All students face the prospect of having to choose what courses they will do at college or university, with much careful planning needed to ensure that they specialize in something that will give them vital training and experience. What students don’t want is to simply be told do a particular course; even if they have no interest in it.
However, that is exactly what is happening to a group of students at the University of South China, in the Hunan Province. Rather than being able to choose what their major will be, they are simply been assigned to a degree based on a lottery system. The university argues that the civil engineering options available are so oversubscribed that this is the only fair way to decide who gets onto each specialist subject.
“We were forced to take these measures,” says university official Lu Qinghua. “If choosing a major is solely based on students’ wants, some majors will be overcrowded and others will have difficulty enrolling enough students.“
Fortunately, not every person attending the university is in the same boat. Those who got the best exam results can choose whatever major they want while those who got into a course they don’t want to do can try to trade it with somebody else. However, there will be plenty of students doing a course that they never wanted to do, which critics have argued is incredibly unfair.