Tsinghua University and Peking University extend their opening hours and expand their opening scope. How do you view the trend of research and study in famous schools? What impact will it have on children's education?

As winter vacation approaches, with Beijing’s universities gradually opening their campuses to the public, the research and study tour programs at universities, mainly led by Tsinghua University and Peking University, are gaining popularity. A recent visit by reporters revealed that both universities have introduced a series of new measures, such as extending opening hours, expanding access, and utilizing campus resources, to embrace the wave of winter vacation study tours.Under the guidance of signs that read “WeChat Mini Program reservations for North Side Entrance,” the reporter arrived at the eastern gate of Peking University around 10 a.m. on the 7th. Over ten visitors from outside the campus were neatly lined up in two queues, presenting their reservation codes before entering the campus. A security guard explained, “During the weekends, there is a continuous influx of visitors, many of whom are parents bringing their children for visits.” To avoid crowding at the school gate during the holiday peak, the university has optimized the dedicated entrance in advance. The north entrance on the east side is reserved for reserved visitors, while the south entrance serves as the passage for teachers and students, as well as the information desk. “Right after entering the campus, you will find the parking lot. Group visitors can drop off and verify their identities here.” Following the security guard’s directions, the reporter saw that a parking area for over ten motor vehicles had been planned on the north side of the east gate. The ground was marked with directions and dividing lines to ensure smooth traffic flow, allowing passengers to disembark and leave without disruptions.Extending opening hours and expanding access have become key initiatives for holiday campus openness. Both Tsinghua and Peking University have specified that the daily opening hours for receiving visitors during the winter vacation will be extended by one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon. Tsinghua also mentioned that while ensuring normal teaching and research operations, they will increase the daily reservation capacity for campus tours to over 12,000 people, approximately 50% more than before.During the winter vacation, a variety of campus resources, including cultural and sports facilities, will be open to the public. For instance, Tsinghua will utilize its performance and theater resources to organize activities such as outside audiences watching performances and participating in public art courses. Peking University’s newly opened Weiming Lake ice rink has become a popular destination. During the weekend, the reporter observed that many visitors were skating and enjoying winter sports on the ice. Liu Maohui, Deputy Director of the Physical Education and Research Department at Peking University, stated that after outside visitors make reservations during the winter vacation, they will be allowed access to the ice rink. The ice rink will increase the number of reservations for outside visitors during specific time slots, add emergency medical personnel, and increase ice surface safety patrols to meet the needs of visitors while ensuring safety.Both universities are also revitalizing their campus resources, shifting the focus of winter study tours from “sightseeing” to “education,” creating a “cultural journey.” Peking University’s Sackler Archaeology and Art Museum, Biological Specimen Museum, Geological Museum, and others will be open to the public for free. Tsinghua University has arranged campus tour guides for the winter vacation. “I will teach elementary and middle school students how to read the time scale on sundials and emphasize the importance of valuing time,” said Pan Tongyu, a senior at Tsinghua University and the leader of the volunteer tour guide team. He volunteered to stay on campus during the winter vacation to participate in volunteer guiding. He mentioned that the university has developed four regular tour routes covering popular spots like Shui Mu Qing Hua, the Second School Gate, and the Tsinghua Academy. During his tours, he shares his own experiences of studying at Tsinghua, saying, “For example, when I introduce the library, in addition to explaining the architectural style and book collection, I also share my own experience of studying in the library and encourage elementary and middle school students to study hard.“In addition to Tsinghua and Peking University, several other Beijing universities such as Renmin University of China, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing Sport University, and Beijing University of Architecture have also officially opened their campuses to the public. Visitors can enter the campuses through reservations, registration, and identity card scanning, among other methods, to experience the wave of winter vacation study tours.

A Meaningful Exploration: Beyond Formality in Education

At the first mention of “study tours,” I thought it was another mass activity where primary and secondary school students are taken on a quick tour around a campus, stopping briefly at each school gate and scenic spot for a quick photo. It seemed like a perfunctory activity where they would spend an hour or two wandering around the campus, then hurry to line up for roast duck at a restaurant.

However, after reading the news closely, I realized that Tsinghua and Peking University are planning to open up resources “for fun,” allowing both children and adults on these study tours not only to experience skating cars on the Weiming Lake but also to visit “high-end” science museums at both universities, even with students from these institutions serving as guides.

As long as these activities do not interfere with the normal research and life of the students and faculty remaining on campus, as long as the students appointed as guides are completely voluntary, and as long as each activity does not require lining up for hours, I think it is quite meaningful for primary and secondary school students to participate in such study tours with their parents. It would be quite enjoyable, at least.

A few days ago, I was chatting with a friend from Tsinghua University. She mentioned that, in theory, she could take a holiday after completing her annual report and assessment. Although she still has projects and articles to work on, her son became excited when he learned of this “good news” and started insisting his mother take him out to play.

She tried to persuade him, “Other kids want to come to our school for a study tour. You get to play freely in places they can’t even go to. How about grandma takes you to play in the small garden behind my office?”

“No way! I’m tired of it! Let’s go to grandma and grandpa’s hometown instead!”

Their grandparents' hometown is in a village, and the old house there is quite dilapidated and unexciting, merely looked after by someone in their absence. However, a child bored of the “Tsinghua campus” prefers to go back to see the big yellow cows, the big sheep, to wear a rustic cotton-padded jacket and roll in the dirt with other kids, running around until they are covered in sweat.

Therefore, while parents might be keen on sending their children to Tsinghua or Peking University for a study tour, and the children themselves might be eager to visit these famous institutions, accompanying the children on a trip to the prestigious universities to ride ice cars and attend lectures is a very good winter holiday activity.

But if the expectation is that “through this study tour, the child will learn such and such…,” it’s better not to be so utilitarian. No child can easily get into Tsinghua or Peking University just through a study tour.

For children, whether it’s a study tour to Tsinghua or Peking University or a trip to the countryside to see the rural landscapes, both are meaningful and broaden their horizons. There is no superiority or inferiority between the two.

In their youth, broadening their horizons and experiencing different worlds is very beneficial for children in shaping a complete and healthy worldview. As for “what impact it will have on the child’s education,” there’s no significant impact. If education could be influenced by a single trip, then there would be no need for “years of hard study” or the long 12 years of diligent schooling…

The impact on children, first and foremost, is that it allows them to experience the atmosphere of a top-tier university, which is different. These universities always have their own unique charm. For example, a university like Sun Yat-sen University in Guangdong may not be the best in other provinces, but in Guangdong, it is the best. Similarly, universities like Wuhan University and Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Hubei are the top universities in Hubei and symbolize the best educational institutions in the region.

Visiting Prestigious University Campuses

You can often see many Chinese study groups at Harvard’s campus, waving flags and banners with Chinese characters, taking group photos. This is similar to the experience of visiting Tsinghua University and Peking University in China.

Is it a good idea to visit the campuses of top universities? Absolutely. Campuses are like free tourist attractions, some with a history spanning over a hundred years. Strolling through a campus feels different from walking down the street. It can certainly have educational value for children, and if a child gains motivation for learning because they enjoy being on a campus, then the visit is worthwhile.

However, Tsinghua University and Peking University are quite large, especially Tsinghua, which can be tiring to explore fully. In the summer, the contrast between the lotus pond and the Tsinghua campus is quite noticeable. In the fall, Peking University’s Weiming Lake is quite charming. But what truly captured my heart later on was the campus of Wesleyan University, with its enchanting beauty, like stepping into a fairy tale world.

It’s just plain stupid, as soon as school starts, there are people selling stuff worse than idiots.

Once used to come and go freely without anyone caring, now everything is being managed.

The Trend of Visiting Prestigious Schools for Educational Study

The trend of visiting prestigious schools for educational study has gradually risen in recent years, driven by various factors. Firstly, as society places increasing importance on education, more and more parents hope that their children can access better educational resources, and the trend of visiting prestigious schools for educational study is a manifestation of this demand. Secondly, with the growth of the tourism industry, an increasing number of travel agencies offer educational study tour packages related to renowned schools, providing a tangible basis for the rise of this trend.

In terms of the impact of the trend of visiting prestigious schools for educational study, on one hand, it can broaden children’s horizons, enhance their overall quality, and improve their competitiveness, laying a solid foundation for their future learning and career development. On the other hand, if the pursuit of prestigious school visits is excessive, it may also bring some psychological pressure and burdens to children, potentially leading to negative consequences such as excessive anxiety and a sense of competition.

Therefore, we should approach the trend of visiting prestigious schools for educational study with rationality. When parents choose educational study tour packages for their children, they should make choices based on the children’s actual situations and needs, rather than blindly following the trend. At the same time, we should also pay attention to and guide children’s psychological well-being, helping them establish the correct values and learning perspectives so that they can truly enhance their overall quality and competitiveness during the educational study at prestigious schools.

Beware of being deceived by the unscrupulous tour guides at Tsinghua University…

One of our classmates' mothers, representing the parents, accompanied the whole class on a study tour to Tsinghua University. As soon as they entered the campus gate, a group of deceitful tour guides targeted them. After an impassioned speech about “top scorers in the college entrance examination,” his mother, her heart filled with excitement, handed over 300 yuan and bought a few “top scorer notes” and Tsinghua bookmarks.

The funny part is that the classmate knew very well that his mother had spent money on these things but didn’t even glance at them…

It’s meaningless.

Do parents expect that taking their children to visit the campuses of Tsinghua University and Peking University will make them fall in love with learning? Or that they will be able to pass the exams in the future?

Don’t you think it’s very childish?

In Pursuit of Excellence

Let’s start with the conclusion: It’s a good thing.

Now, about its impact on children: Though it may not guarantee success, it fuels aspirations.

Indeed, Tsinghua University and Peking University (commonly referred to as Qingbei or Qinghua Beida) stand at the pinnacle of academia in China. Getting admitted to these institutions is like finding a needle in a haystack, or even rarer. However, does this deter our admiration for Tsinghua and Peking? In a way, Tsinghua and Peking have transcended being mere universities; they represent ideals, beliefs, and emotions.

Peking University, without a doubt, is a central figure in modern and contemporary Chinese history. When we talk about the schools that have had the most significant influence on modern China, Peking University and the Whampoa Military Academy are top contenders. The latter has faded into history, no longer admitting students. But the former continues to carry the torch and remains a leading university in China. From the Imperial University of Peking, the May Fourth Movement, Chen Duxiu, Li Dazhao, to that librarian from back in the day…

Tsinghua University is equally impressive. How many experts in nuclear physics and space technology have emerged from its halls?

Allowing our children to get close to Qingbei, to befriend it, and to sow the seeds of learning—what’s wrong with that? My daughter took a photo by Weiming Lake ten years ago. Now, she is a high school freshman. With her current grades, Tsinghua or Peking University seems out of reach. However, with hard work, a spot in a prestigious university is still attainable. Even hitting a mid-tier institution wouldn’t be a bad outcome!

Accessing Peking University: A Perspective on Openness and Constraints

I just came out of Peking University, where I went to observe the Guanghua New Year Forum, and there were no obstacles at all. I just had to swipe my ID card. There have been many controversies recently regarding access to and exit from the campus, with many people comparing it to foreign universities. As someone who has returned from studying in the United States, I’d like to share a little story.

In the last class before the 2020 spring break, as the pandemic raged on, no one was really paying attention. So, we started chatting with the professor. Someone asked him why the university didn’t close. He said, “We want to as well,” but from a technical perspective, that road cutting through the campus doesn’t belong to us.

I’m sharing this story to illustrate that the openness of foreign universities isn’t solely due to regulations. Many universities have grown gradually with the city, unlike us, who had a separate plan. Objectively, they don’t have the capability to close off completely.

Moreover, compared to foreign universities, Chinese universities, especially prestigious ones like Peking University, have limited resources. Just a group of guests arriving for lunch today already caused chaos at Yan Nan Canteen. If complete openness were allowed, faculty and students who should have priority might be unable to use the facilities.

So, I think a low-threshold limited reservation system is a good idea, and on top of that, a blacklist system should be introduced. If someone behaves in a manner inconsistent with the campus atmosphere, they should no longer be allowed to make reservations. Blanket decisions in any direction are not appropriate; the key is to find a balance.

What are the shortcomings of the Chinese education system?

From Different Perspectives

I have seen students who experienced emotional breakdowns before the college entrance exam, but after taking a leave to visit their dream school, they returned with renewed determination and eventually achieved their dream of entering Fudan University.

I have also witnessed parents pushing baby strollers, bringing their unsteady children to the cafeteria to ask students for meal cards. Whether they swim, fly, or run, everyone turned their attention when they heard the child’s scream.

It’s hard to judge, but I wish them success.

Impact of Educational Tours to Prestigious Schools in China

The popularity of educational tours to renowned institutions such as “Tsinghua University” and “Peking University” has transcended the status of mere “tourist attractions” in the public eye. These elite universities, often referred to as the “Jerusalem” of Chinese higher education, hold a special place of reverence among students and parents. With the upcoming winter break, the demand for educational tours to these prestigious institutions, aimed at enlightening children, has surged. This high demand has even led to situations where it is nearly impossible to secure a spot for summer tours, with some tours receiving three to four times more applications than available slots.

Admission to Peking University’s summer tours is extremely competitive.

The educational impact on children is hard to quantify, as most short-term educational tours involve basic campus visits and interactions with high-achieving students or teachers who share their learning experiences.

Additionally, there is a need to be cautious about commercial ventures using “educational tours” as a lure. In the past, scalpers around schools have charged exorbitant prices, claiming to have alternative methods of gaining access to the campuses. Many tourists have fallen victim to these scams. Recently, “Peking University” even revoked the reservation privileges of some internal staff members who were helping scalpers and educational tour groups gain unauthorized access to the campus, affecting 139 off-campus educational tour participants and generating revenue of up to 1.5 million RMB.

Official announcement from Peking University

Online, there are various services offered by individuals claiming to be current students of these institutions. They offer paid tours and provide insights into campus life and academic disciplines through “one-day” or “half-day educational tours.” Prices vary but generally range from several hundred yuan, and some even include meals. However, according to feedback from netizens who have purchased such services, a few intermediaries are not actual students of the universities.

Online educational tour services

In more extreme cases, some parents have exposed instances where holiday educational institutions offering “elite school tours” have turned into mere “school gate tours.” Parents have spent large sums of money to send their children on long journeys only to have them take a photo at the school gate, reserve a spot, and get a stamp.

In conclusion, it is essential for parents and students caught up in the trend of educational tours to prestigious schools to approach these experiences with caution.

Peking University Closes Access for Ph.D. Students from One Physics Department – How Do You Interpret It?

Parents Refusing to Participate in Educational Tours Being Blacklisted by Homeroom Teachers – What Are Your Opinions on This Incident?

Should University Campuses Be Open to the Public? Visitors Blocked from Entering Shenzhen University – What’s Your Take?

A Tsinghua Undergraduate Transfers to a Non-Elite Institution – How Do You View This Reverse Transfer by a University Student?

The most significant change is the opening of campus facilities, with the campus museums also being free to enter and even equipped with guides. The number of reservations has increased by 50%.

The university administration has shifted from a cautious stance to active participation, which is a positive development. When there is demand in society, it is only logical for the university to actively respond to that demand. This is how a normal society operates.

Recently, there have been quite a few examples of mobilizing social resources, such as the Shanghai subway utilizing off-peak hours for transportation, although it’s unclear if it’s related to economic conditions.

I’d like to vent a bit about Shenzhen University; it’s really difficult to get into.

What kind of people are cultivated in Tsinghua University and Peking University? I have serious doubts! Can they really be the best among us and lead the children of China forward?

I’m full and I want to pursue some spiritual enjoyment.

I think it’s still important to motivate children and expose them to new experiences. It’s good for them to explore within the country, but those expensive trips that cost tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands are not worth it. The kids won’t appreciate it.