award
09:13, November 23,
When Qian Xuesen, the father of China's aeronautical engineering program,
asked the question "why China's schools can't foster brilliant talents" to
Premier Wen Jiabao in 2005, it was left to echo in the halls of China's
educational institutions unanswered.
And as university students still
continue to trudge through the Chinese education system's same swamp of endless
tests, exams, certificates and evaluations, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
(SJTU), one of the country's most prestigious institutions and Qian's alma
mater, is now attempting an answer with a new variation on an old theme –
issuing "personality certificates" to its students upon graduation.
conducting yearly peer and student evaluations based on behavior, values and
interpersonal relationships, certificates will be issued with the intention of
helping students "know themselves, improve their personality and provide
employers' a quick overall view of a student," according to the director of
information office surnamed Liu of SJTU's public relations
The announcement of the program last month immediately
sparked heated debate among students, experts and educators as to the
certificate's value, usefulness and credibility.
"It's unnecessary to
shape all students to the same mould," said Chen Daguo, a second-year grad
student at the university.
HR experts also point out that employers
review an applicant's personality through interview, political screening and
"The certificate is meaningless because it can't cover
all aspects of an individual's personality. A student's grade in ethics class
and school activities are not representative of a person," Chen Ning, an HR
expert in zhaopin.com, the recruiting portal in China.
offer scathing assessments of the program.
"This certificate is just
another kind of exam for students to pass," said Chai Chunqing, the vice
president of 21st Century Education Research Institute.
"The campus is a
relatively isolated environment. A real test of personality is taken during key
moments of one's life," he said.
In spite of various controversial voices
and no real standards in measuring personality, school officials at SJTU insist
in exploring the plan.
"The hot debate is good for exploring the issue.
And as to whether it can solve Qian's question, it all depends on trying it
out," Liu said.
Source: Global Times