Teachers and students in the controversial school of Shandong University’s "study partner" project: for friendly exchange

  One international student with three opposite sex study partners? The "Buddy" project of Chinese and foreign students in Shandong University has caused controversy.

  It is questioned that in 2018, Shandong University’s "study partner" program was upgraded to one international student with three on-campus students, and the participating students in the school were mainly girls.

  On July 11th, the staff of the Propaganda Department of Shandong University Party Committee replied to The Paper that they were studying the matter.

  On the afternoon of 11th, a teacher from graduate department of Shandong University told The Paper that the "Learning Companion" program was first implemented in 2016, and it was generally welcomed by students after implementation. "Students registered actively and gave better feedback". Regarding the questioning of online public opinion, the teacher said that it was a malicious misinterpretation.

  Controversial "Learning Companion" Project

  Shandong University’s "Learning Companion" project, which was exposed by netizens in Weibo on July 6th, caused controversy.

  According to the blog post, an international student in Shandong University has three study partners. From one-to-one pairing in 2017, each international student in 2018 has three healthy study partners, forming a three-person study partner group, and the unsuccessful study partners are included in the study partner database.

  The registration form of the student partner and the regulations on the management of the student partner do not evade the problem of the opposite sex student partner. In the application form, the gender of the study partner is particularly emphasized, and "making foreign friends of the opposite sex" is listed as one of the options, and it is marked in red at the head: "Please fill in the details as carefully as possible so as to match your favorite study partner".

  Some netizens commented in the Weibo, "I really don’t understand, what is the intention of introducing those little girls who are not familiar with personnel or even have never talked about love to foreign male students as study companions?"

  The Paper noted that an online document "Description of Shandong University on Holding Chinese and Foreign Students’ Learning Companion Activities" stated that it was legal and proper for Shandong University to hold Chinese and foreign "Learning Companion Activities". The "study partner" activity for Chinese and foreign students is an activity held to promote the study of Chinese and foreign students. Chinese and foreign students are study partners, and all of them are free to register, not to find study partners for international students alone.

  On the morning of July 11th, The Paper asked the International Affairs Department of Shandong University for verification on this document. A staff member of the International Affairs Department told The Paper that the school had noticed the relevant public opinion and needed to contact the Propaganda Department for details.

  The "Learning Partner" project was implemented in 2016.

  The Paper found that the "study partner" program for international students in Shandong University was implemented in 2016.

  In October 2016, the International Affairs Department of Shandong University published the Interim Provisions on the Management of the Student Companion Program of Shandong University (hereinafter referred to as the Provisions), which indicated that the Student Companion Program was an activity to increase the understanding and exchange between China students and international students and promote the internationalization of Shandong University students.

  According to the requirements of the Regulations, the group participating in the "Learning Partner Program" is open to students who are officially registered in the whole school, and undergraduates, master students and doctoral students can participate. Students can participate in the "study partner program" for a maximum of one year, and can submit a written application to continue to participate after the expiration of the validity period.

  In addition, the "Regulations" indicate that if you go out with your school partners, you must report to the relevant person in charge for approval. If you go out for more than one day, you must apply in writing and get approval before implementation.

  On October 29th, 2016, a notice about recruiting foreign students as "study companions" was publicly released at the official website of the Graduate Association of Shandong University. The notice showed that students of study companions must have "a high level of English or Japanese, Korean, Russian and other foreign languages".

  The Paper saw in an application form of Shandong University’s exchange students "study partner" downloaded from his official website that students who signed up should fill in the basic information such as name, gender and nationality, as well as dietary taboos, hobbies and specialties, and students with study partners can freely fill in the "gender of their desired study partner".

  After the announcement of recruiting international students as "study partners", The Paper inquired in official website of Shandong University and found that Qilu Hospital College of Shandong University published the first batch of "college" matching results and the notice of the first meeting of "study partners" activities in official website on December 1, 2016. Official website announced that the activity received a total of 360 application information from 28 colleges of Shandong University, and 122 pairs of friendly "study partners" were successfully selected among 122 international students and 238 China students who registered.

  Official website of Qilu Medical College issued the Notice on Announcing the Group Results of 2018 Students’ Partners and the First Meeting Party of Students’ Partners’ Activities. As of November 15th, 2018, the activities received a total of 270 registration information. Among the registered international students and China students, 141 China students and 47 international students have been successfully selected to form 47 friendly "study partner" groups.







  She said that the "study partner" project includes a get-together. She attended the 2017 school reunion. According to her description, there were many students who participated in the party that night. Everyone came from all corners of the country and the atmosphere was very good. On that night, she met her friends from France, Pakistan, South Korea and other countries.

  After getting to know each other at the party, students can keep in touch with each other. Usually, students in China will take their study partners with them. Most of the activities are to visit famous scenic spots in Jinan together, or to have dinner, drink coffee and play werewolf killing around the school.

  Xiaoyuan said that more students still maintain online communication to help international students answer questions in campus life. "After all, everyone’s cultural backgrounds are completely different, and the probability of becoming international friends immediately is still quite low."

  A 2016 boy from Shandong University said that study companions are a normal learning exchange program, which has been going on for several years.

  The question about the internet changed from "one-on-one" to "one-on-three". The boy explained that the ratio of male to female in Shanda was originally a little more than that of female students, while the number of international students was generally a little more than that of male students. In addition, female students were generally more active than male students in participating in campus activities, so there was a situation of "three companions and one" mentioned in the news.

  The boy said that the "study partner program" requires study partners to do tasks together, such as reading books and watching movies together.